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3 Ways to Feel More Fulfilled in Business

3 Ways to Feel More Fulfilled in Business


    A few nights ago, my husband handed me a book he thought I might be interested in reading. It was a book that even just three years ago, I would’ve loved to dig into. An autobiography of one of the great businessmen of this century, a look into how the greats got it done.

    Who would ever want to pass that up?

    Well, I passed it up in a heartbeat.

    A couple of years ago, I read a couple of those biographical business books, and I loved them all. Learning the business lingo was exhilarating, but the best part was always learning about the person’s personal life.

    Wow, they had a childhood, too! They really started as a janitor? They struggled as common-folk?

    It was all very enlightening — it even made me feel like I had a chance at doing something great in this world. If they could do it, why couldn’t I?

    Except I always was sorely disappointed when the details of the same great businessmen’s personal lives turned more shoddy than I expected. Divorces, cheating, inflated egos, ridiculous promo sponsorships, and more.

    As my husband handed me the book, I read the front cover.

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    I turned to him and said,

    “Isn’t it awesome that businesspeople nowadays are programmed differently? They’re following passion, not necessarily a quick buck. Maybe it’s their purpose that has made them inherently better people? Maybe its more transparency in a digital world?”

    I handed the book right back. It’s great to learn from the greats and our elders, but for some reason, I’ve decided to spend more time learning how its done now — by people who have made it in this new world of users over money.

    Leaders have changed. No matter the reason, it is awesome.

    Maybe you agree with me or not. Maybe you know some really money-hungry businesspeople.

    I think we all know that kind of person. The great thing is — we don’t want to be like them.

    I actually believe that. And there may be absolutely no hard evidence to prove that purpose-driven business people today are better human beings than the fortune-seekers of yore, but I believe it.

    I believe it because I’m living it.

    I know a lot of people out there making gazillions of dollars, sitting in their gold-laden high-rise apartments and drinking substances that cost more than what I make in a month.

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    Okay, maybe I’m exaggerating. 

    But I also know tons of people sitting in coffee shops, working hard, developing their killer ideas, and loving every minute of it. Even if they make less than any corporate job would afford them.

    Sure, some passion-fueled entrepreneurs make great money — but that isn’t a bad thing. Passion and money don’t have to be completely separate. In my opinion, combining them is more the goal, no?

    What does this mean for the world?

    Whether you believe it or not, things in the world are a-changin’. What I read in a recent New York Times article struck a chord. It said that kids nowadays are being born with a more clear view of what is essential.

    I bet kids don’t think big board rooms and expense accounts are “essential”. I think they never did.

    What’s changing is that kids are maintaining their view of what is essential. As we all grow up, we are taking our priorities with us.

    No way I’d take an expense account over the freedom and flexibility to spend Mother’s Day with my mommy (which I did this year).

    But we’re clear on the fact that, in order to keep a lifestyle that is flexible and fun, our work has to be sustainable, as well. If our priorities are straight, it’s not about racking up the beans — it’s about having enough beans to continue doing what we love how we love to do it.

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    How do we make passion sustainable?

    In my case, I love to write. My goal is to make my writing sustainable — to make enough money through my writing to allow myself to write more and more every day. If I make my passion sustainable, I can dedicate more time to it — without going hungry, of course.

    Here are some tips that have led me along my path to sustainability, and made me feel more fulfilled in business in the process:

    1. Write down what makes you curious and excited.

    Being aware of yourself and your emotions sounds corny and trite, but we all have something more to learn about ourselves. Do the world a favor, and take note of what truly drives you most.

    When you think back to the last few months, which experiences stand out the most? What was the last thing you did that made you throw your arms up in the air with accomplishment? What activities feel exhilarating and fun?

    More importantly, when you have free time, what is the first thing you turn to —the computer, a notebook, videos, music, friends, family, etc?

    2. Be as useful as possible.

    Passion and curiosity is important, but so is making your work useful. Without being useful, there’s little chance people will want to, well, pay you for it.

    You’re useful to people as long as you are one step ahead of them. If you know one tiny bit more than they do on what they need, you’re useful and can make that help sustainable.

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    3. Make sure everyone knows it.

    Once you know what you love to do and once you have made yourself useful to them, they have to know you exist. The best way to do that is to analyze this:

    When people think of your industry or your niche, are you among the top 10 people they think of?

    Becoming top of mind is the most important. Keep yourself aiming for that goal, and you won’t falter.

    I haven’t yet found my way to becoming this kind of sustainable new business person, but I am trying. Every unconventional step I take gets me one inch closer to sustainability, to success, to inspiring others along the way.

    It’s hard, but it’s been exhilarating and so worth it.

    While business will always deal with money, new types of leaders are emerging that put meaning and passion over just paying the bills. What’s your take on this new type of business leader? Do you recognize them around you, in your workplaces and in your social circles?

    If you aren’t one already, would you like to be?

    (Photo credit: Thumbs up via Shutterstock)

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    Last Updated on March 29, 2021

    5 Types of Horrible Bosses and How to Beat Them All

    5 Types of Horrible Bosses and How to Beat Them All

    When I left university I took a job immediately, I had been lucky as I had spent a year earning almost nothing as an intern so I was offered a role. On my first day I found that I had not been allocated a desk, there was no one to greet me so I was left for some hours ignored. I happened to snipe about this to another employee at the coffee machine two things happened. The first was that the person I had complained to was my new manager’s wife, and the second was, in his own words, ‘that he would come down on me like a ton of bricks if I crossed him…’

    What a great start to a job! I had moved to a new city, and had been at work for less than a morning when I had my first run in with the first style of bad manager. I didn’t stay long enough to find out what Mr Agressive would do next. Bad managers are a major issue. Research from Approved Index shows that more than four in ten employees (42%) state that they have previously quit a job because of a bad manager.

    The Dream Type Of Manager

    My best manager was a total opposite. A man who had been the head of the UK tax system and was working his retirement running a company I was a very junior and green employee for. I made a stupid mistake, one which cost a lot of time and money and I felt I was going to be sacked without doubt.

    I was nervous, beating myself up about what I had done, what would happen. At the end of the day I was called to his office, he had made me wait and I had spent that day talking to other employees, trying to understand where I had gone wrong. It had been a simple mistyped line of code which sent a massive print job out totally wrong. I learn how I should have done it and I fretted.

    My boss asked me to step into his office, he asked me to sit down. “Do you know what you did?” I babbled, yes, I had been stupid, I had not double-checked or asked for advice when I was doing something I had not really understood. It was totally my fault. He paused. “Will you do that again?” Of course I told him I would not, I would always double check, ask for help and not try to be so clever when I was not!

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    “Okay…”

    That was it. I paused and asked, should I clear my desk. He smiled. “You have learnt a valuable lesson, I can be sure that you will never make a mistake like that again. Why would I want to get rid of an employee who knows that?”

    I stayed with that company for many years, the way I was treated was a real object lesson in good management. Sadly, far too many poor managers exist out there.

    The Complete Catalogue of Bad Managers

    The Bully

    My first boss fitted into the classic bully class. This is so often the ‘old school’ management by power style. I encountered this style again in the retail sector where one manager felt the only way to get the best from staff was to bawl and yell.

    However, like so many bullies you will often find that this can be someone who either knows no better or is under stress and they are themselves running scared of the situation they have found themselves in.

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    The Invisible Boss

    This can either present itself as management from afar (usually the golf course or ‘important meetings) or just a boss who is too busy being important to deal with their staff.

    It can feel refreshing as you will often have almost total freedom with your manager taking little or no interest in your activities, however you will soon find that you also lack the support that a good manager will provide. Without direction you may feel you are doing well just to find that you are not delivering against expectations you were not told about and suddenly it is all your fault.

    The Micro Manager

    The frustration of having a manager who feels the need to be involved in everything you do. The polar opposite to the Invisible Boss you will feel that there is no trust in your work as they will want to meddle in everything you do.

    Dealing with the micro-manager can be difficult. Often their management style comes from their own insecurity. You can try confronting them, tell them that you can do your job however in many cases this will not succeed and can in fact make things worse.

    The Over Promoted Boss

    The Over promoted boss categorises someone who has no idea. They have found themselves in a management position through service, family or some corporate mystery. They are people who are not only highly unqualified to be managers they will generally be unable to do even your job.

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    You can find yourself persistently frustrated by the situation you are in, however it can seem impossible to get out without handing over your resignation.

    The Credit Stealer

    The credit stealer is the boss who will never publically acknowledge the work you do. You will put in the extra hours working on a project and you know that, in the ‘big meeting’ it will be your credit stealing boss who will take all of the credit!

    Again it is demoralising, you see all of the credit for your labour being stolen and this can often lead to good employees looking for new careers.

    3 Essential Ways to Work (Cope) with Bad Managers

    Whatever type of bad boss you have there are certain things that you can do to ensure that you get the recognition and protection you require to not only remain sane but to also build your career.

    1. Keep evidence

    Whether it is incidents with the bully or examples of projects you have completed with the credit stealer you will always be well served to keep notes and supporting evidence for projects you are working on.

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    Buy your own notebook and ensure that you are always making notes, it becomes a habit and a very useful one as you have a constant reminder as well as somewhere to explore ideas.

    Importantly, if you do have to go to HR or stand-up for yourself you will have clear records! Also, don’t always trust that corporate servers or emails will always be available or not tampered with. Keep your own content.

    2. Hold regular meetings

    Ensure that you make time for regular meetings with your boss. This is especially useful for the over-promoted or the invisible boss to allow you to ‘manage upwards’. Take charge where you can to set your objectives and use these meetings to set clear objectives and document the status of your work.

    3. Stand your ground, but be ready to jump…

    Remember that you don’t have to put up with poor management. If you have issues you should face them with your boss, maybe they do not know that they are coming across in a bad way.

    However, be ready to recognise if the situation is not going to change. If that is the case, keep your head down and get working on polishing your CV! If it isn’t working, there will be something better out there for you!

    Good luck!

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