Career Nirvana

Career nirvana is achieved when your community, work, and personal life are in harmony. This state of mind comes from happiness, health, and wealth emanating from the freedom to do whatever you’re best at with people you care about.

There is little holding you back from achieving such splendor. Start by doing remarkable work you enjoy. This creativity earns attention and delivers intellectual, human, financial, network, cultural, physical, and institutional capital. As we learn from The Startup Community Way, the Seven Capitals keep you building by using what you have, to attract what you want.

Let passion fuel persistence, then fuse your career portfolio into the entrepreneurial ecosystem. As you connect into community, be generous by accelerating others and use the trust that creates to do it more often. When this becomes routine, your generosity will leave a legacy. For innovators looking to change the world, such a legacy grants enduring satisfaction and furthers the sense of euphoria.

As a fulfilling career is composed, it’s easier to find work-life balance. Remember, we work to live. We don’t live to work. Nobody looks back wishing they had spent more time in the office. Use the freedom you create to embrace those you love while doing more things that make you happy.

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“The peace and satisfaction of building what you truly care about is one of life’s greatest gifts.”  –You Don’t Need This Book

This may sound idealistic, but it’s not all rainbows and unicorns. This approach to work requires creativity, immeasurable time, immense ambition, and advanced efficiency. As discussed in the Side Hustles chapter of YDNTB, an acute awareness of your personal bandwidth is essential to optimizing when and how resources are utilized. It can also be tempting to spend too much time on things that are fun but may not have real potential. Be humble enough to recognize what you have and what it will take to evolve your idea(s) into reality. Managing multiple “hobbies that pay” takes serious effort, but the reward is extraordinary work you love talking about and an inner peace that provides transformative happiness.

If you achieve career nirvana, be thankful, but recognize that things will always change. What you have today may not be the same tomorrow. Keep building to enjoy the moment, then make it last with generosity that recycles a sense of abundance for others along the way.

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Cheers to everyone who made last week’s book launch a huge success! Signed softcovers were shipped nationwide and more orders continue to pour in. As you dig into YDNTB, I’d love to see photos, hear what resonates and explore fresh ways to accelerate your work.

The Headline Trap

Reducing barriers to entrepreneurship allows more people to feel inspired by their work. There are many common barriers to entrepreneurship. As I’ve worked with students, new entrepreneurs and intrapreneurs working inside existing companies, I’ve noticed a self-limiting ideology we can call The Headline Trap.

The Headline Trap is an emotional barrier that can subconsciously make people think their own entrepreneurial abilities don’t warrant action. It festers from the deception that business ventures must “go big” or make a bunch of cash to positively impact one’s career portfolio.

This is no surprise. Successful startup stories are celebrated loudly. These spotlights are well deserved and celebrating entrepreneurs is important, but you don’t have to build something crazy to feel the innovative energy of entrepreneurship.

Everyone has a product or new initiative they’ve thought about exploring. Yes, building a business that impacts a lot of people is absolutely possible, but we’re all invited to tinker. Side hustles, community building, volunteerism and innovative projects that intrapreneurs spark inside existing companies all represent entrepreneurial efforts that should be celebrated.

Need someone to bounce ideas off of? Let’s have coffee.

Any project you care about generates genuine energy. This energy is commonly referred to as passion. The beauty of passion is that it leads to persistence. As you find ways to create joy, you’ll savor the project longer. Even if you’re not making a profit (yet), you can still be inspired by the process. This inspiration often transcends into other areas of your career portfolio as well. In fact, sometimes an entrepreneurial venture is less about the money and more about the opportunity to collaborate with others. Working with people you enjoy being around is a treat and finding trusted partners with complimenting skill sets is the trick to make things even more interesting.

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Building a business with less concern about revenue can provide a sense of peace, but beware, the luxury of not needing something to work can lead to crippling procrastination. Maintain transparency with everyone’s commitment levels to avoid tension.

Even when a project is only a tiny sliver of your career portfolio (we’ll talk more about managing your career portfolio next week), curiosity is being triggered. Not everyone will identify these actions as entrepreneurial, but innovative energy is being activated. Whether a project works or not, the entrepreneurial spirit gets bolder with time and often leads to more innovative initiatives in the future.

This type of personal growth also creates expanded interest in the startup and small business community. At the community level, entrepreneurial ecosystem builders can help people avoid The Headline Trap by recognizing, encouraging and celebrating projects that don’t make the news. This benefits everyone when more passionate people are invited to plug in. As more curious people are connected throughout the entrepreneurial ecosystem, take the opportunity to be radically inclusive to fuel a more diverse, flexible and sustainable environment.