“Waiting to do work you are passionate about is like saving up sex for your old age.” –Warren Buffet
If you are reading this, you are probably an entrepreneur, working for a new or early stage business or considering starting a business. For some of you, this career move was part of a master plan or you have always liked being part of the start. For others, it was the only alternative you had once you lost your job or your drive in the corporate world.
No matter how you got here, chances are you are working very hard at building something new and it may be time to just take a breath and ask yourself three important questions:
1. What are my interests? Interests include topics or courses of study that you are curious about. You can gain insight into your interests by looking at your internet history, the tv shows you watch or the books next to your night stand.
2. What are my talents? I define talents as those things you do well that also give you energy back. At this point in your career you probably have a lot of skills. Of those skills, which ones are a combination of enjoyable and challenging? The activities you may be resistant to delegate are probably your known talents. You may also have other talents you have not explored, developed or mastered yet–these hidden talents are important to consider as well.
3. How can I better leverage my interests and develop my talents at my current job and in the future? The more you engage in what you are curious about and do things you love, the better you will be at your job and the more energy you will have to get through the challenges you face.
In addition to asking yourself these questions, you may want to involve your team in this conversation. I worked with a team in Atlanta who discusssed these questions at an annual team retreat and then used the answers to develop strategy. From this inquiry they decided to make their recreational passions part of their marketing plan. They now develop client relationships through golf and blues events. In addition, a team member decided to make film making (formally a hobby) an integral part of his job with the support of the CEO who realized using this talent could improve the company’s website while motivating a key employee to be more engaged at work. Passion at work is good for morale and productivity.