Depends on What Your Definition of Success Is

plane-with-daddy-whnEvery now and again, I like to bring you interviews to give you a new perspective on work happiness. During my study of work happiness I have found that there are many paths to the same goal. Some people believe that loving what you do is a must, while other people believe that relationships are vital to enjoying the work that we do. Interviews are a great way to get out of your own perspective and see what other people are doing to develop their superpowers and live their passions.

Adam Baker is a man on a mission that’s why I am highlighting him here. His mantra is beautiful – Sell your crap. Pay off your debt. Do what you love.

Every person who loves what they do has a deep belief in a mission. Adam is no different. His blog Man vs. Debt. talks about his trials of building a business that allows him the freedom to create the life of his dreams.

Karl: Do you believe that you must love what you do to be successful? Why?

Adam: Nope.  It all depends on what your definition of success is.  Traditionally, there are many very successful (by some terms) people who absolutely hate what they do.  They are gifted, talented, and valuable… but the passion isn’t there.

For me, I’ve attached “success” to following my passions.  So it’s much harder for me to feel successful, without having this element.

What was the most difficult part about building your business?

The most difficult part of the process is making the transition from delivering value into charging for value.  In the blogging/electronic product world, many people operate by giving away 80-90% of the content for free.  This is normal.

But it’s also very difficult.  It was tough working nearly full-time for a year with almost no pay.  But now that I’m beginning to charge for my premium content, a whole new world of possibilities are opening up.  Luckily, I have the readership/customer-base to support this transition!
How do you cultivate work happiness in your career?

For me, interacting with people, whether that be readers or other entrepreneurs, is what provides me “work happiness”.  Luckily, I’m in a space online that allows me to do both on a very regular basis.

I need to ensure that I keep this as the foundation of my business, so that I keep that balance.

What do you do to help yourself stay motivated and productive?

I’m absolutely terrible at this.  I work in extreme highs and lows when it comes to motivation and productivity.

My only tip is to surround yourself with inspiring people.  Whenever I go through a “slump”, I’m usually pulled out because of someone close to me really impressing me.  It’s contagious!

How do you maintain harmony between your working and non-working life?

Once again, I’m certainly not an expert at this.  Luckily, my wife is my number one supporter.  She’s been willing to make the sacrifices and has been a crutch through the entire time.  Many people aren’t that lucky.

For me, I just have to be very clear and present when I do get uninterrupted family/friend time.  I try my best to be there during family time and in the “zone” during work time.  It’s still very much a work in progress!

If you are feeling down, what do you do to lift your spirits?

Once again, I try to read or talk with one of my mentors (going back to surrounding yourself with inspiring people).  I try to brainstorm business ideas and just “talk it out” with another like-minded business mind.  These type of talks are invaluable to lifting my spirits.

What is your biggest detriment to work happiness? How do you deal with this issue?

My biggest detriment is the distracting and ever-present nature of the online world.  It’s so easy to constantly be checking e-mail, social media, blog comments, feedback, buzzes, pings, dings, alerts…  It can get crazy really quickly.

Learning to effectively manage my time and tap into my “sweet spots” of productivity is, by far, my biggest hurdle.

If you could give work happiness advice to someone just starting their own business in 140 characters or less (Twitter style) what would it be?

Launch it now.  Don’t wait.  You’ll learn 10x more AFTER launch than planning for it.  Surround yourself with the best mentors possible!

Visit Adam’s blog Man vs. Debt and learn his techniques on how to create an online business.

* Are you on Twitter? Then join over 3,300 people who get my stress relief tips, happiness ideas, and thought provoking quotes. @workhappynow

* There are so many ways to be happy at work. We just need to let go of the fear and follow our hearts. Jonathan Fields posted a story about a man who was laid off and had to find a way to develop his passion for motorcycles into a job. Click here to read it.

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14 thoughts on “Depends on What Your Definition of Success Is”

  1. Hi Karl and Adam

    Great interview! I loved the last piece of advice. Too many of us wait, when in fact we should just go ahead and launch. Every minute that we don’t we are actually losing out on many possibilities.

    This is how I feel sometimes about not yet having started to write my first book. But I also know that there is a fine line of balance and knowing when the right time to act is, and when acting in haste may bring a lot more stress and unwanted things, than benefits. So again, while I love Adam’s advice, I know there has to be some personal intuition at work as well.

  2. Hi Karl,

    Great interview. I really liked the last piece of advice–just do it. I agree with Evita that there is a fine balance of between recognizing the right time to act and acting in haste, and that discerning the difference does require some inner work or intuition.

    Also I don’t think the idea is to just dive in completely unaware of what the water is like. Some preparation and research is probably a good idea but putting things off until everything is perfect or you know every aspect of running a business might actually be more about fear masquerading as fear than sensible planning and precaution.

  3. I agree with Adam’s opinion of going from free content to charging for it. The transition begins in one’s mind. If I can believe…I can charge.

    Also love the mantra and it’s truly what the world needs right now. No debt and lots of passion.

  4. Work is an avenue for us to use our talents, abilities and giftings.

    A farmer may not love every step in the process of harvesting his crops, but his happiness is not necessarily dependent on how “fun or easy” the work is.

  5. Great point on defining success.

    I read something recently how the pattern shifted from people focusing on financial success to social success and how it’s better connected to overall enjoyment in life.

  6. Pingback: 50 Tips for Being Happier at Work | Business Pundit

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