Every 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.
When I read the title of Peter Buffett’s book Life Is What You Make It, I knew that I had to read it. A big part of my younger day’s struggles was believing that I deserved to have better jobs without earning it. I’ll be putting the review up next week, but right now I want to introduce you to Peter Buffett.
Karl: Do you believe that you must love what you do to be successful? Why?
Peter Buffett: It depends on how you define success. If you think success is about acquiring things and/or making lots of money – you don’t have to love what you do. If you define success as enjoying life and potentially living a healthier, longer life then, YES. Absolutely. Loving what you do means that you’re not really working at all. And all of life becomes more fulfilling. That sounds like success to me.
What was the most difficult part about building your brand?
I think it comes down to paying close attention to who you really are and what makes you unique in the world. With all the distractions that are presented every day, it can be difficult to separate the signal (your true voice) from the noise.
If you could go back to the beginning what is one thing you would do differently?
That’s a tough question. I can think of small things I would change… and I certainly took some wrong turns… but it has all brought me here. And I’m certainly happy about where I ended up. So it’s hard to say that I would have done any single thing differently. I guess if I had to point to one thing, I would have learned more about music theory and orchestration. But that may have gotten me into a creative corner because I would have learned too much!
How do you cultivate work happiness in your career?
Every day.. because I am doing something I am truly interested in getting better at.. is an opportunity to learn and grow. That makes it fun to get out of bed every day to find out what might happen. What can I learn today?
What do you do to help yourself stay motivated and productive?
In my business, you’re only as good as your last composition. So it’s a constant challenge (in a good way) to stay “on my game”. Also, music sort of comes whether I like it or not! The motivation comes from my desire/need to express myself.
How do you maintain harmony between your working and non-working life?
Well… it helps to not actually think of it as work. But sometimes, because it doesn’t feel like work, I lose the balance between doing music and taking a break from it. I don’t really have any hobbies or other distractions. So what I end up having to “work” at is taking some time off.
If you are feeling down, what do you do to lift your spirits?
Get outside! New York is great for a jolt of energy. And getting out into the country is great for a change of pace and feeling, too.
What is your biggest detriment to work happiness? How do you deal with this issue?
That’s something I really don’t seem to have a problem with. I really do love what I do. It can be frustrating at times when I’m working on something that just doesn’t seem to be coming out right. But it doesn’t take much for me to remember how lucky I am to be doing what I do.
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?
Every day should be approached as an opportunity to learn.
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* Penelope Trunk of Brazen Careerist wrote a unique post about diversity and how to cope with it. Being around people a lot different from you isn’t easy.
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