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Work Less, Contribute more

About 4 years ago, I wrote down four words that I was determined would drive my future.

Work Less, Contribute More.

I had a vision of spending less time doing the things that don’t matter and spending more time on the things that do. And spending more time doing fun things.

When I look back on all the things I’ve done in my career, the greatest satisfaction has always come when I felt like I was contributing to the success and growth of others. I love seeing people do good things. I especially love seeing people do good things they never dreamed they could.

Even working for nearly 30 years inside of someone else’s company, my favorite thing was always the people. I felt like their success was my success.

Either way, what I wanted to do was contribute to people in such a way that their success grew. Which, in turn, would drive the success of their business.

After all --- People ARE Business or, is it, Business is People?

So, when I wrote down the words, Work Less, Contribute More, I felt like I wanted to pull back from feeling like was “working” all the time. You know that feeling. It feels like work. I didn’t know what it WOULD feel like, I just knew what I didn’t want it to feel like.

A funny thing happened over the past year. If you look at my schedule, you would say I’m an idiot.

My schedule has been unbelievable. Out of town about 60% of the weeks. Travel. Hotel beds and restaurant food. 10-12-18 hours a day spent on problems and challenges for other companies.

In those weeks that I’m at home, 6-hour conference calls, approx. 100 emails a day, countless texts and phone calls.

I’ve, literally, taken one week off in the past year. And, I was used to taking about 6 weeks off every year.

After this year of starting my business and being fortunate enough to have few folks believe in what I may be able to contribute to them, I am happy to say that I’ve succeeded.

You may see that I’ve worked 60-80 hour weeks but, honestly, inside of those hours, I spent 10 or less working on stuff that doesn’t’ matter. Those hours feel like work.

The rest of the hours don’t. They feel like a contribution. It’s hard, challenging and wildly satisfying.

I can finally admit that I “get it” – the old adage is true (mostly).

Find something you love to do and you will never work another day in your life.

I have to do some things I hate doing.

Paperwork, billing, taxes, etc. Other than that, the rest if easy. Fun. Rewarding.

If you’ve read this far into what seems like some sort of confessional, I have a wish for you this new year.

Work Less, Contribute More.

You’ll love it.

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