Wednesday, 18 July 2012

Do it Like I'm Doing it for Free

"Is it ethical?"  It was a simple, complicated question.  My buddy had just accepted a position on a fundraising board and had all sorts of ideas, some of which he worried might be in conflict with his professional position.  In effect, his plan to raise money for his favourite charity would bring him into contact with a similar segment he professionally mines for business, albeit not likely the same customers.  He was on-fire, as they say.  He couldn't wait to tell me about it.

I was intrigued by the enthusiasm he was showing, essentially to use the same skills for which he gets paid "in real life"  but for free, on his own time and for a cause.  He has a very aggressive prospecting plan and a well considered fundraising strategy.  He has to; the goal is several million dollars.

I wondered, though.  If the skills are the same as the ones he uses every day, then why does he never appear to be this inspired by his job?

The talk turned to tough personal questions about our own careers.  The answers gave us a clearer picture of what we really have to work on this year; ourselves, our attitudes, our motivation.
  • "Am I still excited by my career?"  (like when I first started out)
  • "What could I accompish if I didn't know better?" (you know, like before "reality" set in)
  • "Do I have a strategy to increase sales that is imaginative, focused and benchmarked?"  (like my friend's fundraising campaign has to be)
  • "Do I have a challenging goal?"  (the Everest goal, I call it - a difficult, killer, inspiring and worthy goal that few will ever accomplish, maybe not even me)
  • "Do I believe so strongly in my product and service that it ain't about the money?" (so I'm not just working for a paycheque) 
How would our workday look if we did our jobs for a higher cause?  Don't we?  What are we waiting for?

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