I have done a few talks around AZ on this same topic, but I thought I would write about it today from a different angle. So many people have a job they “have to” do; it pays the bills and gives them access to cheaper health insurance. If you start getting some anxiety rising up on Sunday night, congratulations, you are in the majority of people. This group is people who do not like their full time job they have to go to on Monday morning. It is a tough spot to be in, but it is the largest section of the pie chart unfortunately. A few people love what they do for a living and look forward to going to work on Mondays, the rest fit into two remaining categories from what I can tell: I kinda hate my job or I kinda like my job. This means that about 90% of people are dreading Mondays… But you have bills to pay and mouths to feed and so we get up and go to work to earn a paycheck that serves those purposes.
I am grateful to be in a job that I really like. It wasn’t always like this, as this role has changed and grown over the years. I have been in my role for ten years now, and some of those years were a very real struggle. We as a team worked hard to get where we are, and now I am able to reap the benefits of seeing this through the tough times. Now, don’t get me wrong, I don’t labor under the illusion that if I won the lottery that I’d still show up to work the following week. But I do look forward to meeting new people and winning deals as a primary part of what I do on a regular basis, and the irritations are outweighed by this by a fair amount. That is a win in my book, as nothing is ever perfect of course. I have grown to be one of the best at my craft and I close sales far more often than I ever lose them. I love that challenge, and I do not take the wins for granted. I remember where we as a company came from, and how difficult things were early on. If I left for another job, I would be right back in that same spot of struggling and occasionally have a win to celebrate.
But maybe even better than this, as rare as my situation is, I also have a “Get To” job. I do Public Speaking solely because I want to, not because I have to. I am not referring to a hobby like playing golf with your buddies or something that you can easily skip for a time and it wouldn’t matter. I mean a commitment, a job, that requires your attention and focus. I choose to have a side gig that challenges me, provides me some ways to stretch myself and grow, and even scares me at times. I would not say I have the usual amount of fear of public speaking that most people do, I have always enjoyed the spotlight. Being a competitive athlete for so long, I am sure it just transfers over to the speaking stuff as well. I desire a bigger and bigger stage. I want all eyes on me. Now, in contrast, I am the last one that is going to jump out of a perfectly good airplane with a parachute on my back, so don’t go thinking I am some sort of adrenaline junkie that lives for the thrill, far from it. But it just so happens that the Public Speaking thing excites me. I GET TO do it, and in the year of 2022, I GOT TO do 27 talks to audiences of various sizes and on different topics.
Personally, I think I have stumbled into the real secret for a happy professional life: A Have To job and a Get To job. I have a day job that pays the bills and affords me a nice and comfortable lifestyle, and I have a Get To job that I love and am always looking forward to doing more of. In the times my day job gets a little routine or boring for a stretch, I always have a new talk to work on, to practice and then to deliver soon. I don’t have kids, so I have more free time that someone who does. I am sure that is helpful to a large degree, but I knew a long time ago that having kids wasn’t really in the cards for me. So this has given me the chance to get into coaching the racquetball team at ASU and other pursuits because of the amount of free time I have. It is a luxury, I am aware. But it is also by design; their are choices and sacrifices in life that all of us have to make, and this was the route I chose.
My Get To job keeps me sharp, excited and motivated. I helps me do better at my Have To job as well. At this stage I have no intentions of leaving my Have To job to replace it with my Get To job. The day job is too easy at this point, and I love the security it brings to my household. I don’t have to worry about booking speaking gigs to pay my mortgage payment next month. I have been there during my racquetball career, and that kind of pressure is no picnic. One of the main reasons that doing talks is a Get To job is the fact that I can stop at any time without any financial impact. I am not earning a living through the public speaking, I am doing it because I love to share what I know with people. That’s it. I am working towards having it be a lucrative thing, always trying to get it to that level. If I won the lottery, this is what I would do full time. Not because I need the money, but because I love to do it. In my opinion, that is the definition of a “Get To” job.
I encourage everyone to have a “Get To” job in their life. I think it is the recipe for a couple things:
–A creative outlet
–A way to serve others
–A way to better tolerate your “Have To” job if that happens to be your situation
–Make more money (optional)
Whether you chose to be a Big Brother/Big Sister volunteer, build Habitat for Humanity homes in your city, be a coach, a mentor, an artist, an athlete, have something that lights a flame in you. We as humans need something that gets us out of bed every day. We need that thing to look forward to that allows us to better handle the grind of a typical week in many cases. Nothing makes you feel more alive, more necessary and more fulfilled than serving others in some way. The fifteen years I was a volunteer coach for the ASU Racquetball team contain more of my favorite and best memories than the entirety of my own career on the court. Nothing from my own time on the court elicits the amount of emotion that telling one of the many stories from my time as a coach.
I am speaking from experience on this one, as with most of the things I share my thoughts on, and I can tell you without a doubt that this formula of a “Have To” and a “Get To” job or activity in your life is a cornerstone of a happy life. Whether that “Get To” job never makes you a dime, or it allows you to eventually move away from your “Have To” job, enjoy the heck out of it and appreciate the opportunities it affords you. Cherish the moments and don’t gloss over the uniqueness that each chunk of time spent doing this offers. Appreciate the fact that you are serving others and yourself in an activity that is providing some greater good to the world.