Dicksy said to me the other day, “You need a bigger plate, actually you need a platter.” She said this while I was telling her about what all I had going on with things at work. Of course, I know what she means, but it got me thinking. I want to have more impact that I am having now. I want to affect greater positive change than I am affecting now. And I want that growth to continue. So, does that mean that I get busier and have a fuller plate? The answer to that question is surely no. I don’t need to be busier than I am now. I work alot as it is. If anything I need to be less busy, less pulled in differing directions – yet affecting more, impacting more, and continuing to grow. The answer is not more work, but highest and best use of work.
When I took the Strengths Finder test and then did a workshop on it in the American Leadership Forum program in Charlotte through the Lee Institute, I had a revelation. It was that experience that allowed me to give myself permission to consider my passion to be my work. I always felt like when I was doing the things I love to work on (visioning, strategy, solution development, ideation, writing) that I was not working. I have a very strong work ethic, so I would feel guilty if I spent my day doing something I was very passionate about… like I was being irresponsible and not working. What I’ve realized is that this kind of work is where I excel. This kind of work is my highest and best use. Thus, if I can continue to partner with people who have complimentary highest and best uses, as opposed to spending my time on things I’m not good at, things I struggle at, then I can have a greater and greater positive impact on the world and not be any more “busy” than I am right now.
I believe that we, as web knowledge workers, can ultimately work on the projects and in the capacities that are the most compelling and interesting and engaging to us, that we can best serve the group in the places where we are most passionate to serve. Coordinating all of this is the true challenge. And recognizing that financial management is the one of the primary keys to coordination of human activity is one of the critical realizations for all of it to work. If you can’t pay people to work, they can only contribute so much… they have to make a living. We all do.
Oh, to the challenge of monetization without perversion. It ain’t easy. I remember when I was playing solo acoustic shows in the Asheville area, and I was trying to monetize it. It was my first time caring whether I made any money from my music. The truth is that I didn’t really care, I just wanted to do more music and less “working” so I had to figure out how to pay my meager bills from playing music. It didn’t work very well, and I was unhappy trying. It ruined the experience of playing music. I didn’t want to do it for money because it affected the way I did it. It’s not like I could play the shows I wanted, how I wanted, and get paid. I had to play shows I didn’t want to play, the way I didn’t want to play them, to make money. So, I quit.
Now, I’m on a mission to create a system where web knowledge workers can work on the projects they choose to work on. They can focus on their primary skill sets, the ones they are intrinsically motivated to learn about and improve, and they can be happy making money. This is at the core of RevenFlo. It’s going pretty well so far.