What an honor, I was wondering what this would feel like.
So 8 years ago, I got the worst career advice of my life. I had a friend Tommy – “Scott, don’t worry about how much you like the work you’re doing right now. It’s all about just building your resume.”
And I just come back from living in Spain for, when I joined this Fortune 500 company, I thought ‘it is fantastic – I have this big impact on the world…‘ and all these ideas. And within about 2 months I noticed, at about 10 a.m. every morning I had this strange urge to want to slam my head through them under my computer. I don’t know if anybody ever felt that.
And I noticed pretty soon after that all the competitors in our space had already automated my job role. This is right about when I got the sage advice to build up my resume. Well, as I am trying to figure out – what – when do I jump out off and change things up, I read some of the different advice from Warren Buffett, and he said: “Taking jobs to build up your resume is the same as saving up sex for old age.” And I heard that and that was all I needed.
Within 2 weeks, I was out of there and I left with one intention: to find something that I could screw up. That’s the toughest one. I wanted to just have some type of an impact, didn’t matter what it was and I found out pretty quickly after that, that I wasn’t alone. It turns out over 80% of the people around don’t enjoy their work. I’m guessing this room is different but that’s the average that Deloitte has done with their studies.
So I want to find out what is it that sets these people apart – the people who do the passionate, world-changing work, they wake up inspired every day and then these people – the other 80% – who lead these lives of quiet desperation.
So I started interviewing all these people doing this inspiring work and I read books and did case studies and… 300 books altogether on purpose and career and all this, totally just self-immersion really for the selfless reason of ‘I wanted to find the work that I could not do’. What that was for me?
But as I was doing this, more and more people started asking me: “Scott, you’re into this query thing… I don’t really like my job. Do we sit down for lunch?” I say, “Sure, but…” I would have to warn them because at this point my quit rate was also 80%, of the people I sit down with for lunch, 80% would quit their job within 2 months. This was something… I was damn proud of this. And it wasn’t that I had with anything special magic. It was that I was asking one simple question: Why are you doing the work you’re doing? And so often their answer would be: Well, because somebody told me I’m supposed to.
I realized that so many people around us are climbing the way up this ladder that someone tells them to climb and ends up being leaned up against the wrong wall or no wall at all. So the more time I spent on these people and wanted to solve this problem, I thought: What if we created a community, a place where people could feel they belong and that was okay to do things differently, to take the road less traveled, where that was encouraged and inspire people to change. That later became what I now call LiveYourLegend.com which I’ll explain little bit.
But as we made these discoveries I noticed a framework of 3 simple things that all these different, passionate world-changers have in common, whether you are like Steve Jobs or you’re ‘just’ a person that has the bakery down the street. But you are doing work that embodies who you are.
I want to share this 3 with you. We can use them as the lens for the rest of today and hopefully for the rest of our life.
The first part of this 3-part passionate work framework is: becoming a self-expert and understanding yourself. Because if you don’t know what you’re looking for, you’re never going to find it. And the thing is that no one’s going to do this for us. There’s no major in university on passion and purpose and career. I don’t know how that’s not a required a double major but don’t even get me started on that. I mean, you spend more time picking up a dorm room TV set than you do picking your major – an area of study.