If you are working a 9-5 that you loathe, finding the meaning in the work that you do will be hard. What exactly is it that you do not like? Is it the job itself, the company, or your boss? We have conflict within ourselves when we put time towards something that we do not value. Maybe you’re feeling called to do something different. You’re always one decision away from a totally different life.
However, if you are pursuing your talents and gifts, but struggle to find meaning in what you are doing, maybe you’re not looking deep enough.
My husband is a talented web developer. In our discussions lately about finding purpose, my husband found himself struggling with his purpose. How could it be that God called him to “sell websites to people” (his words, not mine). Those words made me cringe. My husband does anything BUT sell websites to people. He takes dreams of the doers and turns them into a reality, allowing his clients to now better serve their customers. Because of his work, he has allowed others to pursue their God-given talents. That is a God-serving purpose if I ever saw one, and it doesn’t have to directly relate to God at all.
I too have to admit that I have struggled with my purpose as it relates to hair bows. Is selling hair bows my God-given talent? Is this how I am meant to give back to the world? It wasn’t until after I started this blog that I have found how it is all related. My hair bow business is a part of my story, it is not the story, nor the end of my story. It has taught me so much about myself, my willingness to take risks, pushing forward, and being vulnerable. It has taught me about business- how to negotiate, to understand contracts, insurance, licensing, taxes, and the zillions of other things you do as a solopreneur. Everything that I have learned, I have given back to those around me. If there is some water I have charted, be it Amazon.com or the local farmers market, I will tell you how to do it too. While I have been building up my business, I am trying to build up those around me interested in doing the same.
Sara Blakely, the founder of SPANX, started her journey with $5000 and a burning desire to create a better product for women. It took two years from her original idea until she had a product in hand ready to sell to stores. Because of that product, she has become one of the world’s youngest self-made billionaires. Through her wealth, she started the Sara Blakely Foundation which now helps women globally through education and entrepreneurship. What if Sara had looked at her life early on and said, “hmmm… has God really called me to serve by sucking in women’s guts though form fitting underwear? That can’t be God’s purpose for me”. First of all, where would all of our guts be right now? Can I get an amen? Secondly, she has had a profound impact on the financial success of other women throughout the world. Our world is a better place because she had the courage to listen to her intuition.
Do you have to be an entrepreneur for your work to have meaning?
Absolutely no. If you love your job, your company, and your boss, and you are living in your strengths, then, by all means, keep doing what you are doing. However, if you are feeling a disconnect between something you used to love, but it is no longer giving you that sense of purpose, maybe it means it is time to move on, or up. Maybe there is something more in store for you.
One of my best girlfriends is amazing at working with children. If you knew her, you’d know that she is meant to be in this field. However, at one point she had called to ask for advice. She was considering taking a job that would no longer be in the direct-care of children, but more of an administrative role. We weighed the pros and cons of the new position. I could tell she was excited about the job opportunity, but fear was a definitely a factor. Would she be good at it? Would she miss the kids? Would she fit in? It was after talking through it all that she had come to a conclusion, she did not want to be in the direct care of children forever. Even though she wasn’t sure that the new position was an exact fit for her, taking the new position would allow her to gain new skills and additional abilities that she couldn’t attain in the classroom. She was taking a step in the direction that she wanted to go. Fast-forward to two years later, a new job opportunity with higher pay and an even better environment fell into her lap. Two years ago, she may not have qualified for it had she not taken the steps that she did back then.
“When God sees you doing your part, developing what He has given you, then He will do His part and open doors that no man can shut.”
Stop now- take a look at your own life. The work that you do is important if you think it is. Does it fill your soul’s desire in any way?
We have all heard of the example of the musician waiting tables so that they could travel on the weekend and perform shows. Waiting tables wasn’t their soul’s desire necessarily, but it allowed them the freedom (and the cash) to pursue their other creative endeavors. The conflict in the musician’s life would usually come in if they felt a calling to pursue music, but ignored it, and just worked at any old job without pursuing music because (insert excuse here).
When things don’t work out
What if you were this musician that pursued your passions, but they did not result as you had hoped? What if you never “made it” and you had spent the last 15 years putting all of your eggs in that basket? Now what? I bet you have learned a thing or two from your experience. You now have 15 years of advice and wisdom that the newcomers can’t touch. Maybe your purpose wasn’t to be the one up on stage. Maybe your purpose was simply inspiring the others to pursue their dreams. Take what you know and give it back to the world. Your experiences mean something, and you are called to use them for a purpose.
Each blog post that I write usually has had some impact on my life in the past few days, and I felt it relevant to share with you. I have been inspired by the quotes in this post, and the words I have read this week. Please like this post if it has had meaning for you, or share it with a friend that may be struggling to find meaning.