There’s No Kill Switch on Awesome

Not my daughter :-)Project 2012: Day 147

My 16 year old, like many other teenagers, has a Saturday job. Unlike many though, she’s passionate about it.

For her this isn’t only about making pocket money for fashion. At the bakery, whether she’s sweeping the floor, packing the shelves, or serving a customer, she is the best sweeper, packer, or server she can be.

It’s unlikely she’s going to work at a bakery for her career though. And believe me, she doesn’t display quite the same passion sweeping the floor at home that she does at work.

But she enjoys her time at work more.

That’s interesting.

The intuitive response is that it’s because she get’s paid by the bakery that she invests more passion. Well, yes. But that’s not why she enjoys it more. Why she enjoys herself more is a function of the passion, not a motivator of the passion.

What that means is if she was focussed on excellence, it wouldn’t matter whether she got paid or not to enjoy herself. This is almost self-evident. It’s why people have sports and hobbies. But what if you could change a chore into a passion?

Changing a nappy, mowing the lawn, dropping the kids at school, heck, commuting, doing your expenses (ok, maybe not doing your expenses); or the day-to-day functions of your job.

Your personal happiness is driven, not extrinsically, by outcomes; but intrinsically by motivation. You’ll be happier by doing your best, than just getting a job done. Any job!

Apart from excellence, my point is also that feelings follow actions. So the next time you have a tedious job to do – just get it done, and you’ll still be bored, frustrated, or apathetic – throw yourself into it and be the best you can be, and you’ll change your mood. And the moods of those around you. And the world!

There’s No Kill Switch on Awesome

Begin as You Mean to Continue

Project 2012: Day 145

The story goes that when Tony Hsieh of Zappos fame was negotiating with Amazon about the acquisition, he always carried a large book describing the culture of the organisation to the discussions.

He was insistent that the culture was both the unique differentiator of the company, and that it shouldn’t changed.

Facebook’s IPO last week was preceded by an all night "hackathon" and the bell rung remotely (via the cloud) by a Hoodie wearing CEO.

Go into any Virgin gym, store, aircraft, and you’ll find happy, smiling, young staff.

See the pattern?

One of the most important, no, the most important thing to do with your start-up is to establish the company values. The principles that will guide how you do business, the culture of the organisation, who you partner with.

This rarely changes. Never without major change engineering.

Often the values of the founder(s) are reflected in the organisation. Think connection and collaboration with Facebook, or fun and anti-authority with Virgin.

Starting a company is not about making money. It’s about bringing your unique expression to change the world.