Why You Should Be Married to Your Work

Are you married to your work?

Or are you still dating around, trying to find “the one”?

That is, the one job, the one profession, the one business that you can pour your heart and soul into.

The one thing that you are recognized for by others.

The one thing that you are rewarded for with great pay.

The one thing that you know fulills a greater purpose for your life.

How I know You Want This

How do I know that this is what you are looking for?

Because you’ve told me – over and over.

I’ve just finished a series of coaching calls with readers and in just about every session the idea of being married to work came up – in one call, even in those exact words.

Whether you are

  • a financial services provider trying to fill his practice,
  • a businessman launching an online photography site as a side hustle,
  • a sales systems specialist starting to land her own freelance gigs,
  • a TV writer starting training courses for other storytellers,
  • a New York AdMan making films on the side,
  • a CEO outsourcing himself for a season to learn and incorporate mandarin into his life and work,
  • a college student looking to land a job at Google,
  • a non-profit executive looking to take her career and her business to the next level,
  • a medical researcher making money online to afford himself a mobile lifestyle,

you’re in pursuit of work that lights you up.

And frankly, it inspires me.

Being married to work = Living out your calling

I can hear this objection ringing in my head:

But I don’t want to be married to my work, I want to be married to my spouse.

I can also see associations of a workaholic being “married” to her work in such a way that it destroys the other relationships in her life.

That’s not what this is about.

Really, this is about is your desire to trade in a “career” for your calling.

This is about the business of you finding out what you were meant to do here on this planet and living that purpose out.

It’s about finding your entrepreneurial calling.

How do I start?

You’ll find this entrepreneurial calling at the intersection of your passions, the people you serve best, and your profitable offering.

But how do you start your search?

  1. Start with your heart. It’s easy to get stuck in your head trying to “figure out” what direction your life should take. Calling, though, begins in the heart. Take a quiet moment to reflect on what causes you care for deeply and what pursuits ingnite passion within you.

  2. Start where you are. It’s glamorous to think of calling as a single “aha” moment in which you quit everything else, start doing work you love, and then live happily ever after. More than likely, though, it will be a process of experimentation. And while calling begins in the heart, it’s lived out with skillful hands .

    Use your current role to develop your skillset. The more skills you posses, the more valuable you become, and therefore the more leverage you have to trade that value for work that you’re called to.

    Be excellent where you are. There’s no leverage quite like excellence.

  3. Start small. Calling is a big deal. It’s about fulfilling your purpose. That said, it’s a long journey that is meant to be enjoyed – one step at a time.

    Instead of leaping into dramatic action, commit to one small step that is concrete. Take one action today to incorporate one meaningful activity into the work that you do.

    Tomorrow you can incoroporate another. But worry about that tomorrow :) .

What do you think? Have I got it right? Do you want to be married to your work? Are you looking for a calling?

Let us know in the comments.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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15 thoughts on “Why You Should Be Married to Your Work

  1. Ryan,
    What you say makes perfect sense. I like my job but it’s not what I’m passionate about. I long to give everything to something that strikes a chord in my soul. Thanks for articulating it so well. I know what steps to take next. Now I feel free to start!

  2. Right on the money, Ryan!
    I’ve tried the dramatic leaps into action, and though I learned a lot from those failed experiences, the greatest lesson was figuring out the 3 points you make.
    I’m now fortunate to be in a place that I can be open about my passion, and have the encouragement to start where I am, and take one small step at a time. Not many people are fortunate to have a boss that recognizes your passion and your strengths and chooses to leverage them.

  3. Love this post! Being married is really all about having a committed relationship in which you provide support, effort, time and love and look for the same for yourself. It’s one step at a time, building trust and having fun and relying on this most important relationship to add exponential pleasure and comfort and security and fun and wisdom to your life.

    You can be married to anther person, and why can’t we have the same relationship with a business?!

    Casey

  4. Great post as always. Last year I followed your instructions to define my life’s purpose in one sentence: “I’m a pro frisbee player who travels the world selling sunglasses and helping people.” After finishing grad school in May, I quit my job at Deloitte to focus full time on running Waveborn (www.waveborn.com/shop), as well as playing and coaching ultimate in the DC area. There is no doubt that I am married to my “work” now because I believe that any time I am training for ultimate, spreading our mission at waveborn, or just helping people in general, that I am working hard. It is great to get up every morning and love the work I do. Thanks again for all your inspiration – I do my best to share your methods with my friends who are struggling in dead end cubicles and can’t figure out what they need to do to make them happy :)

  5. Very well done! Love your blog, Ryan! Much incite in your choice of words. Looking for (career) love in all the wrong places…until now!

  6. YES! It’s like we’ve been using the term “Married to your job” in the wrong context all along; instead we should have been saying: “In bondage to your work.” The term married is a true commitment that conveys the significance of true love in its meaning, the other way is drudgery and unfulfilling. It’s time to start having this perspective — and even as I write this I am awaiting the response to go to that fulfilling experience, working that job I can love, respect and commit to as a career (calling, relationship).

  7. Well said. Married is interesting way to look at it. I look at it in a bit more of a spiritual sense— when you find your calling your fulling your soul’s need. For years I’ve known deep down inside that I was an entrepreneur. Then I finally took action. But the outcomes weren’t what I had hoped for, so I gave up. Then, years later my soul kept telling me to try again. And now I’m back and I know that its right because it’s all I think about from the minute I get up in the morning till the second I fall asleep.