Have your Ark Ready

Posted: June 28, 2015 by Tim Metzner in Leadership, People, Startup

TIM-METZNER-BWAs I was reading one of my favorite business/leadership books, The Bible (seriously, you’d be amazed how much relevant and insightful stuff there is for entrepreneurs), the story of Noah struck me as particularly relevant today.

There is no shortage of articles out there today about what Millennials are looking for in work/life, so let me summarize it for you: they want to do stuff that matters. This statistic from a CNN Money article is pretty telling: “A full 60% of 2015 grads — and 69% of 2013 and 2014 grads, who were also surveyed — said they’d rather work for a company that has a “positive social atmosphere” even if it means lower pay.”

I believe at our core we’re wired with a desire for our lives to have deep meaning. Most of us want to believe that we were put here on earth for a reason, that we’re called to something great; some big adventure. While your purpose probably isn’t to build a massive boat that will literally save humanity, as Noah’s was (see Genesis 6 for more on this fascinating story), every one of us has a unique set of skills and resources that equips us to do meaningful work.

I think one of the biggest challenges for many people (myself included) is to try and discern what exactly that thing is for us. Based on that, I just wanted to share some of the things I’ve learned on my journey.

  • Meaningful work is not about making a lot of money, the number of lives impacted, non-profit work, ministry or anything else specific. For any individual it may very well be one of those things, but this is a very personal thing. I’m probably never going to be President of the United States, CEO of Fortune 500 company or the Pope, but I believe that my life has the potential to be every bit as meaningful.
  • If you’re doing something meaningful, there will be haters or at least doubters. I personally made the mistake of believing that if I was doing “good and meaningful work” that the world would be on my side. Not that I expected starting a business, an accelerator or a family would be easy, but I did expect people to be overwhelmingly supportive. Luckily I do have a ton of great supportive people around me, but there were far more doubters along the way than I ever expected. Hopefully knowing this ahead of time will let you find ways to actually embrace it (take it as a sign you are doing something meaningful!) and make sure you also have a strong supportive core around you.
  • There will be peaks and valleys. Whatever it is you’re called to, there will be long stretches of what feels like thankless hard work, and there will also be moments of clarity where there’s no doubt you’re on the right path. Because the lows will be hard, having faith and a long-term vision will be critical. Faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see. If you remain confident in the good work you’re doing, you’ll continue to take action (important note: faith does not exist without action).
  • It’s not about getting credit. If you’re truly doing something meaningful you’re not doing it to boost your resume, look good or to be celebrated for your work. Full disclosure, this is definitely something I wrestle with from time to time. There is absolutely deep purpose and meaning to what I’m doing, but there are still times when I find myself hoping people are noticing my good works. I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with personal gain, fortune, recognition or even fame, inherently, but this shouldn’t be your main driver or purpose.
  • You can’t go it alone. Just as Noah had his entire family around him, we need a family of supporters regardless of what we’re being called to. As I said, we’re all equipped with unique skills and resources, but no one has a complete set. If you really want to make an impact, you need to find people who share your mission, believe in the deeper purpose, and compliment your strengths.
Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s