Every time I walk through the foyer of our home, I see a sign on the wall that reads, “Do what you LOVE what you do.”
Do work that you love. Love the work that you do. Pretty simple, right?
I see people living out this mantra every day. In my own family:
- My husband is helping kids enjoy longer, healthier and happier lives through his role as an elementary PE teacher.
- My brother-in-law is building a software company that’s radically improving the way business people work and solve problems.
- My mom has been touching students’ lives and teaching them the joy of reading and writing for five decades (and she’s still going strong).
- My dad builds handcrafted classical guitars for some of the finest professional musicians in the world.
- My sister plays an important role in the sustainable energy industry through her work as a real estate attorney (not to mention her volunteerism with the Don Bosco Center of Kansas City).
Look around you, and you’ll find people everywhere who are doing meaningful work that brings them joy and satisfaction. As for me, the best I can say is…I’m a seeker.
The fact is, for the last five years or so, I’ve been a little lost professionally. I don’t mean to say that I’ve done crappy work or that I’ve been wasting time in a dead-end job. Quite the contrary.
I’ve had the opportunity to work with crazy talented (and wonderful) people. I’ve served a boggling range of businesses—a tree farm, a sports video syndicator, a loyalty app provider, a honey distributor, a software company tackling unemployment among the disabled. The list goes on. I’ve been incredibly lucky in my work! And yet, I have struggled to find joy in it.
For quite a while, I’ve been trying to figure out what’s wrong with me. Why am I so disconnected? Why isn’t this work that I do enough for me?
I’ve been digging deep for answers, and just recently, I’ve started to find them.
It boils down to a sense of belonging, I suppose. I’ve been working as a consultant for the past five years, and as such, I’ve been an inherent outsider. I’ve worked closely with my clients, but I’ve never been a true member of their teams. My work has been temporary, ephemeral. In many cases, I never got to see the fruits of my labor because I’d moved on to some new project before the work was really done.
This wears on a person after a while. Sure, my work has been exciting, challenging and certainly never boring. But I’m the type of person who wants to be all in. I want to help build something from the ground up. Sink or swim, I want to see it through all the way.
And now, I have my chance. I’m starting a new job tomorrow, and I’m pretty convinced that it’s going to be one of the most fan-damn-tastic experiences of my life. I’m joining my longtime friend and colleague Jeff Glasco in a new venture called Happy Food Co. Our initial team is rounded out by the super-talented Kiersten Firquain, who is an accomplished chef and entrepreneur.
At Happy Food Co., we have a simple purpose: To help busy people eat well. Busy people just like you. Just like me. We’re convinced that eating real, fresh, flavorful food is intimately connected with our quality of life, but it’s also way harder than it should be. So we’re working on a dinner-kit concept that we think will wildly simplify the way we purchase, cook and enjoy great food. (We’ve set up a simple pre-launch landing page at gethappyfood.com if you’re interested in learning more.)
I can’t wait to dive head, heart and soul into Happy Food Co. This will be the toughest work I’ve ever done, but I’m ready for it. I’m all in.
This is my time to live the mantra: Do what you LOVE what you do.