“It’s just business” is an expression I hear a lot. Typically, this phrase is used when people are trying to justify a decision that feels cold and impersonal. While I agree with this sentiment on some levels, such as the need to put both parties’ expectations in writing before entering a relationship – you won’t find me talking about business as if it’s in some completely separate silo from personal life. We’re all humans no matter what context we’re in, and whether we like to admit it or not, business is personal.
You and I both choose to spend a LOT of our lives doing our jobs. Let’s say you work a 45 hour week. Add 5 hours for commuting. With 120 total hours in a work week and 35 of those spent sleeping, that means that 50 + 35 or 85 hours are spent doing non-personal things. That leaves 35 hours for personal time. So it is reasonable to say that most people spend more time working between Monday and Friday than seeing their family, friends, or pursuing personal activites. With those numbers, how can you afford to have a business life that leaves out the things that matter most to you personally?
That is why I propose the following: only take a job that allows room for your personality, values, and core interests to shine through. If you are a completely different human being in your job than you are in your personal life, there is something wrong! When we hire new employees, we always begin by learning what is important to them – their family, their interests, their dreams – because we only want someone who can thrive in their job as their real, genuine self. I can find a lot of smart people who are technically qualified to work at First Page Sage. But what I really want are people that want to be here, that have the mindframe to genuinely care about our clients and their fellow team members.
I will take a person that cares over a person with years of experience or great natural talent in the realm of SEO any day. There’s more than enough talent and experience in our company right now – we’ll be happy to teach you what you don’t know and supplement your talent with other peoples’. But give me that raw natural desire to learn and become great, and I promise you will become successful.
The great part is, when we started to hone in on exactly what we look for in a team member – passion and hard work – we ended up finding people with so much more than that as well. Call it a happy coincidence or the Law of Attraction, I don’t care – but I see it happening with each new person we add to our company.
Whether you are working or managing, remember to check in with yourself. If your work environment allows you to be the real you, consider yourself in the right place. If not, time to rethink why you’re working in the first place. Life’s too short to walk around saying things like “It’s just business.” It’s just LIFE, and you deserve to enjoy it.