What’s Your ‘What’? Three Questions To Find the Super-Satisfying Work You Can’t Not Do

Jamie was stuck. She knew she wanted to leave her high-paying job at a high growth healthcare company and start her own company.  What she didn’t know was to do ‘what.’

Jamie later recalled, “I knew I wanted more and could do and be much more, but I wasn’t sure what ‘more’ meant, and I didn’t have the tools to discover my dreams or make progress toward those dreams.”

Lao Tzu, a famous philosopher once said, “At the center of your being you have the answer; you know who you are and what you want.”  

If this is true then why is it so hard to cough it up and spit it out? 

I believe it’s because we’ve been asking the wrong questions.   

Whether you want a career change now or want to know what your ‘what’ is after you play out your current career a few years from now, here are some questions to ask yourself.

Question #1 The first question isn’t “What do you want to do?” It’s “What kind of life do you want to live?”

Do you want to have your own company so you can be in charge of your schedule and be with your family as desired? Do you want to move into the corporate world where you wear fewer hats than an entrepreneur? Do you want to harness your years of experience and expertise and give back in some way? Do you want to develop a business that creates on-going income and opportunities to expand in the future?

In Jamie’s case, she wanted to build her own business so she could enjoy the rewards of her labor.  She knew she wanted it to be “big” and have room to grow –maybe even be able to franchise it in the future. 

When she began with the larger question, “What kind of life do I want to live?”it ruled out a lot of other options, such as consulting which was an existing and attractive opportunity. Once this was answered, she was clear when other options didn’t fit her bigger picture.   

Question #2 What are you already doing during your day that you love the most?  What are your passions?  What do you love to do that comes easy? What do the books and magazines on your nightstand tell you about what you want more of in your life?  What do you find yourself most interested in talking about?

For Jamie that was easy.  She loved wellness and fitness and all things athletic. She acknowledged she was always intrigued to learn the latest about nutrition.  She also knew she had a passion for business and marketing.  She’d gone back to get her MBA for that reason.

Fitness and business were Jamie’s passions. The third question helped her bring it all together.

Question #3  What job functions (or business ideas) could utilize these passions?

Jamie’s challenge was to merge her passions into something she would be energized and love to do every day.  I challenged her to come up with ten business ideas regardless of how crazy they were to bring the two together.   It took her less than five minutes. I asked, “If you were the captain of a sinking ship and the ship would be saved if you could come up with ten ideas, what ideas would you have.” From here her business idea was born.   

Jamie combined the need for professionally designed work space with her passion for health and wellness.  A year later Enerspace was launched in downtown Chicago. Enerspace provides entrepreneurs, free-lancers, and small business owners, co-working space and additional opportunities for wellness.

Jamie’s vision has grown. Since the launch of Enerspace in Chicago, Jamie moved with her family and opened her second Enerspace in Palo Alto, CA. 

It’s said that happiness is when we’re moving toward fulfilling our best version of ourselves. Jamie experienced the normal fears that come with doing something new for the first time.  But today Jamie says, “I’m experiencing outcomes I had never dreamed possible.”

Deep down you do know what you want.  You can figure it out. Remember, you can’t escape disappointment, judgment or rejection, so don’t let these keep you from identifying your ‘what.’  

Living means approaching the world with arms wide open.  When you do you’ll fly!

(If you want more tools to figure out what your ‘what’ is, sign up for a FREE Ignite Your Life CD at www.ritahyland.com.  You’ll also receive instant access to the 20-page Do What You Love To Do Life Planning Playbook– on us.  Enjoy!)

Enjoy the wonders of summer!






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