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Should business be fulfilling?

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Peal

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I completely agree with the notion that you shouldn’t try to turn a passion into a business.

My question is, how important is it for business to feel fulfilling?

It’s a broad question that doesn’t have one right answer. But I would love to hear your opinions.
 

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WJK

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Some days yes and others no. I do an important job for my community. I supply the only group of affordable housing and the only self-service Laundromat. (And then I have my investments.) Someday I feel fulfilled. I know that what I do is important. Other days, when things go sideways, the whole thing sucks. But so would a regular job. And I wouldn't be able to set my own path.
 

Peal

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Some days yes and others no. I do an important job for my community. I supply the only group of affordable housing and the only self-service Laundromat. (And then I have my investments.) Someday I feel fulfilled. I know that what I do is important. Other days, when things go sideways, the whole thing sucks. But so would a regular job. And I wouldn't be able to set my own path.
Yeah I don’t know if it’s possible to feel fulfilled all the time. I guess my question is, would you be just as happy doing something relatively unimportant if you made the same money and had the same lifestyle? How much does the meaning of your work factor into your overall satisfaction with your business?
 

WJK

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Yeah I don’t know if it’s possible to feel fulfilled all the time. I guess my question is, would you be just as happy doing something relatively unimportant if you made the same money and had the same lifestyle? How much does the meaning of your work factor into your overall satisfaction with your business?
No. I would be totally bored. I've made a lot of money over my working life -- I had a high power career in Los Angeles. Just making money can be a very empty activity. I don't believe that I must only work my passion. That's a silly, childish idea. But, even the most menial job must have some meaning or an important end. And I still do a lot of those types of chores and jobs. The devil is in the details.

Today I'm officially retired, but I wasn't very good at it. So, I'm the "queen" of my own mobile home park and self-service Laundromat where I provide low to moderate-income housing for my community. Some days it's quite a grind. But, most days, I know I'm doing something important here. Other days, when everything goes wrong, I feel stuck and I can't remember why I did all of this.

I'm not too good to do any job that I would ask another person to do. When I walk around my property, I carry a plastic bag to take care of any trash that I see. Yes, I bend over, pick it up, and throw it away in one of our well place dumpsters. I also make notes on work that I need to get done to the rentals. During the summers, I like to drive my antique tractor around with the brush hog. I mow lawns, utility easements, and lots. And I usually do it on Sunday morning when most of my tenants are home. At times I stop my mowing to sit on my tenant's front steps so we can catch up. It's fun and it gives me a chance to connect with them.

As you can see, I really care about my tenants. We've built a good community here through a lot of hard work and careful attention. If I didn't care, it wouldn't be a good place to live and it wouldn't work financially.
 

sparechange

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The market wants, what it wants.. all we need to do is fulfill that want. Then we can focus on doing whatever we want.

If cleaning shitstains made millions, would that fulfill you?
 

Kwiksliver

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I agree with @sparechange completely, the whole point of running a business is to fulfill a market need. Self-fulfillment comes last. That said, in order to be successful within your business you must ultimately have passion and desire, meaning that you should ideally gain fulfilment by seeing the business prosper.
 

DiamondDog

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The market wants, what it wants.. all we need to do is fulfill that want. Then we can focus on doing whatever we want.

If cleaning shitstains made millions, would that fulfill you?
Exactly.

I suspect most people here would hate doing tedious day to day activities that most salaried workers do. That's why you pay others to do that for you.

Regardless of the business or industry, the fulfilling part, in my opinion, is having a vision and carrying it forward. Planning and executing the next steps. Taking the business to another level. It's not the same type of grind as someone sitting for hours at a desk doing the same thing for decades.
 
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VivaciousVipin

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I don't believe there's right or wrong when it comes to turning your passion into business.

If your passion solves a problem of high value or scale or fulfill an unmet need, why not?

And to answer the fulfillment point: I think it depends. Fulfillment can be achieved later via feedback loop or once money starts to roll in and you have successfully bought your freedom.

That's just my opinion. So...

Thanks for reading.
 

Peal

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Apr 4, 2020
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Western U.S.
No. I would be totally bored. I've made a lot of money over my working life -- I had a high power career in Los Angeles. Just making money can be a very empty activity. I don't believe that I must only work my passion. That's a silly, childish idea. But, even the most menial job must have some meaning or an important end. And I still do a lot of those types of chores and jobs. The devil is in the details.

Today I'm officially retired, but I wasn't very good at it. So, I'm the "queen" of my own mobile home park and self-service Laundromat where I provide low to moderate-income housing for my community. Some days it's quite a grind. But, most days, I know I'm doing something important here. Other days, when everything goes wrong, I feel stuck and I can't remember why I did all of this.

I'm not too good to do any job that I would ask another person to do. When I walk around my property, I carry a plastic bag to take care of any trash that I see. Yes, I bend over, pick it up, and throw it away in one of our well place dumpsters. I also make notes on work that I need to get done to the rentals. During the summers, I like to drive my antique tractor around with the brush hog. I mow lawns, utility easements, and lots. And I usually do it on Sunday morning when most of my tenants are home. At times I stop my mowing to sit on my tenant's front steps so we can catch up. It's fun and it gives me a chance to connect with them.

As you can see, I really care about my tenants. We've built a good community here through a lot of hard work and careful attention. If I didn't care, it wouldn't be a good place to live and it wouldn't work financially.
Thank you for your insight. It seems like retirement isn't all it's made up to be. A lot of older folks I know seem to lose their sense of purpose. I respect what you're doing and your approach!
 

Peal

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Apr 4, 2020
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85
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Western U.S.
The market wants, what it wants.. all we need to do is fulfill that want. Then we can focus on doing whatever we want.

If cleaning shitstains made millions, would that fulfill you?
I get that and I agree. I don't think I framed the question very well.

Let me give you an example to try and illustrate it. I used to be a pro poker player. Made good money. Lived abroad. All that stuff gurus preach. I eventually realized that something was missing. Yeah winning tournaments is exciting and the lifestyle was cool for a while, but I wouldn't call it fulfilling because I wasn't helping anyone except myself. Today, as a marketing consultant, I feel a sense of satisfaction when a client appreciates my work. To me, it's just as great as getting paid.

When I see youtube ads about gurus living the Bali lifestyle, I cringe because I know that it isn't all it's made up to be (and because they're full of shit). The people that eat that stuff up don't realize that the real reward is in seeing the value you create for your market and earning their appreciation. At least it is to me. Was wondering if you guys thought the same.
 

sparechange

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I get that and I agree. I don't think I framed the question very well.

Let me give you an example to try and illustrate it. I used to be a pro poker player. Made good money. Lived abroad. All that stuff gurus preach. I eventually realized that something was missing. Yeah winning tournaments is exciting and the lifestyle was cool for a while, but I wouldn't call it fulfilling because I wasn't helping anyone except myself. Today, as a marketing consultant, I feel a sense of satisfaction when a client appreciates my work. To me, it's just as great as getting paid.

When I see youtube ads about gurus living the Bali lifestyle, I cringe because I know that it isn't all it's made up to be (and because they're full of shit). The people that eat that stuff up don't realize that the real reward is in seeing the value you create for your market and earning their appreciation. At least it is to me. Was wondering if you guys thought the same.

I've experienced joy from people thanking me for my work (literally cried) so maybe life is all about serving others. Maybe that's what it's all about, like how MJ wrote his books that has changed many peoples lives directions.
 

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WJK

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Thank you for your insight. It seems like retirement isn't all it's made up to be. A lot of older folks I know seem to lose their sense of purpose. I respect what you're doing and your approach!
You're right. A lot of people my age just lay down and die when they retire. The dream of traveling far and wide, and doing hobbies gets old fast. I did a lot of business traveling when I was working. I was on the road for years. And I took care of my mom her last 10 years. We traveled together often and we had lots of fun. I still like to go, but it's not the same now. Been there, done that -- comes up a lot more. Hobbies are great fun too in the beginning -- but they too become yesterday's dream.

During my retirement, I have learned something about myself that I just didn't know before. I LOVE to actually make deals. The deals were part of my career. Now it's front and center for me. And I LOVE to help people. That's my real passion in life. Today I have just one vacancy. And I just rented it to a 22 year old, single mother, who has two little kids. She living with her mother while raising her babies and working 2 jobs. She on her way with her deposit while I writing this post. And my guys are finishing the interior painting so she can move in this coming weekend. She is ecstatic to have an affordable home and I think I've found a good tenant. It's a win, win. Renting mobile homes is not a sexy, high powered business. It's an everyday grind of showing up and trying to do the right thing. But, today I'm really making a difference in this young woman's life!
 

Peal

Contributor
Apr 4, 2020
48
85
109
Western U.S.
You're right. A lot of people my age just lay down and die when they retire. The dream of traveling far and wide, and doing hobbies gets old fast. I did a lot of business traveling when I was working. I was on the road for years. And I took care of my mom her last 10 years. We traveled together often and we had lots of fun. I still like to go, but it's not the same now. Been there, done that -- comes up a lot more. Hobbies are great fun too in the beginning -- but they too become yesterday's dream.

During my retirement, I have learned something about myself that I just didn't know before. I LOVE to actually make deals. The deals were part of my career. Now it's front and center for me. And I LOVE to help people. That's my real passion in life. Today I have just one vacancy. And I just rented it to a 22 year old, single mother, who has two little kids. She living with her mother while raising her babies and working 2 jobs. She on her way with her deposit while I writing this post. And my guys are finishing the interior painting so she can move in this coming weekend. She is ecstatic to have an affordable home and I think I've found a good tenant. It's a win, win. Renting mobile homes is not a sexy, high powered business. It's an everyday grind of showing up and trying to do the right thing. But, today I'm really making a difference in this young woman's life!
That's very interesting. It seems a lot of people in later stages of life think something is wrong with them if they aren't enjoying hobbies and stuff they expected to enjoy. So they don't speak the truth about retirement. But hearing you talk about it candidly is quite interesting and helpful.

Congratulations on making a big difference for people in your community. And thanks again for your wisdom.
 

Kung Fu Steve

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There's a science to success... but there's an art to fulfillment.

Two people might look at the same piece of art and one might say "horrible" while the other says "beautiful"

Fulfillment is not a question you ask other people, it's a question you ask of yourself.
 

WJK

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I get that and I agree. I don't think I framed the question very well.

Let me give you an example to try and illustrate it. I used to be a pro poker player. Made good money. Lived abroad. All that stuff gurus preach. I eventually realized that something was missing. Yeah winning tournaments is exciting and the lifestyle was cool for a while, but I wouldn't call it fulfilling because I wasn't helping anyone except myself. Today, as a marketing consultant, I feel a sense of satisfaction when a client appreciates my work. To me, it's just as great as getting paid.

When I see youtube ads about gurus living the Bali lifestyle, I cringe because I know that it isn't all it's made up to be (and because they're full of shit). The people that eat that stuff up don't realize that the real reward is in seeing the value you create for your market and earning their appreciation. At least it is to me. Was wondering if you guys thought the same.
I too agree. Once upon a time, a long time ago I was married to man who had an executive level consulting contract with a major oil company. I helped him get the contract. Then I ended up in the situation where he was using me as his trophy wife. I was in my 20s, tall and blonde -- the perfect prop for his career. I hated that part of our life. We did the whole social thing with the other executives & their families. It was vapid and had no meaning for me.

What they didn't see, nor know, was that I had a whole hidden life. When anyone asked me what I did, my husband kicked me under the table. I was only allowed to say that I was in real estate. That was it.

Actually, I was a real estate broker who was also doing some commercial appraising (way before licensing). And I was "flipping" properties in the Los Angeles ghetto. We called them equity purchases at that time. I had a couple crews of men working on my properties. I was kicking gangs out of properties, fixing them up, and improving people's lives. I was investing in the worst properties in the worst areas, and creating value. I loved my work and I was proud of my projects. (My husband didn't know it, but I was making more money on my real estate business than he made on his big a#% contract.) And he was deeply ashamed of my work. Finally, he'd had enough of trying to rein me in. He divorced me and moved on.

I understand exactly what you are saying.
 

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