I was on a conference call today when it hit me.
A few colleagues and I were chatting with some fine folks who founded and run a non-profit agency, which we had decided to help on a pro bono basis. As we talked about why they created the agency and what their hopes and dreams are, their enthusiasm reached through the phone and grabbed me. Their passion was contagious and I had caught it.
Many non-profit staffers are unashamed evangelists for their agencies’ causes, of course. They usually sign on with the agency – or in this case, create it – because it serves a need they are passionate about. My question, though, is why can’t more of us who work on the for-profit side exude the same energy about our brands?
Sure, our days are long, our colleagues sometimes difficult and our pride is often swallowed. But those are all things those in the non-profit world face, too. The difference is that they believe in the brands they serve so strongly that they look past the lows and forward to the highs. And that is what makes the difference.
We don’t have to work at a non-profit to believe in our brands. We just have to find the right agencies, the right clients or the right companies to hang our hats at every day. Of course, those places will be different for each of us. But we can join the cause with those whose visions we believe in and get thrilled by the prospect of helping achieve them.
Whatever the profession of choice is, life is far too short not to be passionate about your day job. As I told a recent interviewee who was applying for a position at my agency:
“I spend more time each weekday with my colleagues than I do my family. And I love my family. So if I’m going to spend more time with colleagues than with people I actually love, then I want them to be passionate about working here, too.”
Yes, we all have rough days in this business, but are you energized by your work more days than not? Is your passion contagious? What ways do you keep priming the pump so it pours out every day and positively effects those around you?
Update – *After posting this, I bounced over to my Google Reader. While scanning through my RSS feeds, I found that Geoff Livingston wrote a post earlier today along the same topic. It’s well worth a read, so I wanted to share it with you, too.
*Image by Alex de Carvalho.