“The only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it.”
~ Steve Jobs
Steve Jobs was not only one of the most successful people to impact the 20th and 21st centuries, but he was also the heart and soul of the multinational corporation, Apple Inc. I recall watching him presenting new Apple products on television, and what struck me each time, was that Steve Jobs was enjoying himself as he spoke. He was proud of these products and he loved to talk about them! In effect, he walked his talk.
I was fortunate in my career as a high school teacher. I too, loved what I did each day. Yes, there were stresses, and sometimes I had to deal with people I didn’t care for and situations that were taxing. But at the end of the day, I was a happy camper! I was doing what I loved with many wonderful teenagers and colleagues.
When I retired from the classroom in 2008, I was faced with a serious problem. I was no longer doing what I loved. I felt that I was no longer making a difference, or that I was useful anymore. Puttering around the house all day looking for something to keep me interested and busy wasn’t working out well. There’s lots to do around the house – inside and outside work, but, to me, they were just chores – and I don’t like chores!
I was writing sporadically, but that wasn’t going anywhere fast. My novel series required rewrites and finally, a total overhaul. I enjoyed the challenge of these tasks, but it seemed to take forever to get the necessary feedback to move to the next step. I began to think that these novels were not going to get published. The enjoyment I found in writing began to dissipate.
Now, let’s consider Mr. Jobs’ next piece of advice: “If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking.” It took five years for me to find it. My publisher suggested I set out on my own and publish my own books. That prospect stressed me because I knew nothing about forming a publishing company and getting a book ready for publication. My former publisher helped and my steep learning curve had begun! The challenge fired me up! My wife, Anne, and I founded Fiora Books in December, 2013. I had purpose, I had problems to solve, and, by gosh, I had stories to tell!
Today, I’m writing and publishing my own novels, and I’m serving on the Board of Directors of Rave Reviews Book Club as Membership and Incentives Director. It is a volunteer position, it takes a lot of time, but I love every minute of it! I have been retired for seven years and now I’m in love with my second career. This career of Indie writing, publishing, and promoting other Indie writers is very fulfilling. It does not feel like work.
Steve Jobs is right: “As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know it when you find it.”
I have found, for the second time in my life, a job that I love. Now, the onus is on me to “do great work.”