It’s Friday night and my sense of time is so out of whack that I don’t even know what day or time it feels like, I just know Friday night isn’t it. Honestly, I’m not sure my clock’s been reset since we returned from Europe last month. Even after that trip, I rolled a few vacation days over into May and I found a couple of great ways to spend them. I’ve only been out of the office for three days, but it feels like a week.
The “week” started with Chris Guillebeau, one of my longtime favourite inspirational authours. I’ve talked about him a few times around here and I’ve attended his book launches whenever they’ve come through Vancouver.
This time around, Chris is touring Born For This, his take on finding the work you were born to do.
This intersection of joy, money, and flow is what you’ll learn to find in this book. Through inspiring stories of those who have successfully landed their dream career, as well as actionable tools, exercises, and thought experiments, he’ll guide you through today’s vast menu of career options to discover the work perfectly suited to your unique interests, skills, and experiences.
The event was held on May 11th at Hootsuite HQ which was exciting in itself. Anyone around town here and probably far and wide has heard the stories of how wonderful the environment at Hootsuite is. A glimpse into this legendary workspace was enough to convince Kevin that he wanted to come along so we signed up long in advance. On the day of, we got an email giving us the heads up that the event was getting a lot of attention and a full house was expected. We were warned to get there early to ensure that we got a spot. In light of that, I met Kevin downtown and we arrived very early. We cruised by Hootsuite, but it was an hour before they were starting and the doors were locked. We took the opportunity to top up our step totals and continue my quest for finding runners’ jelly beans. (RUNNERS” JELLY BEANS.) We stopped in at 33 Acres where Kevin enjoyed 33 Acres of Sunshine while I sipped on a Dickie’s Ginger Beer and ogled their menu.
By the time we got back to Hootsuite, there was a line-up outside and we waited while we went through the rigamarole of signing waivers and security paperwork before we entered. The doors opened close to the scheduled start time and we had enough time to pick some seats, settle in and catch up on the score of the hockey game (wooooo Blues!) before the event got underway.
Funny note: in many ways Kevin and I are similar, but here’s one way in which we are totally opposite. In a situation like this where we are able to select where to sit in row upon row of seats, I’d always gravitate to the front. Him? He heads for the back. Even further, I’d have been willing to split up to satisfy both of our desires, but he’d have rather sat together. So that’s what we did.
Chris was introduced by Jenna Herbut, co-founder of Make It! and long-time entrepreneur. She and Chris have had an ongoing relationship for several years, a relationship she described as mentor/mentee-esque. Jenna is bright and shiny and very enthusiastic. She hosted the event and did a very good job introducing Chris and facilitating the event.
Chris spoke for maybe thirty minutes, sharing an overview of the book and assigning each of us with four tasks.
- Make decisions based on joy, money and flow.
- Create a side hustle.
- Don’t choose a niche.
- Give up.
Danielle Laporte, Chris Guillebeau, Jenna Herbut
For those playing along at home, joy, money and flow are defined as something that makes us happy, is financially viable and maximizes our unique skills, respectively.
Chris’s approach always includes at least an edge of non-conformity (his first book was called The Art of Non-Conformity, after all) and this evening with him was no different. As always, he created a casual, friendly and supportive environment for the diverse group that turned out at the event. He shared how an imbalance between joy, money and flow can result in stress or lack of fulfilment and stories of how he and others used their strengths and leveraged them into businesses and careers. It was some pretty inspiring stuff!
Trying to find this work you were born to do is the most important thing you can do for your career.
Once Chris was finished his book presentation, he invited Danielle Laporte (!!) and Jenna Herbut on stage to field a Q&A session as a trio. This was a really cool opportunity for people to get answers from three unique sources and for people in the crowd to connect with one another. We talked about how to be at peace with how little or how much money matters to us, what to do when we feel like giving up, but still believe in our dreams and how to stay motivated even after we hit our milestones.
There are a few more dates left on his book tour and if he is coming to your city, it will be worthwhile to clear your schedule for an hour and go. If you’ve already missed him, Chris has some great resources up on his Born For This website. I like the Born For This Quiz that assesses your response to sixteen questions about your personal preferences when it comes to work style, environment, hours and compensation. They’re questions like, “what’s your preferred workplace?” and fill in the blanks like, “I consider it to have been a successful week if:” In return, you’re provided with a type (I’m an INDEPENDENT CREATIVE) and a breakdown of what that means in the workplace and in life.
As an example, my workstyle is (pretty accurately) defined as:
Based on your answers, it sounds like you prefer a solitary workstyle. A lone wolf by nature, you thrive in environments when you work alone and are solely responsible for your results. To perform at your best, it’s important for you to have time away by yourself to think and let ideas percolate. You don’t always work as efficiently or creatively when constantly surrounded by other people or forced to collaborate. You can become distracted by other people and sometimes have difficulty splitting up discrete parts of a task or project with others.
The results are divided into the categories of workstyle, organizational structure, workplace atmosphere and pace, means of motivation and tips for securing the work you were born to do.
I’m going to be giving away a few copies of Born For This soon. Stay tuned for details by subscribing to my blog! Look over there ————-> and up. 🙂
On Hootsuite: it was really nice inside, but we only got to see a small part of it – the kitchen and cafeteria/leisure area, I’m guessing.
Watch the Born For This Official Trailer.
Have you found the work you were born to do? If so, what is it? What is or would be your side hustle?