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Working for What?

This is my favorite week of the year. I’m usually not overwhelmed by work and have time for big picture thinking.

I’m rereading one of my favorite business books, Live Rich, by Stephen M. Pollan. Published in 1998, but still very relevant. Pollan is an attorney in NYC who advises clients on career,  finances and real estate. He’s also Michael J. Fox’s father-in-law.

His perspective on work is obvious but profound – your time working should be to make as much money as you can in a way that gives you free time to do what you really care about.

Rather than focusing on climbing a ladder or growing a company, you must financially and emotionally invest solely in yourself instead. As an employee or entrepreneur you should try to increase your own skills and do things that increase your income, marketability and most of all, profitability.

Work is to make money, not to find fulfillment. Make as much money as you can while working so you can do the fulfillment stuff outside work.

Work isn’t meant for self-actualization. That’s the myth of the baby boomers. No other generation sought such fulfillment in work.

Look to your work to satisfy your physiological and safety needs by providing you with money. Look to the rest of your life to satisfy your needs for belongingness, love, esteem, and self-actualization.

The point isn’t to be all about making money. The point is simply when you work, make it count and make money. Don’t take a low paying long hours job that seems “fulfilling” but leaves you broke with no time for your family and other things that make you happy.

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