Entrepreneurial Dilemma: Choosing the Job vs. the Job Choosing You

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Entrepreneurial Dilemma: Choosing the Job vs. the Job Choosing You

For most of us, entrepreneurship conjures up images of happy people doing activities they love every day, perhaps reading a book in their very own bookshop or selling jewelry they’ve made by hand. In real life, many entrepreneurs (including myself), even if they started out doing something they loved, quickly learned that doing something different was more sustainable and, in the end, enjoyable. And that is fine.

There is no right or wrong path

Those who actively pursue a career they are passionate about often possess a strong sense of purpose and direction. These individuals typically take calculated risks, make strategic decisions, and are willing to invest substantial time and effort into building their businesses or careers. They are also prone to burnout and overwork. And for many, it’s the quickest way to becoming less passionate about something they used to love.

Here’s a hot take…

Passion is not necessary for a job well done. If you don’t feel personally fulfilled by your job or business, it doesn’t mean you’re incapable of performing it well. And it doesn’t mean you can’t live a happy life. Sometimes, you stumble into a career or business opportunity through unanticipated employment transitions, family connections, or unexpected opportunities. Sometimes, it just becomes clear that your strengths lie elsewhere. While it may not have been your initial plan, you may find success and fulfillment on these unplanned paths.

Be open to all paths

Being open to opportunities that come your way while also actively pursuing your passions can lead to a more successful business. You may need to pivot and adapt your business based on market demands or lead opportunities. You may learn that your skill set is more suitable for a different set of products or services. Adaptation and flexibility are key skills in today’s rapidly changing business landscape, especially for entrepreneurs.

My path

I started freelancing as a copywriter because I loved the creativity and freedom of working for many brands. I primarily wrote product descriptions and web content for e-commerce companies at first. It was fun. I got to write in all kinds of brand voices, from cheeky to serious, for all kinds of audiences. Over the years, I took on more B2B and agency clients and I found that while I was ok at writing copy, I was better at writing long-form content that required research. I also discovered a passion for social justice issues that fed my brain and fired me up. When I started my brand strategy and content writing business, I had to make some hard choices on my target audience and the niches I would write for. It would have been fun to write for e-commerce companies again, and I would love to help nonprofits further their causes. However, my strengths are delivering thought leadership content and brand strategies for B2B services. So, that is what I do. It’s my strength and my most marketable skill.

Lessons learned

Ultimately, I’ve learned that the level of satisfaction in my work depends not only on my values, interests, and goals but also on how my clients feel about my work. That has led me to choose work that is not necessarily my passion but is what I’m best at. In the end, the work chose me. And I’m okay with that.

The tug-of-war between picking your path and having the path pick you is a deeply personal and ever-evolving journey. Passion is just one of those paths. Remember to stay flexible, understand the pros and cons of each path, and make sure you feel good about your choices, now and in the future.

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