Receiving a large paycheque, having a big shot title, or other such external rewards aren't at the top of Barry Butcher's list of motivators. Instead, you'll find things like making a difference, self-fulfilment and overall job satisfaction.
"What's important now in my professional life is making sure I am financially secure, of course, but what I'd really like is to work on helping others," says the 58-year-old Butcher.
Butcher, a native Torontonian, had an illustrious career that included travelling, making money and rising to the top of his occupation with ease. Having worked as a v-p. for Loblaws, then as a v-p. of marketing for a large cosmetic company, he decided in 1993, to start his own company, Great Attitudes International Marketing Inc. (www.greatattitudes.com
), which sells computer safety and prevention software and merchandise.
But it wasn't money that drove him into entrepreneurship -- he wanted more fulfilment out of his work. It also wasn't money that gave him the will to fight multiple myeloma, in 2000; it was his optimistic attitude.
After not being able to work for two years and approaching bankruptcy, he chose to take a
job this past year running the Canadian customer service and marketing desk for Air Guard Control. He had four opportunities, but chose the one with the lowest starting salary because it was a positive environment, it met his time lines, he liked the size of the company (about 15 people), and he liked the people with whom he'd be working. In addition to his full-time job, he still runs his company.
"I invested over half a million dollars in Great Attitudes with little returns and it would be easy to bankrupt it and move on, but that's not me," Butcher says.
"My goal is to make half a million dollars for the International Myeloma Foundation (IMF) and Princess Margaret Hospital. I've got a lot of love inside and I want to give back as much and as often as I can."
"I want to give back as much and as often as I can," says Barry Butcher, a survivor of multiple myeloma, a cancer of the bone marrow, whose company, Great Attitudes International Marketing Inc., raises funds for the disease.
If you want to go beyond just earning a paycheque, you need to link what you do to something of higher importance to you. It's not what you do that matters, it's what you think about what you do that matters.
"So few people spend time figuring out what they really want." says Helen Notzl, a Toronto psychotherapist. "The more clear and detailed you are about what you want, the more you will look at life and seek those things out.
"People drift into and out of jobs because they don't know what they want and that's why they often need external motivators. Whereas, if you know what you want, you'll know if you're on track," Notzl says.
The first step is to know what interests and excites you.
Someone once told me, "seek out the particular mental attribute which makes you feel most deeply and vitally alive, along with which comes the inner voice which says, this is the real me, and when you have found that attitude, follow it."
Next, get clear on what your own personal goals are, whether it's a goal to feel a certain way, or to be in a certain place. Then, find a way of seeing your work as providing you with a way of getting there.
Above money, it's looking at work as a way of obtaining the things you value, i.e. learning, growing, connecting with people, and so on.
It all comes down to what's inside you versus what's outside yourself.
"I have this internal drive that I have been gifted to have all my life and after facing almost bankruptcy, things are beginning to turn around," Butcher says.
But the truth is, we are all gifted with that same internal drive -- just some of us don't know it. So, if you haven't found yours yet - start looking.
Go to www.greatattitudes.com
to learn more about Great Attitudes Marketing Inc. or to help support Multiple Myeloma Cancer research.
(Ellen Goldhar is manager, people development at Sun Media Corporation, Canada's second largest newspaper publishing company. Send questions and comments to firstname.lastname@example.org
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