Lately, it’s becoming a trend to create “passive” income and outsource everything and go live on a beach while the money piles up in your bank account.
The idea seemed to be that doing less work is good, and outsourcing is the way to go. I can’t say that it’s not fun to find somebody who lives in Asia who can do your work and pay a fraction of the cost of somebody in the US.
I too was intoxicated by that dream for a little while, so I don’t judge anyone who goes down that path.
But I’m here to say that there’s another way: doing things yourself, and really caring about the work you do. It’s like growing a garden that you planted yourself and when you finally see seeds sprout and peek through the dirt, you feel like celebrating the birth of new life.
And it’s like the way of the old craftsman who spends days, even weeks, working on a single piece because he wants to create something useful, beautiful, and meaningful. Not mass produced, not factory made, not mindlessly manufactured and consumed. Something to enrich your life.
This is the way of the writer who pours her soul into a novel, not to crank out a best-seller every year but to change the way someone sees the world.
This is the way of anyone who works at a company not just to clock in and get a paycheck, but to make a contribution, to do work he’s proud of, to create something powerful in the world.
This is the work of any artist or creator, any entrepreneur, any coach or athlete, any parent or auto mechanic … who puts more effort than is required for the work, because from that effort is created meaning.
Why waste your time creating something you don’t care about, aren’t invested in? Life is too short. Perhaps it would be better to spend the little life you have on something that matters to you, that will matter to those you are creating for.
My Care-filled Work
I’m not perfect in this regard — I’ve produced substandard work, I’ve phoned it in, and I aimed at growth rather than quality in different times in my life. But lately, I’ve been trying the approach of caring, and it makes a huge difference.
I decided to spend three years creating a book, not just cranking out the words but working with a group of people to see if the book resonated, made a difference to them. I rewrote it several times. I published it the old-fashioned way, paying well above the normal cost so that it would be of high quality.
I turned it inside and out and in the end found that I had a pretty good result. The cover was a miracle in itself. I changed the title 5 times and when the final title entered my consciousness I had an AHAH moment like never before and knew what the graphics had to look like.
Thank God for Google search and images where I came across the exact image I had envisioned and could now physically show to an artist in my city. Having studied art myself for so many years, I realized that my standard was super high and I could not waver away from my vision. I had to find the original artist that I found during my Google search if I wanted the same quality. After extensive searching, via the Internet, I finally found him in Serbia and was so lucky that he spoke fluently English. So now it was a matter of relating to him the book content and the colors I saw in my mind. Within 24 hours he produced this cover for my book and I was completely in awe. With a little help from the Universe, Spirit, God – A miracle took place.