How to Find Both Success and Passion in Work

Chris Guillebeau, who has visited every country in the world and has spoken at Frequent Traveler University, is out with his new book Born For This.

His Art of Non-Conformity was about building work to support lifestyle, and inspired a generation of of people who worked and traveled and didn’t even distinguish between the two. His $100 Startup helped people get beyond barriers to starting a business, to figure out what they’re best at and how to take the leap.

But this may be his most ambitious and important project — to help you figure out what you want out of work, whether working for yourself or someone else, and find it.

Some people work as little as possible, enough to get by, and find enjoyment in other areas of life. And some people work as hard as they can in soul-sucking endeavors, thinking that they can afford the things that matter to them in other parts of their life. But this book is about finding your passion in work, doing well by doing what you also enjoy.

Most people who blog the way I do make it their living. Very few who blog as often, or are widely read, have ‘real jobs’ and many whose blogs are their businesses even have employees. I have a real job and I have no employees and I love it.

  • I love my job. It isn’t just the place I get my health insurance. I’m well paid but it isn’t about the money. I care deeply about the success of the place and after 20 years I’m able to contribute where I add the most value and there’s very little focus on things that could be just as easily done by others.

  • I love travel, miles, and points. Writing 5 to 7 things a day, and all the other things I do like award booking and media and speaking, isn’t like ‘a job’. Instead it’s what I’d be doing whether it made any money or not. In fact, I did it for years when it didn’t make any money at all (the blog didn’t make even $250 in a month for me during its first 6 years). Some people watch football, others re-enact the Civil War, I’m passionate about miles and points. Why offload thinking and talking about it onto others? It would probably be more successful as a business if I did, but I’d be giving up something that’s so fulfilling.

Reading an advance copy of Chris’ book really resonated with me. It’s the book I’d want to write to share my own story and experiences but I haven’t thought through how to make my own story generalizable and I’m not nearly as talented a writer. (I also don’t have the attention span, blog posts are easier than books.) And Chris’ books are always clear, well-written, and actionable.

It’s not a book about how to quit your job and travel the world. It’s not even necessarily a book about quitting your job and starting a business. It’s about how to figure out what your dream job would be, and how to build that within your current company, how to take smart career risks, how to build projects on the side that are both fulfilling and enriching. And how to gain recognition for pursuing your passion.

One of the questions I ask job candidates that I’m interviewing is to tell me about a time that they were really firing on all cylinders. When were they at their best? I want to hear about the situation, what they were doing, and what they were able to achieve. It tells me a lot about what drives the person, because I want people in roles that really engage them. This book is about finding that place.

It’s a good read, with practical advice. The book works through something I’m deeply grateful for having been able to achieve in my own life, why I consider myself one of the luckiest people in the world, and I’m not using my Amazon referral link in this post, so I can honestly say that I don’t benefit in any way from recommending it other than being able to share it with you.

Born for This: How to Find the Work You Were Meant to Do

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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