Saturday, March 29, 2014

Finding Your Calling, In Kickstarter & Life

"Hand Raised In Worship" by KOREphotos via Flickr

Imagine you want to start a business for customers who aren't buying anything except satisfaction. That is exactly the model for creative project crowdfunding site Kickstarter, which just reached the $1 billion mark in pledges.

Cofounder Yancey Strickler explained the motivation for participating in an interview with Charlie Rose for Bloomberg Businessweek. It's not about money, he said: "There is no financial upside to these things. It’s not an investment."

Well then what is it? In short, a calling:

"From the very beginning we decided—my co-founders and I—that we would never sell, never go public. We viewed Kickstarter as a public trust....a living, breathing cultural institution that’s there to represent the interests of everybody."

Any activity can be a calling. It can be your family, your job, your weekend hobby. It it is what gives your life meaning.

This week I took a project management class on a seemingly mundane topic: risk management. The instructor the most seemingly boring job in the world - risk management for petroleum companies.

The way he talked about his job, it was clear that excellence in project management was his calling. And he said as much. He viewed it as an act of leadership, and:

"Leadership is learning. Leadership is life."

In our day-to-day work lives it is easy to separate mentally from what we read on LinkedIn and Harvard Business Review and The Wall Street Journal and Fast Company.

It's just a job, right?

But it is not just a job - it does not have to be one.

Whatever you do, you can elevate. Your calling is yours, and you make the call.

* All opinions my own. No endorsement or non-endorsement expressed or implied.