Meaningful work is connected to emotional investment. There are at least three types of emotional investments we make all of the time: investments in work, investments in oversight, and investments in ownership. They’re extra powerful when we take the time to connect them for ourselves (if we’re sole practitioners), for our teams/companies, and most importantly, for our clients. Here’s how they real down:
The worker invests in making the product.
The manager invests in executing the process, bringing scale to the workers.
The owner invests in shipping a product into the world, bringing scale to the idea.
Sometimes we wear all of the hats, sometimes we just wear one of them. At the top, there has to be an idea. At the bottom, there has to be a product or service. In the middle, there has to be some plan of execution (quantity, timelines, schedules, etc.). All three need to feel a sense of connection to what is being delivered to the end client.
Nobody wants to work without ending up with a finished product.
Nobody wants to manage without a process they feel proud of.
Nobody wants to be an owner without an asset worth owning.
Our clients are looking for an experience. Whether we’re delivering a garbage bag that doesn’t break when we take out the trash or a highly personalized professional service like a financial plan, the most meaningful work is organized behind knowing the meaning of the deliverable. Work can be more than a paycheck. The best businesses figure out a way to make it so.