Twenty years ago, few people thought former Heavyweight Champion Boxer, Mike Tyson would be full of wisdom.
Like this quote –
“Doing what you hate to do, but doing it like you love it”
– Mike Tyson
Similarly, twenty years ago the thought of writing a blog post on a Saturday afternoon would be the last thing I wanted to do but here I am, choosing to write some thoughts down about work and enjoyment, while I sip on a black cup of Costa Rican coffee. Many people would hate this task.
Complaining and bickering about doing work will cost you more money and time than if you shut up and do the work with a smile on your face. This Saturday morning, I did not want to ship Sumato Coffee to customers, send out an offer letter to candidates, help my oldest son with homework or do pull-ups, burpees and work up a sweat but I did it and it’s done.
We are born with a brain, legs and arms that work. Use them wisely and make them work hard. Complaining will make Monday morning feel like some version of hell. Sometimes you gotta work on the “off” hours to make the “on” hours work.
It’s okay to hate work tasks, but it’s not okay to complain about them. Complaining doesn’t make anything better, and bragging about how hard you work doesn’t make you look better. Do the work, shut-up and people will follow you or give you more work to do.
There will always be events and your response to those events is what you can control the most. The better you can spot an event coming up and be aggressive and prepared about your response, the more you can increase your chances of a good outcome.
Your immediate response with your words, behaviors, and actions is what you can control and the people closest to you (i.e., the team you lead) is who you can influence. If these people see you complaining about your work, they will complain too. The people who can see or hear you are the people you are influencing, good or bad.
Look around, right now. Who do you see? That is who you are influencing. If you show them you hate your work, they might hate their work too. Teach people not to complain, by not complaining.
Many times in big companies, CEOs and executives think they are influencing the entire company of 500 or 1000 employees when they are actually only influencing the few people around them. Start with the 3-5 people around you.
An email or slack channel might help spread the circle to a bigger range of people, but it comes down to the people you see day in day out. That is who sees how much you love or hate something or your job.
If there is work, there is pain. Pay for work is to help you deal with the pain. Structure your work and deals so that the bigger the problem you are solving, the bigger the pay. But know that sometimes the problem starts with you and your attitude toward work. In other words, master yourself, then look to others.
If you hate your job, learn to master it and love it, then move onto something else. But never complain. If you need to vent, do it with a close friend.
Lastly, Mike Tyson is making a comeback in his mid 50s. It looks like he is back doing the work he hates but doing it like he loves it.
Ben Martinez – family guy, coffee critic, planker, and HR & Recruiting journeyman. He has successfully worked in HR leadership roles around the US and Mexico for Fortune 500 companies (Pepsi, Honeywell, and Energizer). Most recently he was the VP of People & Culture for HireVue, where he hired 400+ people in almost five years using video, social media, and created the employment brand, VueNation in partnership with HireVue.
Ben now runs his own consulting company, Ramp Talent, where they ramp recruiting and HR for startups. From recruiting ready-to-go talent to implementing ongoing best practices to preventing legal headaches, we build the first HR and recruiting systems for fast-growing startups.
PS – coffee is for closers – Ben founded an e-commerce subscription coffee company focused on re-imagining coffee in the workplace and home – Sumato Coffee Co. They only roast your beans within 48 hours of your order.
Ben lives in the SLC, Utah area.