Watching what everyone else is doing keeps you reacting to what you think is going on rather than what’s important – building something you’re proud of.

Your best work is more than just your “job.”

Your best work may not be translatable to work you would do in a conventional day job. It could be raising your kids. It could be a side business or starting a full-time business. It could be working with a nonprofit, unpaid, or in a part-time government service; volunteering at your church, coaching Little League, or mentoring teenagers. It could be a hobby.

It’s sometimes useful to figure out how you can make a living by doing your best work, but your best work may not lend itself to being an economic engine. This doesn’t make it any less meaningful, valuable, or important, for not everything that’s meaningful, valuable, or important is tradable in the marketplace or will be “bought” enough to create a living for yourself.

The primary consideration is thus not how your best work will support your livelihood but how your best work fits into a meaningful life for you.

It may be that you can only do ten hours a week of your best work, but even people whose best work creates a living for them may only get to do ten hours a week of the best work. You may also create different options for yourself, such as deliberately working part-time and earning less so you can do more of your best work, or collaborating with your partner so that you have more weekend time to devote to your best work.

The grace is that your best work doesn’t have to be your full-time job. The downside is that not having it as your full-time job removes a lot of excuses and justifications for not doing it.

If you’re looking for more ways to build something you’re proud of, read Start Finishing.

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  • Charlie Gilkey

    Author, Speaker, Business Strategist, Coach

    Charlie Gilkey helps people start finish the stuff that matters. He's the founder of Productive Flourishing, author of the forthcoming Start Finishing and The Small Business Lifecycle, and host of the Productive Flourishing podcast. Prior to starting Productive Flourishing, Charlie was a Joint Force Military Logistics Coordinator while simultaneously pursuing a PhD in Philosophy. He lives with his wife, Angela, in Portland, Oregon.