Career Success Advice on How to Get Rich

Last Sunday’s New York Times Jobs section had an interesting article that echoes the career advice in Tweet 7 in my latest career success book Success Tweets – “Figure out what you really want to do.  Work you love will make it easier to create the life and career success you want and deserve.”

Katherine Rinne, the author is an Independent Scholar.  I bet you didn’t know such a career existed, did you?  I didn’t until I read the piece.  Katherine begins by saying…

“In 1992, I quit my teaching job at the University of Arkansas, put everything into storage, cashed out y life savings, and moved to Rome to begin the first phase of research for a project that has become my life’s work.  My money ran out nine months later, but by then the project had begun to take on a life of its own, and I had become an independent scholar…

“Why did I take this career turn?  I felt an urgency about my project, and knew that as a full time faculty member I wouldn’t have the time to focus on it until I was eligible for tenure in the distant future…

“So now I have become a member of an itinerant tribe in pursuit of ideas, knowledge and a place to write and do research.  We are motivated and often well educated, and most of us work far longer than 40 hour weeks…We have chosen to forgo financial security for the freedoms to pursue work we love.”

How cool is that?  I’m not saying that you should drop everything and become an independent scholar.  Most people aren’t suited for that lifestyle.  But Katherine Rinne and her colleagues are living examples of the career advice in Tweet 7 in Success Tweets — “Figure out what you really want to do.  Work you love will make it easier to create the life and career success you want and deserve.”

Katherine may not be wealthy, but she is rich.  Her story reminds me of something I learned from Michelle Schubnel, a coach to coaches.  She runs a program called Coach and Grow R.I.C.H.  Her R.I.C.H. acronym applies here:

R   Rewarded
I    Inspired
C   Confident
H   Happy

I think this is a great way to think about career success, making money and being useful in this world.  You are rich when you are: a) rewarded for your contributions; b) inspired by what you do; c) confident as a professional; and d) happy with the way you spend your time.  Let’s talk about each of these.

Rewarded — We all deserve to be appropriately compensated for the work we do and the value we bring to others.  This means that you shouldn’t feel bad about making money, only that making money shouldn’t be your sole goal in life.  Some might say that the current financial crisis is the result of some people who valued making money at the expense of others.  Do your job, get good at it and the money will follow.  Katherine Rinne says she isn’t wealthy, but she is rich becasue she loves what she does.

Inspired – You can find inspiration in the work you do every day.  If you’re an independent scholar like Katherine, you are inspired by unlocking the history of urban development in Rome.  If you’re a pharmaceutical sales rep, you can be inspired by the fact that you’re helping doctors understand how the medicines your company makes can save lives.  My dad was a steel worker for 37 years.  He found inspiration in the buildings and bridges he helped build.  I find inspiration every time someone leaves a comment on this blog or tells me that one of my tweets made a difference in their quest for life and career success

Confident – Doing something you love, doing it well and being useful in this world will build your confidence.   Your confidence grows as your skill level grows and you begin to make bigger contributions at work and in the world.  A world of confident people would be a wonderful place to live.  Confident people see the world from a win-win perspective. 

Happy – When are you happiest?  I’m willing to bet it’s when you accomplish something – or help someone else accomplish something – not when you get your pay check.  When you do something you love everyday you can’t help but be happy.  Katherine is happiest when she makes a discovery that contributes to our knowledge of ancient Rome.  I am happiest when I finish a book.  Writing a book takes a lot of time and effort.  And, I’m a perfectionist.  I want to make sure my books are the best I can make them, so I put in a lot of time and effort making sure they’re just right.  And, you know what?  I’m really happy when I first hold a copy of one of my books in my hand.  At that moment, I know the work was worth it.  I’m happy when I help others succeed too.  I love the moments when I can see the light go on in one of my career success coach client’s eyes.  I love it when I help other people get it.

I saw a young woman wearing a T shirt the other day that made a profound point.  On the front it said, “Wealth is not the opposite of poverty.”   On the back it said, “Enough is the opposite of poverty.”   Successful people know what “enough” is for them and their family.  They are happy with enough.  They pursue a life and career that fulfills them.  They know that being rich is more than having a lot of money.

If you read this blog with any regularity, you know that my mom passed away a little over two years ago.  She was one for schmaltzy cards.  I’m not.  But several years ago, she sent me a card on my birthday.  I cut out the message and taped it to my printer.  I look at it several times a day…

“That man is a success who is happy with himself and gives happiness to others; who makes the world a better place simply by being a part of it.” 

My mother believed this about me.  I do my best to live up to it every day.

The common sense career success coach point here is simple.  Successful people create rich career for themselves.  They follow the career advice in Tweet 7 in Success Tweets.  “Figure out what you really want to do.  Work you love will make it easier to create the life and career success you want and deserve.”  Successful people know that being rich doesn’t mean you have tons and tons of money.  They know that being rich means that you are: Rewarded for your contributions; Inspired by what you do; Confident in your skills, and Happy with the way you spend your days.  They become rich by following their passion in life.

That’s the career advice I found in Katherine Rinne’s story about being an independent scholar.  What’s your take on this?  Please take a minute to share your thoughts with us by leaving a comment.  As always, thanks for reading my musings on life and career success.  I value you and your feedback.


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