Tuesday, 18 January 2011

"Am I crazy?"

"Why would you do that for free?" the radio presenter asked Jimmy Wales, founder of Wikipedia, with incredulity. "Why on earth would people work on something without getting paid for it?" she persisted, failing to grasp the raison d'etre of Wikipedia as a community-owned and ran initiative.
But of course many of us do things we don't get paid for.

As we redefine what ‘work life’ looks like in 2011, the lines between ‘work’ and ‘not work’ are more blurred than ever. As people choose work/ life intergration over work/ life balance, many choose to mix up elements of their life in a continuous stream. One economic defintion of what constitues ‘work’ might be things we get paid for, but there are increasingly a bunch of things many of us do, without being monetised for each and every one of them.

In my own portfolio there are elements that are about revenues and elements that don't have a financial return. Together, they define me, stuff I feel passionate about and make happen irrespective of the financial model.

Last year there was a bunch of stuff I did that I didn't get paid for:

- wrote an e-book
- conducted video interviews with people like Dave Stewart
- went to SXSW Interactive in Texas (a big investment in time and money)
- wroteguest columns for Moo, Smarta, Business Matters, Management Today
- met a whole bunch of interesting folk
- mentored students about enterprise
- advised readers on taking the Leap
- blogged and tweeted

Sure, put all that together and it builds Ian Sanders' brand equity, makes me more sticky to clients, got me a publishing dea,l blah blah. But there was no hard measurable 'ROI'. Instead it was about carving out a worklife that sustains me mentally, emotionally and financially. Let's be clear: my motivation was passion not cash.

And some may still ask "Why on earth would you do all that if you don't get paid for it?" Okay so I might sound crazy to them, but to me this is just a reflection of who I am.

1 comment:

slobotski said...

Great post and reminder that sometimes the value of activities isn't cash alone...

Keep up the great work and I look forward to what 2011 holds!!!