I think that entrepreneurs, artists, writers, independent designers of any kind – basically anyone who gets paid to create something – have a potential advantage in the happiness department (in one slight way) over people who are only employees.
I don’t say this to disparage employees. Not at all. Nor am I implying that entrepreneurs are always happier than employees. I have no data to support that statement.
Rather I say this because there is something very real about the intrinsic enjoyment that you get when you actually get paid for something that you created, and this is a feeling that can’t be duplicated when you are an employee.
For every business I’ve ever been involved in, I can always remember the first time I received money for my services, and it always felt great.
It wasn’t because I was just getting money. If you follow my writing you’ll know that I relentlessly teach teach intrinsic motivation and flow. It wasn’t for the money alone – no it is something much greater.
To use the words of writer Bob Burg (the Go Giver) “money is just an echo of value” and when you get paid for a product or service that you have created, in the capacity of an entrepreneur, or any creator, then what you have really done is that you have created value for someone else. Creating value for someone else feels good, plain and simple.
An employee can feel good when they serve someone in a way that creates value. But it’s not the same. It isn’t the same as when you create something yourself.
The act of creation alone has intrinsic value, and when you get paid for your creation, the intrinsic value you feel multiplies.
That’s why I can remember the first cheque in every business venture I’ve ever done, and they all felt great. Yesterday I received my first royalty cheque for my book Unsuited, and I felt the same way again.
The first cheque you never forget, and the first cheque always feels great. Sure having a much bigger cheque down the road may feel good as well but there is something unique, something very intrinsic about that first cheque.
It tells you that you made something that other people value. That feels good.
Everyone can have that.
Everyone can be an entrepreneur in some way.
Go create something.