You Can Either Have Fun or Make Money? Not When You Use Emotional Intelligence!
by Susan Dunn
Do you think that’s true? You can EITHER have fun OR you can make money, but not both?
I’m an EQ Coach. I help people increase their EQ, i.e., those factors that make us happy and successful that don’t pertain to cognition and IQ. Many of my clients don’t come to me specifically for EQ coaching. Let’s just call it a “value-added extra” in my coaching mix.
Emotional intelligence means self-awareness; being in touch with your own feelings. Then managing your own emotions and those of others and using your emotions to make good decisions. It involves such competencies such as creativity, intuition, flexibility, social skills, leadership ability.
I was reading an article recently by Mark Henricks, called “Some People Aren’t In It for the Money.” He talks about people who’ve already made their fortunes, but keep on working. They turn around and are just as successful in the new endeavors.
Mark writes: “According to Herbert E. Brown, executive director of the Massey Center for Business & Innovation & Development at Robert Morris University in Pittsburgh, ‘Research indicates that for only one in 10 it’s about money anyway....That isn’t the deep-seated motivation.’”
Most of my clients aren’t millionaires like the people in Mr. Henricks’ article. They’re mostly regular people to whom you can perhaps more readily relate. Most of them are midlife transition folks who have explored what money can buy: beyond the point of basic needs, not much. I have the advantage of talking daily with people who are retiring, and creating the next stage of their life. What do they know that we don’t know? (Names and details changed for anonymity.)
· Tom is retiring from 30 years working for the government. He tells me he hated the job, and now he wants to do something meaningful and more challenging. He’s off on a grand adventure of discovering his innate talents, and finding his passion. He could care less how much money he makes this year.
· Betty has worked for about that same length of time in a profession she also didn’t like, but it paid the bills. She asked me if I thought she’d be crazy if she went back to school fulltime, starting all over again ‘at her age’ in a field that really appealed to her. “Crazy?” I said. No, I think you’re going sane.”
· Edward did a ‘phoenix’ if you know that myth; a real crash and burn. Trashed a business, went through a divorce and bankruptcy. (Some people don’t go gracefully into transitions; they put their backs to a wall.) Slowly he reconstructed his life, focusing on things he liked to do. “When you’re doing something you love,” he tells me, “it isn’t work so it doesn’t matter.” Didn’t I read that somewhere?
· Alice took my Strengths course and said it brought tears to her eyes. “I thought of a little lost child,” she wrote me. “How far I’ve gotten away from myself. How much I long to find me again.” She’s gone on a search.
· Marisa spent 20 years in a career her StrengthsFinder™ Profile showed was an extremely poor choice. Her final year she suffered from chronic back and neck pain, sciatic nerve problems, hostility and migraine headaches. She finally got the message her body was sending her. She spent 6 months working with me to figure out what made her feel good, work wise, and has changed fields. “Suddenly I’m making money,” she said, “and rather effortlessly. I find this hard to believe.”
· When Nancy started coaching I asked her, “What would you like to do?” “I have no idea,” she said. “No one’s ever asked me, and I’ve never asked myself.” “Why?” I said. [pause] “Are you supposed to like what you do?” she asked.
Interestingly enough, all of these clients have become entrepreneurs. For each of them money v. something-I-love-to-do was initially a conflict. Each of them has resolved this in a different way, but each of them has shifted from “What will make me the most money?” to “What would I really like to be doing?” Some of them are making more than they were before.
I do have younger clients, too.
Sam’s only been working 5 years and wanted coaching on how to get organized. He loves his work. He’s never mentioned money. I asked him at one point about vacations. He said, “I don’t think about vacations. I’m new to my field.” That was sooo wonderful to hear!
Evan started a dot.com and made a lot of money. A hostile-takeover forced him out, but left him with a hearty yearly stipend to leave his name on the letterhead. Evan hadn’t even gone to college! What’s he doing now? He’s at Oxford, soaking up the formal education he didn’t need to make a fortune, but knew he needed for his soul.
Must you go for money, or go for pleasure? I don’t like any either/or statement, do you? You can have both, you can have neither, and you can also have a third option.
Most people are about as happy as they decide to be, and most people have about as many options as they decide to have. If you see it as a choice between the two, then it will be. If you use your EQ, think outside the box, and consider possibilities, then you can generate options and solutions. If you think it has to be either/or, how has this worked for you so far?
Martin Seligman, Ph.D., thinks authentic happiness comes from knowing what your signature strengths are, and being able to use them for a higher purpose.
I think Martin Seligman, Ph.D., has a point there!
Susan Dunn may be contacted at http://www.susandunn.cc firstname.lastname@example.org
Susan Dunn, MA, The EQ Coach, http://www.susandunn.cc , mailto:email@example.com. Coaching, Internet courses and ebooks around emotional intelligence for your personal and professional success. Coach Certification Program - fast, affordable, no-residency, training coaches worldwide. Email for free ezine.