For The Love of The Work - Las Peregrinas - Rebecca Liston

For The Love of The Work

By: Rebecca Liston

Dear Reader,

Some moons ago (like many, many moons!) I was invited to speak to a large group of women leaders in Calgary. I could choose any topic, but it couldn’t be specific to entrepreneurs as there would be managers and executives and other professionals in the audience as well. This idea of how I, a woman who had been almost entirely self-employed for the whole of her adult life, was going to reach an audience of ladies who came from such vast backgrounds was, at first blush, a mystery. I lost some sleep over this one, folks, until the topic revealed itself to me.

I would speak on what I decided to call “The Love of The Work.”

The premise was simple: Whether managing a retail store or bustling about a chiropractic office or moving from meeting to meeting in the C-suite or taking calls one after the other on Skype (we didn’t have zoom in those days!), there was one thing that kept us all going when things were good, when things went to crap, when sales came in, when numbers fell off, when clients were happy, when clients were decidedly not: We loved our Work.

It was our Love of the Work that kept us grounded. That kept us going. That kept us committed. That kept us sane. In the good times…and in the bad.

And we, all of us, shared this common Love. And in fact, during my presentation, we all became quite vocal about it.

“I get giddy when things go sideways because I know I can right them – and it’s gonna be sooo good!”

“I admit it: I take such pride in my Work, in my team, in our results, in our ability to steer the ship no matter what comes our way. I love it. I love everything about it.”

“My Work is where I’ve learned everything. Every darn day — I come here every darn day to learn.”

“I had a job once. I hated having a job. A job was pointless, passion-less, a waste of my time. It took me a long time – too long, really – to realize that what I really needed was a way to bring My Work into that job! My job was a vehicle through which I could live out My Real Work in the world. I know some people won’t get that…but I think you all will.”

It was an epic talk. 

And it still serves me today.

When things are good, when things go to crap, when sales come in, when numbers fall off, when clients are happy, when clients are decidedly not: I love my Work.

“Rebecca: Quick note. Javier from (xyz) Agency got back to me about the proposal you and I put together. He thanked me for my professionalism and thoughtfulness and he’s taking it to the board! Will keep you posted!”

“Hi Rebecca. I just had a rather enlightening conversation with Brad. I wonder if you have time this week to talk through my response to him. I would really appreciate it.”

“Hey Rebecca. I just wanted to let you know that my sister passed late last night. It was beautiful and awful and all the things we’d talked about. It was all those things. And more. So much more. Obviously I am still processing but I wanted you to know.”

“Dog Pic Spam Alert: This is Ruby, my newest foster. She’s the sweetest EVER. Enjoy!”

“So it happened, just as we thought it might. That client from Austin bailed on her contract. I don’t know what’s going on…feels like the latest in a long line of disappointments…ugh. I am glad we have a call tomorrow. I need it.”

These notes…these messages…snippets and reminders of my Why: I just, quite simply, Love My Work.

And I know some people might not get that…but I somehow think you all will.

xx Rebecca

Rebecca Liston is cofounder and business intuitive at Las Peregrinas, a creative and consulting agency. She specializes in anchoring folks in a clear-eyed understanding of which path is theirs for the taking. She’s got one foot in the land of the subtle and unseen, and the other foot firmly planted in the land of ruthless pragmatism. Oh, and she swears like a sailor, which makes us love her more.

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