Mike Rowe, host and founder of the TV series "Dirty Jobs", has realized an extreme amount of success by finding and filming some of the dirtiest jobs in America. These are the jobs that no one in their right mind would want to do. They will take you into sewers, under the golden gate bridge and even have you removing lamb testicles. What he discovered after spending time with these abnormal entrepreneurs is that they were some of the happiest and most accomplished people he has ever known. Swimming in the other direction, taking the road less traveled and simply doing the things that most people weren't willing to do was the secret to their success. It was like the joke was on "Normal" people and the Dirty Jobs folks were all in on the joke.
In a recent interview, Lewis Howes asked Mike, "What were the greatest lessons that you learned from your experience on Dirty Jobs?" Here are a few of his thoughts:
1) Run towards the things that makes you uncomfortable, and find a way to love them.
Finding your Passion is not the key. The key is to take your Passion with you as you pursue the things that make you uncomfortable and challenge you to grow.
As an example, the entrepreneur that removed lamb testicles was not passionate about animal genitalia, but he took his passion with him and made the most out of the business and life he created.
2) The dirty job owners were all contrarians. They all took what he calls "The Reverse Commute." They created a happy state by embracing the risks associated with doing the things that no one wanted to do. And since there was no one else competing with them, they typically have higher than normal margins and overall earnings.
3) There is no happiness without hard work. All the marketing and advertising that we see today is geared to say that happiness is tied to something external. If we have a new car, or outfit, or a bigger house, then we can find happiness. That simply isn't true. Happiness and passion are internal, and when combined with hard work they create a fulfilling journey.
Mike Rowe and the Dirty Jobs owners teach us that happiness and passion is not something external that you pursue and catch. It is something internal that you create and take with you.
The action item here is to look at your current path and ask yourself if you are chasing passion or taking it with you. Regardless of your endeavor, consider whether or not there is an opportunity for a reverse commute. And obviously, there is no substitute for hard work.
Image Source US Army Corp of Engineers - Creative Commons License