Do You Love What You Do?

Do You Enjoy Your Work?

Saturday, I was at the hair salon, conversing with my stylist, the salon’s owner, about my new book and the conversations surrounding the topic since the recent book launch.

While we talked, I observed her team of stylists. It was a pleasure to watch them enjoying their job, working for new and repeat clientele. My stylist commented that many clients often spoke of their (not-so-young) adult children who had been unable to find and build a career, much less one that allowed them to support their own independent household.

The Role of Perseverance in Career Success

I thought back to when I first met my stylist. She was in her mid-twenties, a single mom of two, working at two salons on a low hourly wage just to stay afloat. The tips from customers happy with her work made all the difference in how much breathing room she had weekly in her finances.

I stayed with her as she stood out even among stylists more senior than her. She continued to improve her craft and emulate her clients’ expectations, and she went over and above for her employers. Her dedication paid off when, through a recommendation, she was given the opportunity to make the same income at one location, helping a new owner manage the salon.

Unfortunately, she did not receive the partnership she was promised when helping to launch her associate’s salon, but she waited for the right time to make a move and did not leave in angst or anger. The right time came, and she was blessed with the chance to purchase her own salon—and not just any salon but one that was established with long-term stylists who did not want to be owners.

She not only improved their working conditions and boosted the salon’s image, but she also attracted additional stylists and nail technicians. This took extra work and sacrifice during nontraditional working hours. She has created the freedom to take planned time off when needed for her children and extended family and to replenish herself. Not to mention, she can now help others build security for the future.

Entrepreneurial Skills in the Workplace

One of my friends from the industry posted on social media recently that “entrepreneurship is living a few years like nobody else so that you can live the rest of your life like no one else.” That person is now in their fifties and living a comfortable life with choices. For some of you in your twenties, the gap between your age and your fifties seems way more than a few years. For those of us in our fifties, it went by faster than you would think.

The construction industry is filled with success stories, and each of them is defined differently. Each story took a different number of years to get there. Each journey had different obstacles along the way. Some of those exceptionally successful people are entrepreneurs, and many are not. Those who can pay their bills with money left over to enjoy themselves and give to others have two things at minimum in common: they own their job responsibilities, and they respect the industry they work in. If they do not own the business, they act as entrepreneurs within their work environment, which is sometimes referred to as being an “intrapreneur.”

Building a Successful Career with Dedication and Hard Work

Sunday, on a jobsite with my husband, one of the owners of a trade firm was asked by another worker, “Can I get you anything?”

He jokingly said, “The winning lottery ticket.”

I asked him if he would do something else if he won.

He quickly said, “Probably not. I love what I do.” That is probably why he was on-site on a Sunday himself when he could have easily said no (as others did) or sent an employee instead.

In further conversation, I learned he did not have any other plans, and on a Sunday he could work more efficiently and peacefully when most of the other trade companies were off. Might I add that weekends are not always necessary or an option; it is being willing to consider them as an option out of productiveness or another’s need to meet a deadline.

It doesn’t take much these days to set yourself apart from others in the workplace. It does take a mix of passion, perseverance, and patience. What does that mean?

  1. You own the job you accepted. Accept the people who come with it and understand the industry you serve.
  2. You accept the good days and the not-so-good days with your behavior, other’s behavior, and circumstances out of your control, focusing on what you can do and not what others did not do for you.
  3. You accept that the bigger reward might not come from the place you are in today and could be, as with my stylist, a byproduct of a faithful reputation built with time that attracts others to help.
  4. You understand your job and perform it well—consistently consistent.

The Impact of Commitment to Excellence on Career Advancement

Proverbs 28:20 states, “A faithful person will be richly blessed, but one eager to get rich will not go unpunished.”

Vince Lombardi, one of the greatest coaches in history who led people on and off the field for decades of success, stated, “The quality of a person’s life is in direct proportion to their commitment to excellence, regardless of their chosen field or endeavor.”

Are you faithful to the opportunity in front of you now? Are you committed to excellence, regardless of whether you love your circumstances now or not?

My stylist turned thirty-two this year. She chose responsibility in her twenties, and it is paying off in her thirties. Like her and me, you will have friends and family who will try to make you feel guilty about the commitment you make to your career. You will have voices in your head that will try to discourage you. You will have days where you just want to give up. Those will be the days you have to look up and look within to see what you do have and how far you have come. Doing so will ignite what is yet to come for your continued faithfulness to pay off. Having a mentor and accountability partner also helps.

Twenties, thirties, forties, or beyond, your commitment in the workplace will pay off. You just won’t know until you put the committed, consistent years in to find out.

Keep Up the Good Work,

Suzanne Breistol


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