When I heard about Shay, I got excited and quickly booked an appointment. As an athlete, who prefers torture to relaxation, finding a massage therapist who enjoys giving the kind of pressure I prefer has proven challenging.

Having practiced massage myself, I have a special appreciation for therapists who understand the body and aren’t afraid of digging in. My friend, Susan, knows this about me, and highly recommended that I book an appointment.

After the paperwork was complete, Shay took me to her massage room and asked a few questions about my history with massage. “I used to do massage,” I said, “And, I still do, but only every now and again, and just for fun.”

“That’s what I want for myself,” she said, “I’m a deep tissue therapist. This work is hard on my body, and it won’t hold up long.”

Suddenly, I felt bad for Shay, as I envisioned her hurting her body in order to give me a massage. My excitement was replaced with feeling of guilt, and I didn’t understand why.

With plenty of knots and built-up lactic acid, my body was screaming for relief, but not on the account that she may hurt herself. I wanted her to enjoy her work, selfishly. The truth is that we want to work with and buy products/services from those who enjoy their work.

In fact, the more you love your work, the easier it is for others to share about what a pleasure it is to work with you. When you love your work it’s natural to want to keep learning, developing your skills, and gaining more experiences, making you even more valuable.

Rather than worrying about the bad things that could happen in the future, focus on loving your work. Recognize the difference it makes, and keep looking for ways to expand your skills. Your body, mind, abilities will expand to meet the joy of serving others.

When you focus, instead, on your fears, you share that energy with the folks around you, and wind up losing opportunities as a result. Share your curiosity, your interests, your passions, and watch as the doors of opportunity continue to open.

Shay is in her twenties, has a bachelor’s degree in sociology, has been doing massage for two years, and she’s incredibly talented. As a person who loves the art of massage, I get lots of questions from friends, making me an incredibly strong referral source for her.

With hands perfect for massage, and a command of the origin and insertion of muscles, I wanted to understand why she was already thinking of a career switch to writing, or becoming a professor.

“I enjoy writing,” she said.

“Do you enjoy giving massage?” I asked?

“Very much, but …”

For nearly thirty-minutes she rattled off reasons she doesn’t like doing massage – from stingy tippers, to wear and tear on her body. Yet, she loves massage, and she’s talented.

As I listened to Shay, I kept thinking about my friend and talented video editor, Shaun Callahan. As a “cutter, not a shooter,” Shaun focuses his business exclusively on the aspect of videos he most enjoys – cutting out the bad stuff so people want to watch your video.

While he could work on other aspects of video, Shaun says, “I let my clients know exactly what I can offer them – this way, neither of us are surprised, and I get to do what I love, while cutting out the crap of dealing with stingy, unorganized, clients.”

Doesn’t everyone want the pleasure of cutting out stingy clients/colleagues, and focusing the vast majority of their time with the people and projects they love?

Sure, there are parts of our jobs that we don’t like, but are there other ways of working out the knots and feeling awesome about what we do, rather than throwing in the towel and starting from scratch? I wonder what incredibly positive opportunities could open up for Shay if she stayed focused on giving her gifts, and expanding her skills and network, rather than worrying.

So, please, be selfish, and do the work you love because you want to. Opportunities will undoubtedly open up the more you focus on and share about the parts of your work you most enjoy.

Join The Conversation: Have you ever had such an awesome experience working with someone that you couldn’t help but keep going back, and referring others? What did that person do differently?


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