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Some people would tell you that work is all about money.  That's what Paul Orfalea, Founder of Kinko's, a $2 billion-a-year company, shared on October 24, 2007 at the Fortune Small Business Growth Summit in Las Vegas, NV.  While I agree with many of his other gems of wisdom and those of the other 7 top-notch speakers at the summit, this is one I question.

Work, for me and for many of the people I interviewed in my "Pursuit of Passionate Purpose" research project, is about contribution, a way to make a meaningful difference, a way to pursue a passionate purpose.  Yes, I want and need to be rewarded financially, but there are other important rewards measured in terms of impact on society, personal satisfaction of a job well down, relationships with stakeholders, recognition, and more.  If work were all about money, would you find people choosing to be social workers, teachers, ministers, or other professionals with lower wages but perhaps greater meaning to them?

I recall a legendary, longitudinal study of 1500 people. Of these folks, 83% or 1245 people choose their career path based on what they believed would make them the most money and 17% or 255 people choose their career path based on what they loved.  Of the 1245 people who chose a career based on money, ultimately there was one millionaire.  Of the 255 people who chose what they loved to do, there eventually were 100 millionaires. 

The conclusion is: passion produces prosperity. If you do what is meaningful and what you love, you will get the real rewards of life -- money and much. much more. NO, it is not only about the money!

What about you?  Why are you working?  Are you working just for the money or are you interested in the friendships, meaning, fun, learning, growth, recognition, and pursuit of passionate purpose?

by Theresa M. Szczurek (