There are things in life that are hard to describe — the way you feel on a sunny day as you walk around town, or the way you absolutely love and must have your daily or weekly Starbucks run — yet these things are the small moments that make your days inordinately better. Some of these things make you want to jump out of bed in the morning and start your day — again, for me, that’s coffee. (Can you tell I adore coffee?) But there is something else that makes my days inordinately better and makes me want to jump out of bed in the morning, and I bet you won’t guess it.
I will give you a few seconds…
Yes, work — that thing most of you dread come Monday morning. And even more than work, I can’t wait to get to work so I can see my co-workers. Yes, I actually love my co-workers! (Seems a little different than the norm? I also love my in-laws; yes, I said I love my in-laws.) But should it be such a surprise to say that you love something most people hate?
Both our head of people and dean of Motley Fool University spoke at TEDx about the work/life balance and how there really isn’t so much of a line between work and life anymore. They added that our ideal of work/life balance is one that was placed on us in the 1950s and is severely outdated. And I agree. So why not make our work lives as fun as our life lives? Some of you out there may think to yourselves, “Yeah, OK, this sounds great. But I don’t think I can make it work.” Honestly, why not at least try to make it better? What’s the worst that could happen — you come out with the same situation and the same feeling you have about your job as you do right now? Surely that’s a risk you are willing to take, right?
So here’s what I can do — I will give you the recipe for what works with us. You start with a firm foundation of trust. Then you add in more trust. Layer in hard work, collaboration, and actually listening to what your co-workers say instead of just waiting to talk yourself. Sprinkle in laughter, daily — tell a joke, talk about Gossip Girl, or even about the way that one of your co-workers puts the word “the” in front of things he isn’t sure about. To top it off, you must want to help each other out. I don’t know how many times one of my co-workers has asked me, “Is there anything I can help you with or take off your plate?” And I appreciate them every time they ask.
While this is just my basic recipe, it works for us in the Culture Club. You see, at The Motley Fool, our co-workers are not just people we have to sit next to for eight hours a day — they are our work family. And if you don’t believe us, come pay us a visit sometime.