in life

No More Mondays

Word association: What’s the first thing that comes to mind when I say “Monday”?

For the overwhelming number of you out there, Monday is synonymous with the start of the work week, the end of the weekend, it’s stressful, it’s inconvenient, it’s something you dread. Right?

Every Monday I go out with friends for drinks. You may have a similar tradition with your friends. It’s a time to unwind and relax after the dreaded “first day of the work week”. And every Monday evening undoubtedly turns into a “why I hate my job” conversation for most of the people I’m with. But never for me.

Now I’m not special. I’m not unique. I’m no different than you and any one of you out there could be doing what I’m doing. Running your own business, being your own boss and having career freedom is a realistic goal, contrary to popular belief.

But I’m not going to sit here and tell you that you need to be an entrepreneur. Because you don’t. And anyone out there who tells you that you’re a sucker for staying in an office is full of shit. Those who tell you that entrepreneurship is the path to enlightenment are living in their own fantasy world. It’s only one path of many.

Every single one of you, whether you clean houses, work at an ad agency, crunch numbers, or run your own design firm – every one of you/us should be working toward one common goal:

No more Mondays.

Whatever you do to pay the rent, to put food on the table, and to save for that new iPad – it needs to be something that doesn’t  have you dreading your Monday morning commute. It needs to be something you don’t have to complain about over drinks Monday night. It needs to be something that fulfills you personally, professionally, and financially.

You need to be challenged and excited by your work – you don’t need to like it every day (I sure don’t) but you do need to love it. Your career should ignite a fire within that has you excited about waking up every morning and curious to learn what opportunities the day will bring.

With that being said, my message today is simple: If you don’t love what you do – if you find yourself dreading the alarm going off on Monday morning, find a way to make a change.

Start working not toward being an entrepreneur, not toward working from the beaches of Buenos Aires (unless that’s what you want to do) – but instead simply start working toward work that doesn’t feel like work.

No more Mondays. Who’s with me?

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32 Comments

  1. Hey Matt! Long time, no talk! It’s a small world. I was having lunch with Theresa Moretti and your name came up when we started talking about blogs and blog designs. I told her I had “met” you via #reverb10. Interesting, eh?

    So glad you’ve got Disqus back up here. Why the change? I can relate to Mondays. I don’t mind them so much as a solopreneur but I’m about to hit the job market soon (hopefully) so the perception might change but I hope not. :)

    • Hello Sukhraj! Theresa is great – small world that you two got together! I’ve actually had DISQUS here for a long time – I don’t use it on most sites and honestly, the reason it’s back is because when I removed it, every single comment was duplicated on my site and I didn’t feel like taking the time to figure out why…

      That aside, what’s inspiring the move back to the job market from being an entrepreneur, if you don’t mind me asking? And as you look, keep in mind what I said above – going back to a “9-5″ isn’t accepting defeat or anything like that, as long as you’re doing something you want to be doing. Keep working on not dreading Mondays!

      • Don’t mind at all. :) I tried to do the entrepreneur thing but couldn’t make it work. Maybe my head wasn’t in it. I like being creative. I like sitting down and helping people plan out a social media strategy. I like seeing the lightbulb go off. I like running a business too but it was stifling my creative side; causing stress so I’ve decided I’d rather be in a place where I’m still doing what I love and making money so maybe with another agency. That’s what I’m shooting for now. :)

        • Sounds awesome and sounds like you’re making the right decision. Getting more experience under your belt will never hurt, either. You can always take the leap back out to doing your own thing, if you want. :)

  2. Great post Matt! It is funny how many people complain about their jobs, yet never do anything about it. I run a company, do freelance work, and other odd jobs. I do this because I love it, and doing anything else would be miserable, making me the guy complaining about Monday.

  3. A) That beer looks delicious.
    B) I agree with the point of working towards work that doesn’t feel like work.
    C) Well said with fulfilling personally, professionally, and financially!
    D) How are things going in your neck of the woods at Proof?

    • A) Indeed
      B) Yessir.
      C) All three are important.
      D) Things are absolutely terrific with Proof my friend. No complaints at all. Life is good, work is good, and I’m learning more and more every single day.

      Hope all is well in your neck of the woods!

  4. It’s funny… I actually love Mondays because I feel refreshed, and there’s always so much new stuff to do. I hate Sundays. You know work is starting tomorrow, and it ends up being a listless day of chores, errands, and dread. I probably need to have a few beers on Sunday!

    Anyway, I agree that your work should be fulfilling, and you should believe in it, but I don’t know if you have to LOVE it. That’s a strong word. The stuff I love I will always do. I think the value in work is feeling like you’re contributing to something, you’re doing your part to make the world work, and that you feel like you’re making a difference. But you don’t have to love it.

    • Sunday’s are pretty rough – because like you said, they always end up being “chore” days.

      I think we’re saying the same thing without saying the same thing when it comes to loving your work. I love what I do, but I don’t like it every single day – there are plenty of things I’d rather not have to deal with, but it’s part of my job – but at the end of the day, I absolutely love my career and couldn’t imagine being in a better place right now. No one will ever like everything about a job, and work is still work, but as you said, believing in what you do, doing something that is fulfilling – those are all components that contribute to total career satisfaction.

      Thanks for stopping by! Long time no talk :)

      • It’s good to chat a bit! How have you been? Definitely agree on the fulfilling part. I hear so many job seekers dreamily mention how they’re looking for a job that they “love,” one that aligns with their passions. But sometimes passions and loves are okay if they’re just hobbies and aren’t at the whim of the market and money.

        Of course, sometimes they’re awesome as jobs. I mention this because I feel this way about travel writing– love to do it, do it on the side, but when it becomes my living, breathing source of income, it’s no longer fun. It’s stressful. And I end up taking lots of gnarly assignments that start to mar my love.

        Anyway, that’s just my two cents. Either way, I’m all for people loving their work!

        • Things are great in my neck of the woods, of course, nothing I do compares to the life of a mermaid. :)

          And you’re spot on – your loves and passions CAN be a part of your “work” but don’t have to be – and sometime’s it’s best to keep them separate. Some things that you’re passionate about and love need to be completely separate from the stress and tension that can happen when you incorporate them into your work.

    • True. Though since I’ve been doing my own thing the weekends and weekdays are all blurred together…I don’t always have Saturday/Sunday off like “normal job” folk do – but it IS nice to be able to take Mondays off if I’m so inclined. It’s all about the give and take :)

  5. I like Mondays- it means I am not working on the weekends! (I tend to work at least 1 weekend day, but take 1-2 days off [plus part time days] during the work week])

  6. Spot on Matt. I’ve been thinking a lot about this lately – I have goals/dreams/ambitions that I am working towards – truth is though that I need to stay in my current job in order to pay off all the debts I’ve accrued over the past few years. I have a strategy and they should be all paid off in around 2 years – but until then I have to continue in my current employment. So….I have a choice…either decide to be miserable for the next two years – hating every minute of it – or find a way to make the job enjoyable for this time. I’m still working on this – but love your concept of “no more Mondays”!

    Steve

    • It sounds like you’re being smart – and sometimes smart is, well, smarter than throwing caution to the wind for the sake of “fun”. Just make sure you continuing working toward your goals and try to have a little fun in the process :)

  7. “Find something you love to do, and you’ll never work a day in your life” – Harvey MacKay

    I’m totally with you on this… except I keep finding articles like these and get totally bummed out:

    Failed Coffee Shop: http://www.slate.com/id/2132576/

    Rant about the quote I posted above: http://blogs.forbes.com/work-in-progress/2010/09/21/bad-career-advice-do-what-you-love-and-youll-never-work-a-day/

    The general theme of both of these is that taking something you love and making it your job, potentially makes you love it a little bit less. That being said, I think both of these are assuming one is attempting to start their own business with said “thing they love.” I like that you suggest that working for the man is OK too. This is a very good point, because not all of us were cut out to be business owners. If you love what you do and you’re working for a good company, it doesn’t really matter.

    I thnk a lot of the folks who are burned out, talking crap about work after (well, and during) hours don’t always dislike *what they do* but rather *who they are doing it for*. I’ve been there. Found an awesome career, looked forward to each day, and one day BAM! Ownership changed and it all went down hill from there. In my case “the change” could simply be moving to another company doing similar work. Perhaps that would be the solution for others as well?

    – DC

    • Great point here. Many (many) people struggle simply with who they work for – At our core, I think we all desire to do meaningful work, work that we can claim ownership of and work that matters. If you’re working for a company that basically neuters your ideas and stifles your creativity, you’ll never thrive and be what you can be (at your best).

      Thanks for inspiring a couple new ideas for posts. Cheers!

  8. In the NYTimes section The Corner Office – they interview executives. One said that to combat the dreaded Mondays, they have in-office parties. So instead of Fridays, they choose Monday. But my question is – What about Tuesdays now? Will Tuesdays become Mondays in that office? I think it was a lame attempt, once again, at employers trying to build morale in the worst ways possible.

    • Agreed. Super lame. Having a party on a Monday to skirt around people not liking Monday’s? You got it right, employees will just start hating Tuesdays. Instead of inventing gimmicks to enhance employee moral, business owners need to think about the core culture of their company, and how they can first start there – focusing on creating an environment that employees want to be a part of, one that ignites creativity and ingenuity.

  9. Awesome post Matt! I completely agree with the way you’ve laid everything out here. I’m a corporate man myself (with the spirit of an entrepreneur living inside me) and I am excited about Mondays because it’s a chance to kick off the week to a great start. People spend a good portion of their lives at work, so it’s best to enjoy it!

  10. I am sooooooooooo with you! Life really is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it (anon). I went from several years trying to remain “self-employed” but finally took an “Office” job. I was actually attacked on Twitter by a local ‘entrepreneur’ for commenting that I was so happy it was payday and this beat my free-lance lifestyle – working invoice to (late) invoice. Love your line: “And anyone out there who tells you that you’re a sucker for staying in an office is full of shit.” I am just happy to be employed and enjoy my day job – which doesn’t define my life or my worth. I actually like Mondays … it’s Tuesdays I have trouble with.

  11. “You donu2019t need to like it every day (I sure donu2019t) but you do need to love it. Your career should ignite a fire within that has you excited about waking up every morning and curious to learn what opportunities the day will bring.”nABSOLUTELY! It’s all about passion! There will be hard days and frustrations and stresses no matter what you do to make money (or what you do in any capacity really). But that passion and fire within you must be there for your job to feel, well, not like a job. :)