Love What You Do Rather Than Do What You Love

When I was a young lad I worked as a gas pump jockey. For those who are too young to know what that is… it was before the industry was taken over by the self-serve pumps. I have often thought back to those glorious days because I loved the job! It had little to do with splashing gas on my shoes or making change for a $7.60 fill-up with a customer’s $10.00 bill. I loved to tell jokes except I didn’t know very many good ones and not many people have the time to listen to a joke. However, pumping gas gave me 120 seconds of time to a captive audience… one by one. I could tell the same joke over and over again, all day long and get 65 to 125 one-on-one laughs. It was awesome!

I found that focusing on keeping others happy is actually the key to keeping me happy in whatever I’m doing. Being in the service industry doesn’t mean you are required to keep the customer happy but you do GET to keep the customer happy. It is one of life’s greatest calling and maybe even life’s ONLY calling. Serving people; making others happy by easing their load or solving their problem should produce a thrill up everyone’s leg. If it doesn’t, you’re not going to be very useful or maybe even happy in this world.

Many years later in graduate school, we studied human resource management and development. One part of the study was the art of keeping people motivated at their job and career placement. The science of career placement and motivation is primarily focused on keeping the employee ‘happy’. It covers a whole host of various benefits: safety, pay structure, holidays, challenges, authority, bonuses and coffee… on and on and on. Nearly all the focus was on what ‘they’ (the employee) received.

Reflecting on my specific experience it seems a little narcissistic to develop a work atmosphere of keeping employees happy rather than keeping customers happy. Don’t get me wrong, I know the benefit of happy employees… it results with supposedly happy customers… who return for our services… so we can make more money for ourselves. Nope! It still comes out selfish. (I know my sarcasm is over simplifying the human resource industry your honor but allow me a little latitude as I work my way back to my original point.)

So, what comes first? Is it the chicken or the egg? Is it happy employees or happy customers?

I would say developing a personal attitude of service to all those around me comes first. I am responsible for my behavior and usually, co-workers will eventually model what I do. If we act selfishly, eventually so will those around us and selfishness will always work its way towards our customers.

The honor of serving others is the highest and noblest of all personal callings. It embodies civilizations’ truest destiny. When horrendous tragedy strikes a person or family, burdensome enough to sink one or all into deep depression, the most productive of all remedies is for the victim to serve others, work, volunteer and help those who are in need around them. It can be humanities most potent opioid.

Trucking is a service industry. We pick up loads from people who need it shipped and bring it to people who are in need of receiving it. The service is designed to make all three parties better off; those who want it gone, those who need to receive it and those who serve both.

Instead of doing what YOU love, learn to LOVE what you do. Find a way to make other lives better. It’s infinitely easier to get paid to serve others than to find someone who will pay YOU for what you want. It’s also way more satisfying.

Self-esteem and happiness is not built by acquiring a bunch of stuff you want. In fact, wealthy people are disproportionately plagued with unhappiness and discontentment. However, those who learn to give to others and truly serve others end up with the greatest sense of self-value. It really doesn’t even matter WHAT service they perform, just so long as they see their own contribution to others. You don’t have to perform open heart surgery and save a life to serve your fellow man. Sometimes solving someone’s problem, providing a slap on the back, a compliment, a smile or joke can produce the highest value.

What I’ve learned is, it’s not about what you can give me… it’s about what I can provide you!

About the Author:
Robert D. Scheper is a leading Accountant and Consultant to the Lease/Owner operator industry in Canada. His first book in the Making Your Miles Count series “taxes, taxes, taxes” was released in 2007. His firm exclusively serves Lease/Owner Operators across Canada. His second book “Choosing a Trucking company” is the most in-depth analysis of the operator industry available today. He has a Master degree (MBA) in financial management and has been serving the industry since he and his wife came off the road in 1993. His dedication, commitment and strong opinions can be read and heard in many articles and seminars.

You can find him and his books at or 1-877-987-9787. You can also e-mail him at

About Robert Scheper

Robert D Scheper operates an accounting and consulting firm in Steinbach, Manitoba. He has a Masters Degree in Business Administration and is the author of the Book “Making Your Miles Count: taxes, taxes, taxes” (now available on CD). You can find him at and or at 1-877-987-9787. You can e-mail him at: