Slug: work-for-what-you-love Date: 2009-11-25 Title: Work For What You Love layout: post

So Jacob served seven years to get Rachel, but they seemed like only a few days to him because of his love for her. – Genesis 29:20

James Governor has a good post up today about his 7-year wait to acquire the redmonk.net domain (my telling of the story is over here). While I’ll try to avoid getting into a temporal loop of mutual admiration, I liked James’ post and it made me think of a principle that is both savvy business strategy and Biblically sound. Bonus!

There are things worth working - and waiting - for.

For those not raised in the Judeo-Christian tradition, Jacob was the immediate forefather of the tribes of Israel. In his youth, he fell in love with a shepherdess named Rachel. Rachel’s father, Jacob’s uncle, agreed to let Jacob marry her in exchange for 7 years of service. The story gets all kinds of complicated, but the verse above describes Jacob’s feelings on the matter. He was quite willing to put in the time and effort to achieve a goal, because it was important.

Some may chide me for “giving in” to James’ persistence in the case of redmonk.net. There are other, sound, business principles at play there, but I like thinking about this one: this was important to James, and he was willing to work for it. He wasn’t nasty about it - no threatening emails, letters, lawyers (which he probably could have better afforded). Just respect and persistence.

We don’t always get what we’re looking for, in life or in business. But if you find something important, don’t be afraid to wait for it. It doesn’t have to consume you 100%, but keep at it, you never know when the right lines are going to cross.