Darryl Stewart
By Darryl Stewart
Picture of workers towing a car stuck in mud

The dirty jobs philosophy of success

Mike Rowe, host of “Dirty Jobs” on the Discovery Channel, gave a TED talk in 2008.

He talks about what is wrong with the common adage “if you want to succeed, follow your passion.”  He reflects on a pig farmer in Las Vegas who uses casino food scraps to feed his pigs and how this smelly man has become a multi-millionaire.

“He stepped back, watched where everyone else was going, and he went the other way,” says Rowe.  He goes on to say how well adjusted and happy many of his dirty jobs subjects are and how not many of them “followed their passions.”

This is the story of many of us at IBEX (including me).  A biologist doing HR, a social worker leading customer service, a football coach systems expert, a certified CPA doing advanced customer support, a bank manager doing accounting and an electrical engineer payroll expert  – all led by a computer geek with no formal business or leadership background.  Not the group you would expect to find happily building a successful payroll company.  None of us followed our passion to success.  We found success in our passion for helping others.

Maybe success lies not in what you do, but in why you do it.