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|Does your work have real meaning and value?|
Or is it just about making money?...
I've started out in online marketing with a hobby website. Then realised that I can make money with it. I've continued doing that for a while with different websites on different topics I was interested in at the time. I had a real drive to do that.
The drive is now gone and my work feels meaningless even though it pays exceptionally well. All my needs are met except for my thirst for purpose and meaning.
As a result, I feel that I don't deserve all the things I could do/buy with the money that I earn, or the freedom that this job gives me because I feel that I'm not working hard enough (and by that I mean with enough meaning).
Maybe I should give away all my savings to charity and shut down all my websites and start fresh... but that seems a bit radical... or downright crazy!
I'm wondering whether other webmasters ask themselves such philosophical questions and how/if they found meaning in their work.
hairycoo, spot on. There's no more challenge in creating another content page, a 100th content page, another web site...another widget...another link...another CSS...it's all trivial.
I see a couple of ways out:
1) outsource what you do, i.e. make a real business out of it. Make sure you can have a person other than yourself running your site(s), you can pay her/him and leave some money to yourself so you can live comfortably.
2) once you are done with above, a large portion of your time can be dedicated to another project. Even to a completely different, fully offline venue.
And, as always, best thing to do is EDUCATE YOURSELF.
by that I don't necessarily mean getting a phd, it is up to you how you want to approach it.
I would start with a Happy Planet Index, and see if there are countries I haven't visited :) May be relevant to your content too, I have a friend who's writing off his trips to a paradise as business expense - all legal.
As others have said, the fact that actual people find your websites useful is the meaning of your work. And if a store clerk for example serves maybe 200 people a day, your websites probably serve thousands. However, the store clerk has two things you don't have:
-plenty of social interaction (colleagues, clients)
-a duty he/she MUST fulfill or else
In my opinion you feel lack of purpose for one of the two reasons above (or both). There could also be a third one: you don't like what you do and as a result you don't find it useful for others.
I must say I am quite familiar with the feelings you describe. What I believe helps to some degree: communicating with your online visitors, creating a community where people know who you are, address you by your first name, count on you. For example, I have a pretty popular web guide and, besides the static info provided I recently opened a discussion forum where my visitors can ask questions. Answering several questions a day is by far the most fulfilling work I do.
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