Wake up to your life. It’s time to make a ruckus at work.
Hi friends, new and old, after 10 years of soulful wrestle, iteration and innovation, I’m excited to announce the release of my new book. Fire your boss-discovering work you love without quitting your job is about becoming wholehearted. Yes it’s about work, and it’s about living true in all that you create in the world. Check it out on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and others.
PS-Join my analog snail mail 2020 experiment.
Aaron McHugh (00:00): Friends, welcome to Work Life Play. I'm your host, Aaron McHugh. I'm here to help you find work you love, learn to play, live adventurously, become curious, and live your life with joy and purpose. Ready, Set, Go.
(00:30): Friends welcome to another episode of Work Life Play. Yeah, I know it's been a while. The truth is, I have been hard at work, and the short version is I've got something really fun to share with you today that is a reflection of that hard work. So about 18 months ago when I signed a book contract, Th agent I was working with Alex, great dude. He had said, Hey, you know that that core idea that you've been incubating this idea of firing your boss, He said, You know, I really like that core idea, but it's not really a book. It's, it's more of a core idea. It's something like a short story. Do you have more stories you could tell? And I was like, Man, I, yeah, I think I do. So we went about the process of trying to write a book proposal, finished that, and started sending it out, I guess it would be about two years ago right now.
(01:43): And after somewhere in the neighborhood of like 15 or 16 “No’s” from publishers, all of the usual big publishing houses, the usual suspects that you might think of he came back and said, “You know, we're not making it very far. We're not, we're not, we're hearing lots of the same kind of feedback. Like, yeah, there's stuff like this. We've seen it before. We are contracted with somebody else who has something similar”, or whatever it was. And so I told Alex, I said, You know what? It's not near enough “no”s. We need way more “no”s. There was this guy I worked with like, I don't know, 20-something years ago when I was in sales, early, my first sales job. And back in the day you'd have a phone book, literally like “phone book”, flip through the white pages, call businesses, cold, call them, and he would call one, get a no hang up, slam the phone down fire off some expletives, and then he would dial for the next number.
(02:42): And so I asked this guy, I think his name was Todd, like, Todd, what are you doing? He's like, Dude, there's a yes in this phone book somewhere. So I told that story to Alex and said, You know, in the spirit of Todd, I'm sure there's a yes out there somewhere. So God bless Alex, he went fishing for the yes. And we found a yes in our partner Post Hill Press, which is an imprint of Simon Schuster, a big publishing house. And so about April-ish, I guess that would've been 2018, we signed a contract to go about writing this book, which is titled, Fire Your Boss, Discovering Work that You Love Without Quitting Your Job. And the reality is, is that when I actually sat down to write the book based on this core idea that I've been incubating for the last 10 years, I found that none of the content I originally wrote on this short story along the way, this manifesto I had written a number of years ago, it just wasn't fitting.
(03:49): And the person that I've become as I've aged and matured, I've developed a new language to realize actually what I was always after. And what I was always after in this story was how do I find more joy? How do I show up to work more wholeheartedly? How do I integrate deep meaning and purpose and creativity and innovation and intimacy and, and adventure? And how do I take this heretical part about me that just doesn't really love rules, but really loves what we can create when we define a world we wanna live in? And so I embarked on this writing process of writing what Seth Godin and others have now called a seductive, subversive practical book. So it comes out on January 14th, and I know you haven't heard from me on the podcast in quite some time. And in the spirit of Essentialism, Greg McEwens work, The Disciplined Pursuit of Less, I chose this last year to do less but to do what I was working on better.
(05:09): And as a result, that meant I had to put my head down. I traveled for 38 weeks in 2019 for work and was with clients all 38 of those weeks. And so when it came time for evenings and weekends and holidays, I just didn't have a lot of margin and I had to invest that margin into creating this book. So this book is about waking up to your life. It's about making a ruckus at work. And after 10 years of this story in me incubating and marinating and churning it over this kind of soulful wrestle, I found that this, I'm so proud of this. There are so many rich, amazing stories. I have a friend who's a New York Times bestselling author, and we had lunch right before Christmas. I had sent him an electronic manuscript, and when we were standing in line, I didn't actually expect him to be reading it.
(06:10): And he mentioned, he's like, Man, I really love your book. You're a great writer and a great storyteller. So with tears in my eyes welling up, I was like, Really? Do you really think so? He's like, Yeah, dude, this is really good. So what I'm hearing is a resounding yes, it is soulfully really good. And if you're looking for a way in 2020 to find more joy in your life, if you've kind of tried, you know, all that, the career books that are out there, or life and purpose books. I think what's unique about this book that I've birthed and created here is it's less of a punch list of things to do. And it's more of an invitation into transformation, into deep heart, body, mind, and soul transformation so that we can chart a new life-giving course for a career in our life.
(07:13): And a quick punchline for you is it turns out that in order to be wholehearted, our heart and our mind have to become friends. They have to talk, they have to be like in union together. And for me personally, what that also looks like is that in my life with God, that we're we're always in conversation together about what's happening, about what's coming up. So in this new story that I have to tell, it's this convergence. It's this convergence of actually doing the more courageous, brave, hard work about discovering who you are, what makes you tick, what actually brings you joy, and decoupling that right immediately from what jobs you should have or where should you go. But starting with the job that you already have, with the life that you already have, Rob Bell says that the life you want, you know, the work that you want in the world starts with the next step, and it starts with the life that you already have.
(08:19): So what you'll find is, as I advocate for authenticity and showing up to your life as you have it today, that it's about getting out of your own way. It's about defining the things that originally started to make you tick in the beginning. What drove your heart? What, what difference did you want to make in the world before like adult vocabulary, like responsibility and you know, a mortgage entered into your yeah, your, your roles and responsibilities in your life. What is it that got you out of bed back then? And so for so many of us along the way, what started with that glimmer and sparkle in our eye just somehow kind of fades. It can fade to the good enough. Sometimes it can fade until some part of us atrophies or gets left behind. And so often it's less about what we're doing in the world.
(09:25): And so often it's about how we're doing it. And so this book is about reclaiming the how about reclaiming this art of living, of how do we actually show up into our lives fully awake, fully alive? And yes, it's about work. This book is in the context of work, but for most of us as adults, it's where we spend most of our life during these years, these particular years. And so it becomes the hub of the wheel. And what's important to me is to use work as the way in which we navigate together to unlock these deeper truths about actually recognizing the patterns that keep us stuck and what's holding us back, What's in our way. And a lot of that it's about reclaiming what actually brings us life. What would a life look like, what would work look like, where you wanted to jump out of bed every day?
(10:31): And that's the journey that we're on. So the book is available now for pre-order anywhere you find books, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and all those good places. And what's really important is publishers care a lot about presales. I know that the long game is over the course of this next year and coming years as I have the opportunity to share the story of this book. That's what will really matter over time. And there's a way that the world works. And the way the world works is publishers are looking for what already has momentum. So my ask for you is, if you've found value in this journey that we've been on together here at Work Life Play, if you've listened to podcasts before, I've had a number of people come up and ask, like, whether email or in person I run into, “Man, what happened to your podcast?”
(11:24): Are you gonna re you gonna do it again? Yes, I'm gonna do it again. I promise. So if you've ever found encouragement and value in this relationship, this thing that we do together here on the podcast or on my writings on the blog at aaronmchugh.com, then I would ask you to treat my book like a Kickstarter campaign that is just like when you fund things you believe in you know, it's like fine art when you actually are saying, you know what, like, my wife, for instance, doesn't read books like physical books and she's actually reading it. So she's, she's a good litmus test that she's like, I'm actually reading it and enjoying it. And what my point in that is saying is that a lot of times people, like I'm looking to have this release later this year in an audible version of the book for audio.
(12:14): So a buddy of mine wrote in recently and just said, “Hey, when's this coming out in audio? I don't read books.” And I said, “You know what? Consider the paperback and the Kindle version your Kickstarter campaign for the audible version that you desire.” Cuz that's just how the world works. So the way that we can get it into audio and the way that we can have ideas that are, that will spread ideas that will actually make a difference in a real human's life and hope is a beautiful, beautiful thing. And hope takes stories like these to often get rekindled. And so my hope for you is that you will find more life in this book, in these stories, and that you will wake up more fully to your life, to experience more joy and purpose and connection and intimacy and play and adventure. And in the end, happiness is an inside job and has very little to do with our circumstances.
(13:18): And for many of you that know me, I have had a long list of circumstances that were really, really, really challenging. And what I discovered along the way was that as soon as I made those internal shifts in my own personal transformation and my own restoration of my heart, then all of a sudden the challenges of my circumstances became less. And that's been a massive shift for me to be able to now do the work that I do in the world. So aaronmchugh.com, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and all the places where you would find books would love for you to join us on this journey. And two last thoughts are when the book comes out on January 14th, I will also be starting through the course of 2020 two projects. One is a book tour where I'll be going city to city.
(14:16): And what I'm really looking for there is we have some upcoming dates we're looking at for Denver and for Dallas, and looking into some LA dates, maybe even some New York dates, is bringing it to life with real people. And so what I envision that to be as a popery sample of everything from bookstores to living rooms to the back of a tailgate on a truck in a joy bucket and firing up a brew some coffee. So what I'd love to do is I care more about the impact and about life-on-life change and actually about real humans more than I care about big metrics and those kinds of things. And I'm also convinced that the way that ideas spread is by making real change happen and real transformational experientially happen. And then of course, then remarkable stories get told about, “Man, you should check this out because look what happened.”
(15:22): So I'm looking at my office, I have a shelf full of some key books like that that have changed my life, and it was so much about the heart of the author that came alive in the book itself. And that's what I've learned to really love about the books is that they just have a physical weightiness to 'em, a permanence to them, especially in this digital age. And the second thing I'll mention to you in close is that I'm starting another project in 2020 and I'll just call it my analog snail mail project. So everything that we do these days is so focused digitally that I really believe it's important to reclaim just the analog life that we left behind. Special things like getting a letter from a friend. Like do you remember what that was like? Did you ever have a pen pal?
(16:12): Go to summer camp and your pen pal, like after you met, you'd trade addresses and some letter would show up a few weeks or months later. Man, I remember that. I remember like, you know, I, I still write notes to my wife today, but we keep these notes and there's something about things living in physical form. There's a friend that I've been on his newsletter for probably, I don't even know, 15 years or something. And once a month they send a paper, copy a letter, and it's literally a letter from a friend. And I keep them, I keep him as bookmarks, not every single one of them, but there are core ideas that I just love. I get to, I'm a marinate, I've realized. So I get to go back and marinate in these ideas and concepts because they're in front of me.
(16:59): And so what I will be doing with Work Life Play here is, and have already launched this and have lots of people signed up already, is if you go to my site, you'll find there's an opt-in for your contact details. And with that is then the snail mail project that you'll be able to include your mailing address, and I'll at least have it quarterly throughout this next year. But my plan is to introduce tangible things and then ideas that need some more room in your life that the digital just won't do full service. It isn't to say they won't also live digitally, but if you could use a letter from a friend mixed in with all that junk mail you get that is something actually really meaningful, then I'd invite you to join me. So lots of fun things upcoming this year, and I'm excited to break radio silence here as well. And for those of you that we've been doing this together for a while, yeah, thank you, and bless you. And as always, let's keep going.
(18:08): You've been listening to Work Life Play. If you like what you've heard, please do us a favor and rate us on iTunes. It really does help. You can get more information about this in other episodes at aaronmchugh.com. Thanks for listening. Thanks for being part of this adventure, for being part of braving the pioneering work of discovering sustainable Work Life Play rhythms, love your work, live your life, and play a whole lot more. I'm Aaron McHugh. Keep going.
*We've done our best for this transcription to accurately reflect the conversation. Errors are possible. Thank you for your patience and grace if you find errors that our team missed.
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