So why did I start The Grind? I’ve been getting that question a lot lately.
There are a couple of easy answers that are usually my go to’s.
I love podcasts; and public radio before that. I used to ask my mom to switch from the Top 40 station to NPR in the car. In college, I saw Ira Glass live in concert and worked the 3-5 am shift at my college radio station. I spent the summer after my freshman year driving across the country recording my magnum opus audio documentary about...wait for it...Understanding America (and then, I spent the next year editing 70 hours of random mini-disk tape I got all over the country). You get the point.
I also love learning new things and teaching other people things that I know. I’ve worked in education in some shape or form my whole professional life from camp counselor, to SAT tutor, to 5th grade teacher, and now to education consultant. I believe that a human’s natural state is growth and that everyone is capable of transformation. So starting a podcast that helps me learn about work, and hopefully helps others do the same, is a natural fit.
But the last reason is more difficult to explain. The thing is, I actually love to work.
Now let’s be clear about the terminology. I don’t love “jobs” like a labor economist does or seeking my “calling” or the “future of work”. These things are all exciting, worthy of discussion, and stuff that we will in fact, cover on The Grind, but I seriously just love to work.
I love brainstorming new ideas with a group of strangers. I love to write those ideas in wild configurations on whiteboards. I love triumphantly slamming my hand on my desk after cracking a problem that were keeping me up at night. I love seeing the feeling of pride on a colleague's face when they do the same.
Dude, I even love conference calls, powerpoint and emails.I mean how cool does it feel to be sending little thoughts and ideas all around the world while sitting in a coffee shop in Fremont. I love working hard. I love getting things done. I love getting better at things. I love how that makes me feel at the end of the day. Work gives me purpose. It’s one of the reasons I was put on this earth. That’s what The Grind means to me.
For many years, I’ve apologized for loving work. I’ve tried to pretend that I didn’t. I’ve tried to find a work-life balance (whatever that is). I’ve even taken classes to help me work less. It felt like it was ok for a painter or writer to love their job but somehow strange if I did.
But I don’t apologize anymore. I love to work. I’ll own that.
BUT, I’ve also realized that the reason that I love to work is that I’ve always been incredibly lucky. I’ve had options. I’ve been lucky to have jobs that have allowed me to do work that I found challenging and meaningful, with people I’ve liked, who took the time to help me to be better. Yeah, I’ve “grinded” to make the most of those chances but I’ve been given every opportunity.
AND I’ve also realized that some, in fact most people, don’t get so lucky. They don’t get lucky because they didn’t grow up in the “right” neighborhoods (or countries), go to the “right schools” or just know the “right people”. Because finding work like I’ve found isn’t about being the smartest or the hardest working, it’s about understanding how “work” works - the rules, the language, the etiquette. And I find that incredibly messed up. Because I know how good it can be. It should be.
If you love something, you want to share it with everyone you know. I want everyone to find work they love. That’s why I started The Grind.
So what’s the point of this blog? Like good podcasters, we’ve tried to keep our episodes short and centered on our amazing, and let’s face it, far more interesting, characters and guests. But there are more conversations to be had. This blog is for having those conversations.
Thanks for coming on this journey with us and inspiring us to put in the work.