used with mobile nav - no delete
Don't Wait for Work You Love

Don't Wait for Work You Love

By Sam Horn

Comments from Mary Verstraete: Those of you who know me, know that I admire Sam Horn. I had the privilege being in a mentoring relationship with her and it was transformational for my life.

CCE gives her book, "Got Your Attention," as a gift to our trainees at all of our trainings ...why? Her insight and skill is highly beneficial and CCE wants to pass it along, and in addition, she is an amazing model of a career professional with utmost compassion, genuineness, and sincerity. The highest compliment that graces her: Trustworthy.

Enjoy the excerpt from Sam's article.

People talk about finding their calling … as if it exists out there somewhere, intact, and all they have to do is look long enough and EUREKA, there it will be, hiding behind a tree.

I think our calling more often emerges from doing and pursuing things that matter to us. It is a result of acting on what calls us.


Some people tell me they wish they could have a career like mine. I tell them to stop wishing and waiting ... and start creating work they love.


They often push back with, "I agree with that in theory, but HOW do I do it in practice?"

I share the backstory of how I got into this career when I didn't even know it was a career. I am doing work I didn’t even know existed when I was in college. There was no major in this. No degree in it. No newspaper ads featuring this as a job description. There was no map, no instructions, no directions.

I just navigated my way to my ideal work/life by honoring The Three I’s: 



Instincts        Interests        Integrity 



The work I'm doing is an accumulation of intuitive steps I took along the way. When I didn’t know what to do, I checked in with my Three I’s and they pointed me in the right direction.

Here's what I mean. When I speak for companies and conferences, people often come up afterward and say some version of this: “It looks like you really enjoy what you do. I wish I could do work I loved. How'd you get started in this?”

Here’s how I got started creating my ideal career ... and how you can too.

Years ago, I was reading The Washington Post and noticed that the word “concentration” was used six times on the front page of the sports section.



  • Tennis player Chrissie Evert said her ability to concentrate and stay focused despite the planes flying overhead was why she’d been able to win the U.S. Open.
  • A golfer who missed a gimme putt on a sudden death playoff hole said he’d lost his concentration because of the clicking cameras of nearby photographers.
  • A baseball manager blamed his team’s 7-game losing streak on the fact that players were thinking ahead to the playoffs instead of concentrating on that day’s game.


I was intrigued. (I’ve since come to understand that when we’re intrigued, opportunity is knocking on our heart.) 

I thought, “We all wish we could concentrate better but no one ever teaches us how. Concentration is key to just about everything – success in business, relationships, sports and life – but I’ve never seen any books on this topic. I’ve never heard any speakers on this subject. And it matters.”

This topic interested me. I felt it was an important personal and professional skill that would benefit people, so it was in alignment with my integrity. And my instincts were telling me there was a commercial need for this and people would pay to learn how to do it better.

So, I decided to do a deep dive into the topic of concentration, focus and flow. I interviewed athletes, artists, executives, inventors, entrepreneurs and “everyday people” to glean their insights and examples. Sample questions included:

  • How did you learn to concentrate?
  • What do you do to stay focused even when you’re busy, distracted, or tired?
  • How do you motivate yourself to focus when you don’t feel like it?
  • How do you regain your concentration if you lose it?
  • Do you have any special techniques you use to set up flow and to s-t-r-e-t-c-h your attention span?

Based on my research; I developed a step-by-step approach on how to pay attention–no matter what–and offered it for Washington DC’s Open University.

At the end of the program, several people came up to ask if I would speak for their conference or company.

That one workshop launched a rewarding career that has taken me around the world and given me blessed opportunities to do work I love that matters with people I enjoy and respect. It even resulted in a book called ConZentrate that’s been featured on Diane Rehm’s popular NPR show, taught at NASA and endorsed by Stephen Covey and Dr. Ed Hallowell ( a leading expert on A.D.D.)

What’s this got to do with you? Would you like to do work that matters to you and to others?

Just ask yourself:

  • What do I find intriguing?
  • What interests me?
  • What is something that calls to me, that I think is in integrity because it would benefit people and add value for them?
  • What is a problem, need or opportunity that has caught my attention and my instincts are telling me, ‘Somebody should DO something about that?”
Please understand . . . you’re as much a somebody as anybody. Why don’t you do something about it? 

Choosing to pursue opportunities that are alignment with your Three I’s can create a deeply satisfying career as an IDEApreneur where the light is on in your eyes.

From now on, remember, work we love is not out there waiting. It’s a result of us creating. Pay attention to what honors your Instincts, Interests, and Integrity. Then, get busy doing and pursuing what matters to you.



If you want specific next steps on how to do this, check out Sam's system IDEApreneur: Monetize Your Mind, which provides a step-by-step road map for how to earn a good living (literally and figuratively) and get paid to do the work you love.

Sam Horn, Intrigue Expert, TEDx speaker, author of IDEApreneurTongue Fu! and Washington Post bestseller Got Your Attention? has the best of all worlds doing work she loves, speaking for such clients as National Geographic, Boeing, Cisco, Capital One, writing books and blogs that add value, and helping consulting clients craft one-of-a-kind projects that scale their impact – for good.

Want more stories and insights on how to create life/work you love?  Email to receive weekly updates and interviews (no spam ever!) with people who love their life/work.

Posted by Permission.