Why Artists Aren't Workaholics

My friend Jill was recently called a workaholic by some friends.

We love pathology tags these days, don't we? But to be fair, workaholism does exist. Remember the round-the-clock work ethic of the high-tech revolution?

Here's why Jill was called a workaholic. She just became the owner of a high-end women's clothing store in Seattle, Baby & Co. She and her team have worked extremely hard to renovate the store, update it -- and this has included many after-closing hours evenings for Jill. And remarks that go like this: "You're turning into a workaholic." (The comments alone are a whole separate discussion, don't you think?)

Anyway. Jill is not just a workaholic. She is not working at a job. She's passionately involved in and committed to her work. This is life work that is highly creative (the store is a work of art, and not just the clothes); and she has a gift for connecting with women, making them feel like they're members of something special and she inspires/mentors women to walk out of her store and into the world proudly embracing their own style and OWNING IT (a Jill motto).

Hugh MacLeod has a great cartoon about the difference between being a workaholic in a job and being passionately devoted to your life's work.

When Jill stays after work to get her new store into shape -- to be her city's most beautiful store in existence -- she's not a workaholic, she's an artist.

Are you an artist or a workaholic or just punching the clock to get to the weekend?

Which one would you most like to be?

This post is brought to you fresh on the heels of reading Seth Godin's wonderful Linchpin: Are You Indispensable? He talks in great detail about being and artist in your work and out in the world.