Mary Kay Buysse’s What Makes Work Worth It Story

Mary Kay Buysse is with the National Association of Senior Move Managers and here is her story.

As a non-profit trade association, we essentially have two customers: 1) our dues-paying members who are professional Senior Move Managers, and 2) the older adult clients and family members whom our members serve. My colleague, Jennifer Pickett, and I, are deeply invested in the success of our members – all of whom are entrepreneurial small business owners.

Senior Move Management is only 10 years old, so these individuals are also pioneers in a new and emerging field. It’s relatively easy for us to support and advocate for our 750+ members, because we truly believe in the growing need for Senior Move Management. Ten thousand Baby Boomers will turn 65 in the U.S. every day for the next two decades! Families are scattered, and they are also much smaller. In most families, everyone is working or attending school. Few persons are able to assist an aging relative as they may have in the past. Many older adults have never married or had children. Who will help Mom or Grandma with moving from her home of 40 or 50 years into a 400-square foot assisted living apartment? Enter Senior Move Management!

What makes work worth it? All of it! We love shepherding prospective Senior Move Managers from their initial phone inquiries to launching their businesses, training them, helping them through their first Senior Move jobs, watching the businesses grow to the point of adding staff, encouraging them to attend the Annual Conference, or to serve on a NASMM committee. We are truly gratified to see our work play out in this way. We tell our members all the time, “YOUR success is OUR business.”  We enjoy facilitating best practices among our members, providing ongoing professional development, and initiating new member services to enhance the NASMM membership experience. We take enormous pride in making NASMM our members’ professional home.

It’s also exhilarating to field a phone call or email from a potential consumer of Senior Move Management services – perhaps an adult daughter who is completely overwhelmed by the prospect of downsizing and moving her Mom and Dad. She dreads the prospect of using her precious vacation time to travel to her childhood home to clean out kitchen cabinets and basement shelves. When we tell her we can offer her several referrals to Senior Move Managers in the area, she is absolutely ecstatic. You can actually hear the anxiety in her voice melt away. So, yes, we are passionate about Senior Move Management. It’s fun to be part of something new and so very needed.  We enjoy brokering between people who need Senior Move Management and others who actually provide the services. In association work, we are mentors, marketers, educators, and more. No two days are the same, and that’s just the way we like it.

Wendy Merron’s What Makes Work Worth It Story

Wendy Merron is with The Center of Success and and here is her story.

Wow. No one has ever asked me what makes it worth it for me. Thanks for the opportunity to share my thoughts. Here’s my list (not necessarily in order because every day is different).

  1. I get a high when a client experiences an “aha moment”, and realizes that they have learned something profound about themselves that can improve their life.
  2. Helping my clients makes me feel that I am doing something worthwhile. Whether my client wants to get over a fear of speaking, feel more confident, or learn how to direct his thoughts to achieve his sales, life, or performance goals, I love the feeling I get from helping. (My earlier career in the financial field never made me feel as if I was doing anything useful. It was good to make money for my clients, but I never got a warm fuzzy feeling when I thought about it.)
  3. One of the biggest benefits of having my own business is that I can pick and choose who I want to work with and spend time with. I believe we really are “who we hang out with”, and I’ve become a much better person because of the people I spend time with.
  4. Being my own boss means that there is no one to squelch my creativity.
  5. Teaching people how to direct their thoughts to improve their life has become a huge passion for me. Every time I teach, I learn more. What can be better than this?
  6. There is always more to learn, experience, and do. The status quo is ALWAYS improving and growing.

Jeanne Bliss’ What Makes Work Worth It Story

Jeanne Bliss is the founder of CustomerBLISS and here is her story.

My great joy is in turning on the “aha” light with leaders on why and how they can drive profitability through focusing on customers and employees as the asset of their business. In that instant, when that light goes on – it’s all worth it. But, then we go further and translate that passion to action. Then that action into results. I’m a cat herder, and when you help an organization herd their cats to get everyone focused in the right direction – there’s nothing like it in the world!

Jim Sweeney’s What Makes Work Worth It Story

Jim Sweeney is the head of Big Daddy Marketing & Minuteman Press-Bay Area and here is his story.

The self serving part of this is the lifestyle that comes from successful entrepreneurship. These businesses have allowed us to raise three beautiful daughters, support them at times, now employ 2 of them, and remain a relevant consistent presence in their lives; (and now our 1st grandbaby with #2 is on the way). While we are certainly not “wealthy”, we can pretty much do what we want, when we want. There is no better feeling than that. The reason we do what we do every day (including the staff, because we discuss this), is because what we do helps our clients grow their businesses, or our non-profit clients serve those less fortunate in the community. This creates more jobs in the area and helps all of us in the end, because in a small way, this also affects the quality of life in the area; (higher purpose).

An unexpected side benefit has recently come to the surface. We (Jane and I personally + our staff), are now mentoring a new screen print shop started by a local ministry.  The shop’s purpose is to get kids off the street and employ them in something meaningful. The young men (they are starting an embroidery business for the girls and women), are required to take personal finance, parenting, and Bible study classes as a condition of employment. These are mostly young people who would otherwise be unemployable. We’ve had the boys to our shop for an orientation and we’ve been mentoring them and assisting with the startup. There is no way I could take the time to do that if I were working for someone, nor would I have acquired the skills to help them start and organize the company, without the 18 years experience that I’ve gained by running my own printing, and now internet marketing company. It’s the things that we get to do now that we didn’t even understand back then, that make all of this worthwhile.

Guy Kawasaki’s What Makes Work Worth It Story

Guy Kawasaki is the co-founder of Alltop and here is his story. 

I work to support my family. I do what it takes so that they can have happy and healthy lives. I’m less concerned about what makes me happy compared to what makes them happy.

Jason Falls’ What Makes Work Worth It Story

Jason Falls is the CEO of Social Media Explorer and here is his story.  

When I see the light bulb go off in someone’s eyes – that moment – that makes it worth it. Sure, I get paid to do what I do, but when someone “gets it” for the first time and I had something to do with that – very cool.  Work?

Oli Garder’s What Makes Work Worth It Story

Oli Garder is the co-founder of Unbounce and here is his story.

One of the biggest kicks I get from work is seeing the range of positive responses we get from customers. I find it a big driver in keeping momentum going; and it’s a great way to grow the validation that what we’re doing is right. The knock-on effect of that being great employee retention. When the team gets to hear a customer loves what they just built, it makes coming to work that much better for everyone. And, of course, making bucket loads of cash in the process (kidding – we’re still a startup).

Roy Llera’s What Makes Work Worth It Story

Roy Llera is a photographer and here is his story.

First of all, it makes me happy! As a portrait/wedding photographer, I feel a great sense of excitement connecting with my clients knowing that I am capturing their story. A story that will resonate with those involved as it will bring back memories of moments experienced in this time, but also with future generations who will observe with curiosity and delight those that contribute to who they are today. In telling that story of a family, a wedded couple, a newborn with loving parents ~ I am totally immersed in their moments and the knowing that what I photograph will be a legacy that I have with thousands of clients. Then seeing the reactions of my clients when joy is expressed, and happy tears fall as they relive these moments, I realize that I have been fortunate enough to have been doing this for 30+ years. I’m still going strong at 54 and loving every minute of it!


Second, it allows me the opportunity to take care of my loved ones. As a parent and husband, to fulfill my responsibility in being a provider and nurturing future lives in finding their full potential is one I take very seriously. It shows my sons that finding a passion and then being able to live that passion in one’s work is a gift for them to witness. These are just my thoughts and I am sure there are more ~ but these two points are primary.

Katie Griffin’s What Makes Work Worth It Story

Katie  Griffin is the founder of KGVisions and here is her story.

Although I’ve only been in business for a little over three months now, I’ve been doing this kind of work as an employee for other companies for over 15 years. What used to make the work worth it was mostly the paycheck. I always appreciated moving up in the company because I really did see it as recognition of my abilities, and of course, the higher pay. These days the work I do is worth it because I feel such a sense of self accomplishment. When my clients are writing testimonials that are just so sincere and wonderful about my work, and they go on to refer their clients to me, it’s the greatest recognition of all. I love being my own boss and being able to work as much or as little as I want to. My creativeness is executed the way I want it to be, and collaboration with my client makes for a win-win situation. Granted there’s no ladder to climb this time around, but the moving on up is still a possibility, and more so a reality.

Finally, what makes the work I do worth it, I get to talk to people all over the U.S. and Canada and come across some really fantastic souls. It’s a reminder to me every day that everybody out there is working at something and has their own life. I find we can get wrapped up in the minutia of our day to day. Talking to people throughout two of the most prosperous countries in the world and having a moment into their busy lives, reminds me that there is so much more out there than just me and what I do. It’s really a humbling experience. Thanks for asking the question!

Renee Schofield’s What Makes Work Worth It Story

Renee Schofield is with TSS, Inc. and here is her story.

Every day, I have the opportunity to create positive change in someone’s life. I get to help folks achieve success through interaction in their hiring process, safety engineering for current employees, or training processes. I’ve been so fortunate to find a line of “work” that allows me autonomy to be heavily involved in community; giving back to the very people that pay me to do something I’d do anyway. We all work for the benefit of having money, but I am thrilled to have something that matters to me and to others in a big way. It’s not about the money, it’s about the people. Taking good care of each other is truly what matters at the end of the day.