Are You a Paycheck Player?

One of my favorite scenes from Jerry McGuire:

Jerry: Alright. Here’s why you don’t have your ten million dollars yet. You are a paycheck player. You play with your head. Not your heart. In your personal life? Heart. But when you get on the field — you’re a businessman. It’s wide-angle lenses and who fucked you over and who owes you for it. That’s not what inspires people. I’m sorry, but that’s the truth, can you handle it? Just a “question,” Rod. Between friends.

I’ve always hated sports analogies because frankly, I don’t really know sports. In the case of football, I know enough to know that it’s a good thing when the quarterback runs across the goal line. Sometimes, I know when they need one more down. I’ve got interceptions. That’s about it.

But this little scene in Jerry McGuire speaks to me because I do understand a “Paycheck Player”. They are just like the worker who shows up to collect a paycheck and nothing more. No loyalty, no heart. If someone comes along with a bigger paycheck, they are gone!

By the way, the paycheck player mentality doesn’t have to come in the form of money. Sometimes it comes with the praise of men; some people desire that more than anything. They want to be in the news. They want books to be written about them; movies to be made!

I really don’t blame the paycheck players. I’ve been there. There are bills to be paid, after all! I like to think of it as a spectrum with “paycheck player” on one side and “playing with Heart” on the other. Sometimes you just gotta be a paycheck player!

But those who play with Heart, they are the winners. Even if they never get the big paycheck. They get what they need from following their passion. Books and movies are made about them, too, but they are usually dead by the time that happens.

So, playing with heart. What does that look like? I am still finding that out. Many, many years ago, when social media was still in it’s toddlerhood (2010), I had the “big idea” in my little town, to build a company that would be a “full-service” agency to help other businesses build an effective online presence utilizing social media, quality content, relevant backlinks, seo, etc etc etc. All the marketing lingo that you hear today. My plan was to hire the web developers, content writers and graphic designers and go out and get the accounts. They would do the actual work. Easy peasy. I would be rolling in dough. My husband could retire and join me in this amazing business I would build! I had the vision but a paycheck player mentality. I was bootstrapping and didn’t have the finances or the business acumen to get it done. And the vision died. I ended up becoming a “Paycheck player”; doing bits and pieces of websites and social media here and there. I lost the heart for my big idea, especially when I saw the big-gun agencies in town start to switch over to my concept. All of this in my small little town.

My current business — a food truck — is one that I know nothing about! Thankfully, providentially, I have a partner (my husband) who does know a lot about the food industry and it’s his passion that is giving me passion. We are almost 2 years in and we’ve learned so many things that someday I hope to write a book about it!

Helping someone else make his dream come true is my dream come true. Together, we are building and playing with Heart. Something I hope they make a movie about someday. If I am gone by then, I’d like Angelina Jolie to play me. Although she might be dead by then, too.