Hello, I’m Michael Sliwinski, founder of Nozbe - to-do app for business owners and their teams. I write essays, books, work on projects and I podcast for you using #iPadOnly in #NoOffice as I believe that work is not a place you go to, it’s a thing you do. More…

How to check if you’re working on the right thing - intersection of joy, skill and what your company needs


Today is Friday so it’s time for my weekly review and personal development time. I spent it watching some videos from SaaStr YouTube Channel and I found a video by Jason Cohen, the founder of WP Engine where he talked about his journey to $100M. The last part of the video was particularly interesting as he talked about how to find out if you and everyone on your team are working on the right thing. It’s the intersection of JOY, SKILL and NEED of the company and it looks like this:

How to check if you’re working on the right thing - intersection of joy, skill and what your company needs

JOY is what you love doing

Joy is easy - this is the stuff you love doing. You love learning. Just like me writing on this blog. I love doing that. Or building LEGO.

SKILL is what you’re good at

Skill is what you’re really truly good at. Writing texts, teaching productivity, delivering presentations, preaching No Office way of life are some of my skills. However just working in this zone without joy means hard work. It’s a grind.

NEED is what your company needs

This is tricky. When doing any kind of work for the company you work for, and it doesn’t matter if you’re a CEO or a junior programmer, you should make sure that you know what your company needs right now.

JOY and SKILL equal FLOW… but can be a TRAP!

When you’re working on something you really like and you’re really good at this, you’re in your flow zone - in the groove!

That’s great, but… if it’s not something your company needs right now, you’re literally wasting your time. That’s why it can be a TRAP!


When you’re working on something you really like and your company needs it, but you really suck at it, you’re also wasting your time - you should find a person who actually is good at this!


When you’ve got the goods and you’re working on what your company needs, but it brings you no joy, this leads to burnout and frustration.

I remember back in the day at Nozbe when I was quickly and very efficiently preparing invoices for my accounting while cursing out loud. I was good at this, my company needed it, but I hated doing that.

SKILL and NEED and JOY - that’s your ⭐️ STAR SLOT!

This is what you should be working on. Something your company needs right now, what you’re good at and what truly brings you joy.

This is your place.

This is where the magic happens.

This is the filter you should use to find out what you should be working on!

P.S. Thanks Jason for this talk!

I wrote this post, and drew the diagram based on Jason’s slides, to remind myself and everyone on my team that we all should be constantly evaluating our work through this filter.

Especially today, on a Mighty Friday as we’re doing our review and planning our work for next week.

If you want to listen to Jason’s talk, I’ve embedded it below from the 23rd minute mark where he talks about this concept:

Friday, November 18, 2022 /work/