Do what you love and you won’t work a day?
I’m re-posting this because I got a lot of feedback. The majority agreed but some people wanted to modify my premise. One said maybe you should lower your expectations and “do what you like”. Do a job that’s “sort of satisfying”? I don’t think so–not my style. I believe everybody is good at, and has a passion for, something, and that something is the heart of what you love to do. Therefore, the key to finding something that you love to do is in finding what you really do well and have a passion for. Of course, if nobody will pay you for that endeavor, maybe you’ve just discovered a good hobby.
Anyway, here’s the original post:
“Do what you love and you won’t work a day” is inane bull-crap, IMHO. I love drinking beer, I truly do. But, no one will pay me for that. I love creating graphic art, which I think is pretty good, but it seems as though no one will pay me for that, either! Could I make a living out of playing with my kids? Doubtful. I’m passionate about writing songs, but since no one has bought anything I wrote, I would say that road ends at the bottom of a cliff, too. And on and on.
Exercising one’s passion is certainly a large component of having a happy and balanced personal and professional life, but there are some unfortunate facts of life: You have to do a lot of doo-doo tasks to support the pursuit of passions. Seriously, do you know how much I hate bookkeeping? But, if I didn’t keep the books everyday, the pain of trying to get it all together for the accountant every month would be terminal. And making cold calls? Expense reports? Fageta ’bout it. I love the creative side of writing, inventing, designing, and building products, and I sorta like the engineering behind making them work. However, I cannot stomach people management, or supplier relationships, or material research, or……well, a lot of other necessary things.
So, today’s lesson, kids, is about reality. It’s been my experience that, if you are competent and mature about business, you can only “do what you love” about 40% of the time. The rest of the time is spent doing a bunch of stuff you’d rather not do, but must. Sorry. In a perfect world, you hire somebody to do all of those awful things, or bring in a partner; that will increase the percentage Balancing your strengths with a partner’s weaknesses, and vice versa, is one way to make lemonade (that and a bunch of sugar). Make the most of that 40% or 60% or whatever you end up with. That, IMHO, is a definition of success.
“Do what you love” might also mean “get somebody else to do the crap work”.