I’m sure you’ve heard that quote: “Do what you love and you’ll never work another day in your life.”
Well, that’s a bunch of baloney.
Greg, language! (Hey, I’m trying to keep this a family friendly website.)
I’m a little surprised, Greg. Aren’t you always telling us to follow our passionate purpose and do work we love?
Yes, and I stick by that. I’m an optimist. It’s a lot better to work at something you love than to work at something you hate. It’s a great idea to follow your Passionate Purpose in your career.
But, I’m also a realist. No matter how much you love your work, it’s still work. There is something in every job that’s a pain.
Let’s say you love playing guitar and singing. Your dream job would be the lead singer in a rock band. Then, imagine you got the gig. Awesome! You never work another day in your life, right? Not exactly.
You need to write songs, rehearse, play small gigs, record an album, rehearse some more, promote the album, go on tour, deal with other band members…
Even if your band becomes a huge success do you think you’d never get tired of the travel and time away from family and friends? Think you’d ever get tired of playing the same songs night after night? Think someone in the band might really start to get on your nerves?
I bet LeBron James gets tired of working out and going to practice sometimes, even though he loves playing basketball.
I’m not saying it wouldn’t be awesome to be a rock star of a star in the NBA. It would! Doing what you love is AWESOME. The point is that no matter how much you love something, work is still work. There are good points and bad points to any job.
And no matter how much you love your work, you will still get tired and stressed from time to time. We need to understand that going in, instead of having this idea that our life will be nothing but rainbows and puppy dogs once we start doing what we love.
I also want to address the idea that we can turn anything we love into a great career. I don’t want to discourage you, but just because you love doing something doesn’t mean you can make a lot of money at it.
I love surfing, but I’m never going to be a professional surfer. Fact.
But, Greg, you could open a surf shop, or design surfboards, or create a line of surfing clothing.
You’re right. But, I love surfing. I don’t love retail, of surfboard shaping, or clothing design. We need to be careful not to force something because we think we love it.
What I advocate is matching up what you love with what your good at. Then work on ways to make money on that. If you can’t find a way to make a decent living at it, then it might be time to find something else that you love and you’re good at. (After all, there isn’t just one, perfect career out there for you.) Then become world class at that.
You’ll still have to work, but the work will be a lot more fun – and hopefully – profitable.