Do What You Love

Posted: February 17, 2011 in Psychology

Do What You Love

“As you think, so shall you become.” – Bruce Lee

There’s a popular saying, “Do what you love and the money will follow.” The reasoning behind this is that if you really like something you will put more into it and be more successful than working on something you don’t like. You like lots of things. Which of your interests is the best way for you to make good money? Are there any obstacles you can’t overcome? What if what you love doesn’t pay and you can’t see any way to force it? I’ll work through these issues one at a time.

Finding What You Love

How do you find out what you love? First, you need to make a list of possibilities. Just picking something you like and going for it is like playing the lottery. You may have made a good pick but the odds are against it. You could put a lot of time into your choice and discover another interest you would rather be doing years down the road. You’re better off if you can find something you’re willing to do for decades. Don’t worry. It won’t be the exact same work all the time. It will evolve through your actions if it doesn’t do so on it’s own.

Now to assemble a list of possibilities. Grab a sheet of paper or open a word processor file and make some lists. Here are a few suggestions.

  • List all of the job titles you’ve had and the sub-job titles you’ve had within those jobs. If you worked as a stock clerk, you probably did a few turns at the cash during busy times. List both stock clerk and cash register clerk.
  • List all of the hobbies you’ve had and any peripheral jobs that were part of those hobbies. If you’ve had a model railroad, you can probably include carpenter in your hobby list.
  • How about reading? What non-fiction have you read a lot? What kind of careers do you find most interesting in the fiction you read? What jobs do you see in the newspaper and on job boards and wish you could apply to them?
  • Add in your educational training. What were you good in during all of the training you’ve had so far? What courses inspired you to put in extra effort even when you didn’t need to for a pass? Were there some subjects that you would have liked to take more courses in? Put it all on the list.
  • Don’t forget the passive entertainment. TV, video games, music, movies, watching people work, anything you enjoy thinking about. It all goes on the list so that you can maximize the initial possibilities.

Spend a few days or weeks going over the list. Cross out what you definitely don’t love. Underline what you think you could love. Anything not underlined may contribute to your abilities in the thing you love once you find it. Some items you cross out may be necessary skills that contribute to what you want to do. Every project has at least one objectionable task. As you review the list, more ideas will pop into your head. Add them.

What if you love too many things? A common mistake people make is cutting out things they don’t like and accepting everything else. Too many interests reduces the chance of becoming really good at anything. You spread yourself too thin. Also, cutting what you don’t like can put you into a negative mindset.

Enjoy everything. Dig deeply into only a few passions. We all have many friends but few close friends. It should be the same with interests. Have hundreds. Thousands. But only make a few of them important and you’ll have a better chance of making a career of them. They are the core things you do with your life.

It’s safe to assume that the job you have now isn’t what you love or you wouldn’t be reading this far. That brings us to the next step. When you’ve found what you love, how do you keep your current job from taking you off track?

Making Money at What You Love

Before you start cutting back on your commitment to the job you have now, analyse how prepared you are for a career move. Just because you love something and it pays good doesn’t mean you can make good money at it. Sometimes you aren’t good at what you love. Maybe you’re going to need to study your subject more seriously than you did when it was just a hobby. You may not love it so much once you start taking it seriously.

If you still love it and want it more than ever, do the studies. Research what you need to know and what skills you will need to make this your next career. By the time you’ve done that, you should have a clear plan laid out and know when to ease out of your old job on the way to your new career.

You will have to sell yourself to get your new life going. If you go after a job as an employee, you’ll have to sell yourself to human resources and the hiring manager. If you take the entrepreneurial route, you’ll have to sell customers on your business. If you opt for a self employed partnership, you’ll need to convince potential partners to buy in.

How do you get ready for the big sale? Create notes while you’re learning or reviewing your success vehicle. Write your intended accomplishments as a business plan even if you’re planning to be an employee or sole proprietor. Companies want their employees to have a plan for skills development so they can feel they will stick around a while. As an entrepreneur, you will need a business plan to secure a loan for start up capital or expansion.

Don’t be afraid to write up any great ideas you have and keep them together with the other documents for your business. Write out the crazy plans too. One day you may come back to read them over and see ways to make money with them. Some of the most profitable businesses were ones that other people said couldn’t be done or would never sell.

Blocks to What You Love

What if what you love requires a costly degree? You’ll have to do work you don’t love to build up a bank account. Don’t forget that the goal is to save money. Don’t waste it on entertainment to compensate for doing something you hate. If you spend all your income you won’t be able to afford the education you need. If you can work while earning your degree that’s even better. You won’t have time to waste and won’t be able to waste money either.

Join associations related to what you love. Others with the same interests can be full of ideas to expand your participation and are enthusiastic motivators. There may also be ways to make extra money on the side and build up your credibility in your favourite thing while you study.

Unless you’re burdened with too much cash, look at all of the possibilities. If you start your own business, you may not need the degree. Some degrees are only necessary so you can get a job with a corporation. For example, if you’re planning to make money building picnic tables, baby barns, desks and bookshelves, you can build and sell those without a certification. If you want to build houses, you’ll need to earn a trade certification whether you’ll work for a company or on your own.

When What You Love Doesn’t Pay

What if there’s no money to be made at what you love, or not much money? You need to adjust your passion to what people want.

If you can make even a little money at what you love, there is some hope of expanding it into full time employment in the future. The more you learn about your passion by working at it part time the more ways you will find to make it pay. Keeping working up new versions of your business plan until it all fits together.

But maybe there just isn’t enough need for your product or services locally. A little demand in your community may translate into big demand on the internet with 1.6 billion people surfing. It might be worthwhile to look into setting up a website to sell your goods or services. You can even sell information in a round about kind of way. Your free-to-visit site can make money from advertising and by getting a cut of referred sales.

If there is just no way you can make money at what you love, you can still read about what you love. You can still write about what you love. Get a free blog at or and share your passion with the world. Get involved in community activities related to what you love. As you share your interest, like minded people will share with you. Maybe you will even start your own club.

Article text copyright 2011 David Arthur Smith. All Rights Reserved.


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