The Myth of Doing What You Love

You see the perky blog post titles everywhere.

“If you do what you love, the money will follow.”

“If you’re on the right path, you can easily clear six figures this year.”

“Roadblocks are the Universe’s way of telling you that you’re on the wrong path.”

The message? If you “do what you love,” everything else will fall into place. Every day will be filled with singing birds, bright sunshine and a big fat bank account. You’ll work in the flow and enjoy every moment. Roadblocks? What roadblocks. It’s all sunshine and lollypops from here on out!

Here’s a reality check: I’ve been “doing what I love” for about 15 years now, and I can tell you one thing: It’s all bullshit.

Doing what you love is hard work and means lots of sacrifices. But it’s worth it.

Making the choice to “do what you love” is very similar to choosing your life partner. In the beginning, everything is wonderful and exciting. Every day is a learning experience. Every success seems better than the last. Life is full of possibilities.

Then, reality seeps in. You start compromising – way more than you’ve ever compromised before – to keep the relationship (or your business) working. Your fun daily chores transform into the monotonous daily grind. You hit a bad patch and think, “Wait, this wasn’t supposed to happen. How did we get here?”

You don’t break up with your partner after the first fight. Or the third. Or even the hundredth. You stay and work hard and find your relationship growing deeper.

Why? Because it’s what you love.

Doing what you love means fighting temptation, too. I’ve had employers whisper in my ear promising me fat paychecks, “real” vacation time and guaranteed bonuses.  All I’d have to do is leave my business and work for them. After all, wouldn’t it be easier…?

And I say no. Because just like in real life – any bad day at my business (or with my husband) would be better than a good day somewhere else (or with someone else.)

Doing what you love means that you will face adversity. It means that you’ll be doing “stuff” that you really don’t want to do – but you do it for the common good. That may mean taking a gig you don’t really want that pays the bills. Or working one weekend day to catch up from a busy week. Or taking a paycheck hit during a slow month.

On the flip side, you know you’re doing all this “stuff” for a reason. You see your business growing and changing. You find yourself bringing on better clients and making better money. You’re happy.

That’s doing what you love. It’s putting up with the daily grind (and occasional unpleasantness) so you can live the life you want to live.

You won’t like your business some days. You sure as heck won’t love it all the time.

But you will know one thing: “doing what you love” is well, well worth it.

10 replies
  1. Marcus Schaller says:

    To quote Steven Pressfield (Do the Work)

    “Rule of thumb: The more important a call or action is to our soul’s evolution, the more Resistance we will feel toward pursuing it.”

    In other words, the more we do what we love, the harder our path will be. That’s the test…

    • Heather says:

      Thanks Amber! It’s always something to keep in mind – we may love our life path, but there may be parts that we don’t like along the way. :) Good luck going out on your own. It’s scary and fun all rolled up into one… :)

  2. Amy C. Teeple says:

    Been there Heather. Thanks for the post.

    There are many times when the day-to-day grind of doing “what I love” becomes frustrating and I wonder, “Should I just get a 9-to-5 job with a steady paycheck?” Then I think about everything that I would give up and take a moment to remember everything I love about running my own business. It’s definitely motivating.

    By the way, I love the analogy to relationships. Unfortunately, I think that too many people don’t fight for what they love (in business and relationships) … although maybe if they could give up so easily it wasn’t really love.

  3. Heather says:

    I’ve had one “real” vacation (where I didn’t have to work and I had paid vacation time) my entire life. Is that enough to make me go back and get a real job? I agree with you – not a chance! :)

    • Laura says:

      You’re so not alone, Courtney! Didn’t we all get seduced by those promises of doing what we love bringing in effortless income at some early stage in our copywriting career? I know I did. Then came the work: website, marketing, writing ’til your fingers bleed….But then again, I am so grateful I don’t have to wear pantyhose and suffer an insufferable work environment :)


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