Do What You Love And You'll Love What You Do - Dr. Ivan Misner®

Do What You Love And You’ll Love What You Do

As an adjunct university professor for almost 20 years, I would often have students say to me, “What kind of business or profession should I consider going into right now?”  I would respond by asking them, “What do you like to do?  What do you really enjoy?” They’d respond by saying something like . . . “No, no, you don’t understand, I’m asking what I should do?” And I’d reply back by saying . . . “No, you don’t understand, what do you love to do?  What are you really interested in?”

They’d look back at me, obviously perplexed, and stutter out something about trying to figure out what a good profession to go into would be or what kind of business they should start. I would proceed to explain to them that you can’t achieve sustained success over time without doing something you love.  Therefore, they should think about what they really enjoy doing and look for opportunities in those areas.  

According to the NFIB (the National Federation of Independent Business), it’s estimated that 60 percent of all businesses started in the late ’90s “were based on hobbies or personal interests.” More and more you see people turning their dreams into their livelihood.

I saw a great example of this in action when I attended a fundraiser for Azusa Pacific University over the weekend.  During the evening, the program highlighted a graduate from the physics department. His name is Steven Moser. He graduated in 2001 from the university. After graduation, he worked at NASA’s JPL in Pasadena.  While Moser was working at JPL, a close family member died in a tragic accident. Moser and his wife (who also had a very successful career) evaluated their lives and decided to make a major change. They chose to pursue a hobby they had had for some time, making all-natural body care products and turning it into a full-time business. This would enable them to work from home, spend time with the family and do what they really love.

Steven’s company is called Anti-Body. It not only offers all-natural body-care products, but it also promotes global fair trade. It sources all its raw materials directly from workers in developing countries, creating sustainability for those that might be exploited in most markets.

This is a great example of doing what you love and loving what you do. Moser changed the course of his life to do what he loves.  His business seems to be thriving, and he definitely loves what he is doing.

I understand that loving what you do is no guarantee that you’ll be successful. However, I am equally confident that if you’re not happy at what you’re doing, you can never achieve any sustainable success over time. So if you’re thinking about starting your own business, do what I used to tell my children when they couldn’t figure out what ice cream they wanted to eat. Stick your tongue out. Wave it around. What does it feel like? Pick something you really want. You’ll be happier (and I’m not talking just about ice cream).

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7 thoughts on “Do What You Love And You’ll Love What You Do

  1. People who are doing what they love are easy to spot- they are passionate about what they do,and that comes through whenever you see or speak to them. Great blog, Ivan. Shawn McCarthy BNI ED Ventura County, Ca.

  2. It is a shame that we don`t teach this in university. Of course you did, but i mean in the program.

    This is the way human are made for – to do what they love. We are no robots or slaves for the master – well that is what they want.

    This is the things that drive me in life, but sometimes it is hard with this system.

    So lets do what makes our hearts sings.

    Michel Richer

  3. Thank you! You are doing such a huge service to students by encouraging them from the get-go to pursue their passions. I work with mid-career professionals looking for more fulfilling work who have lost sight of what that might be. We usually discuss what they dreamed of doing when they were a student and what their favorite subjects and interests were at a young age. Many find that doing what they love is something they knew all along; they simply brushed it aside for more money or to please someone else.
    Do what you love and love what you do! What great words to live by.

  4. I completely understand the question from the client who asks what they “should” do in terms of opening up small business. Although I agree overall with the message in the article I also think professionals who ask the same question get a different answer. For example, if the profession is a lawyer or dentist, the decision first becomes the choice of study coupled with what can be based upon the economy. Small business owners who ask “what should I do”, in my opinion, may be asking how to put their thumb on the pulse of the economy as do professionals. Just because it is small business education and economics should not be overlooked in the answer to what they “should” do. It is one thing to sustain a business through liking what you do and to sustain interest in it long enough to be successful and quite another thing to start a business that has no place in the current economy or cannot be sustained wiithin the current economy. Accounting may be “recession proof” while I prefer to cook. I would not think to start a restaurant in any economic climate; the stats on failures in the restaurant business are too high for me to bear no matter what I prefer to do. In this scenario the economy overrules what I like because I may not be able to make a living at it. How many times have we heard about people wanting to go into one line of business because they want to, love it, like it but advice has been to the contrary because it won’t generate enough money to sustain a family or lifestyle? The high cost of education would be a waste if they didn’t follow an initial intention? Clearly there are more components to answering the question about what someone “should” do, “loves” to do, and the other side of the coin which deals with education, stats, and earning the kind of living someone wants from it. To me, just because 60% of new businesses began as hobbies doesn’t necessarily translate to economic success. The exceptions to the rule that make a financial success out of a hobbie may not be that high because of the economy.

  5. This is a great Blog! You are absolutely right. Loving what you do will not make you successful at a job or position; however, it greatly improves the odds that you will be. As a psychotherapist and a career counselor, I have seen the unhappiness of many people who followed a career path or went into a profession because they were looking for ways to please their parents or get their parents’ attention. Parents could help change that processes by assisting their children to find the career that fits the child’s interests, personality, and aptitude.
    Emory Cowan, PhD

  6. “Follow the heart and the money shall follow” has always been my motto and its great to see you agree! I’m in the Voice & Music production business where we create jingles for advertising agencies and compose songs for films and TV.

    It all started when I was just a schoolboy and I began singing songs for the amateur hour on radio.Today, my company, InSync Studios has been in operation for more than 25 years and my successful singing career continues. Turning my passion into my profession was indeed a fortunate coincidence which was fueled by the extraordinary support given by my parents.Become a professional Rock singer in India was certainly no Indian parent’s dream!

    I would recommend everybody to follow their heart and choose to be in a field where ‘play is work and work is play.’

    Nandoo Bhende
    BNI Alpha member (Mumbai)

    ‘we make you sound better”

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