Do What You Hate (So You Can Do What You Love)

Do what you love and the money will follow. This is a very popular saying that has been making its way around for many years. While it is a nice sentiment to have, we have to recognize that it’s mostly wishful thinking. Keep doing only what you love and you’re probably going to end up on the street without a penny to your name.

Now, this isn’t to say that you shouldn’t do what you love. I think that’s the real objective behind the dot com lifestyle, because it can afford all of us the freedom to do what we love. What I am trying to say, though, is that it will take some work for you to figure out how you can do what you love and actually have it be effective.

Outside Your Comfort Zone

The truth of the matter is that you have to earn the privilege of doing what you love for a living. And in order to earn that privilege, you need to be willing to do the things that make you uncomfortable, stressed or on edge. After all, if you keep doing only what you’re doing, you can only expect to keep getting what you’re already getting. And you want more than that.


Let’s take my professional life as an example of this. I love writing. It doesn’t always come easily, but I very much value the power of the written word and my ability to express myself through writing. If it were entirely up to me, the only “work” I’d ever do is actual writing… but that’s just not how business works.

I’m not a fan of the hard sell, but I necessarily have to engage in “sales” behaviors in order to attract and land the right clients. I’m not a fan of dealing with all the legal and tax ramifications of running my own business, but those responsibilities come with the territory. I don’t always get to write about precisely the subjects I most enjoy, but I take on those projects to make a living.

Sacrifice and Reward

And that’s really the kind of mindset you have to be prepared to take if you want to earn the freedom that the dot com lifestyle can provide you. That’s the kind of approach you need to take if you want to do what you love and actually earn a comfortable living doing it. Sometimes, you really have to do what you hate.

Maybe you don’t like public speaking, but taking on the opportunity to speak at a conference can do wonders for your career. Maybe you don’t like math, but having a strong grasp of your numbers is of paramount importance to your future success. Maybe you hate social media, but understanding the power of online outreach can greatly grow your brand. Make those sacrifices and earn those rewards.

And then, with a little luck on your side and in due time, you’ll be able to focus much more on the things that you really love because you can just outsource the rest to someone else.

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13 thoughts on “Do What You Hate (So You Can Do What You Love)”

  1. Joe Elliott says:

    I have literally just put this in action by adding video to my content strategy, I was more nervous about what people will think but like you said we improve as time goes on.


  2. Rudy says:

    You mean do the difficult tasks first then you can do the easy tasks

    1. Michael Kwan says:

      It’s not so much an issue of difficulty as much as it is an issue of comfort and preference. You might not “enjoy” social media, but you might not find it particularly “difficult” either. It’s just something you don’t want to do, but by doing it, you open up far greater opportunities to be successful at what you do want to do.

  3. Danish says:

    All the best things happen outside the comfort zone. I heard this but do not know who said it. Nevertheless what your just is on point.

  4. Justin Pace says:

    Cheers Michael

    Nice reminder about the realities of being self employed.

    Business a lot of the time is about daily grind, it’s the tedious or boring stuff.

    But it is the stuff of greatness, because attending to the things that make you go grrr leads to the activities you love.

    Without one how can you know the other, it’s all about balance.


  5. Abdul Aziz says:

    Doing what you hate is the secret to mental toughness and perseverance! thank you for writing this chow, i really love your blog, been following you closely off late. keep inspiring us!

  6. DK says:

    Hey Michael, Nice thoughts.. in fact some nice words that will certainly push us to do some soul searching within us to see if we are really doing everything that is required to call ourselves as somebody who is “working hard”.

    I feel it is more of coming out of the comfort zone and doing things that are an integral part of the thing that I love doing the most but is essentially not the thing that I love doing the most. For eg: I would love painting. But to do that, I still need to go to the store, spend time to buy the right canvas, paints etc. which I might necessarily not like..


  7. faisal says:

    If only things were so easy ;p

  8. Suprabhat says:

    It is true that we must need to sacrifice to get rewards from our hard work.

  9. This is so true. I used to do the whole only what I loved to do. Well it did not turn out to good. When you start doing what you do not like you get results! Its those same things most won’t do.

  10. Thanks John,
    For being realistic and straight to the point. This Love and Passion ‘thingie’ and the Money will follow mantra is only true to a certain extent.

    Remember, you can always have a Passion for the Process of building and making a Living online and not necessarily be ooze-dripping with Love for the actual Niche you’re in 🙂

    Great Post and as I like to say “Donkey hit by Nail” with this one LOL

  11. Vinayak says:

    Awesome post again! I was in this phase where I wanted to do just do whatever I felt like. Now that I have read this piece, I have once again put everything in perspective. It has been great discovering this blog…

  12. Kyle says:

    It seems to be true, in general, that the less you want to do something, the more important it is that you do that thing. So, whether or not you’re successful (at your business, at becoming physically fit, or any number of other things) comes down to whether or not you can overcome that “action inertia”.

    And believe me, sometimes that action inertia can be REALLY tough to overcome.

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