If there’s one thing there will always be too much of online, it’s advice. Over the past six months, it seems like almost every blogger has jumped on this bandwagon, which means it can be easy to feel overwhelmed, lost and unsure of what to listen to. The right advice can be magical. It can help you move forward, inspire you and motivate you. But too much advice, and too much generic advice can leave us following another’s path, not creating what we were made to create and prevents our purpose from shining through.
This is why the advice “do what you love, love what you do” annoys the hell out of me, especially when it comes to our careers. For blogging, alright – the saying suits it fine. But our day jobs? The way we make money? That’s when it starts to get to me.
There are some people out there who have turned their blogs into businesses and I’m still a part of their community. I can tell they’re staying true to themselves, they’re doing it for the right reasons and most of all, they don’t brag about it.
But then there are the people who have turned their blogs into businesses and it’s all they talk about. I made six figures in a month, I sold products worth £2,000 in 2 hours, I do what I love so I don’t have to work a day in my life.
The thing is, to get to the stage of doing what you love, you’ve got to go through a hell of a lot of experience first. You can’t just walk into your dream job. It’s not a film, it doesn’t work that way. You’ve got to go through the bad jobs, the long commutes, the hard times, and even then you might not be doing what you love.
At the end of the day, it’s a job. And no matter if you’re an entrepreneur who has created their dream business, or someone who’s found their perfect day job, we all need to take a step back. We all need a break and there’ll always be days when you’re counting down the minutes until the weekend arrives.
What I find with advice is that if people have been through it, they think they can give it out easily. But it doesn’t work that way. We could all write an eBook about starting a blog because we’ve all done it – but does that mean we will?
For some of us, as much as we might like the idea of an entrepreneurial life, it doesn’t naturally mean that we’ll be suited to it. But when it comes to our careers, it doesn’t mean that we can find a job where we’ll love every minute of what we do. It’s like a personal guilt trip – surely it doesn’t mean that if we don’t do what we love then we’ll never be happy?
It definitely doesn’t mean that.
Let’s say you’ve got a hobby and it’s dress making. You love designing clothes and making them for yourself. At one point you think hey, I could make a business out of this – and you do it. Soon enough you find you’re in hell. You realise that actually, you loved dress making when it was a hobby, but you hate it as your job. “Do what you love, love what you do” doesn’t really work then, does it?
I’ll be honest – this piece of career advice is pretty rubbish. There’s nothing wrong with loving what you do of course. But should that mean that you should make it your career? No. Because the difference in loving your job and loving your other half is a huge difference. Loving what you do doesn’t mean you’re in love with what you do. It doesn’t mean you love it so much you’d give up anything for it. That’s where the advice becomes a little less important.
Maybe the saying should be, do what you’re passionate about and be passionate about what you do. Or maybe it should be, do what you’re motivated to do and be motivated about what you do. There are many different ways we could rearrange these words, but I’m not sure if the word love should be in there. The feeling of love might grow, like it does with other things. But you don’t need that right away and you don’t need it immediately to start your career. You can be just as successful by being passionate about something or really enjoying it.
a final note...
When you next see the words "do what you love, love what you do", take them with a pinch of salt. You can take those words in any context. My brother loves this saying. I don't. It's just a matter of preference. But maybe next time we see those words we need to keep more of an open mind and allow ourselves to explore what the saying really means to us.
I'd love to know - what do you think about the saying "do what you love, love what you do"?