Do what you love by knowing what you hate

It’s such easy advice to give. Easy advice to follow, too, unless you’re talking about work. When it comes to work many people find they aren’t doing what they love or aren’t doing enough of what they love. The question is: why not?

The answer is: because we don’t spend enough time thinking about what we hate.

How can thinking about what we hate doing lead to spending more time doing what we love doing? Easy. When most of us think about building a career or a business around what we love doing, we start by identifying what we love to do. For most of us, that’s easy. It’s just a list of our hobbies. This is where most of us make the mistake of asking “how can I make a living at doing this?’ The truth is, how you make a living doing what you love is irrelevant at this point because even if you know the answer something is still standing in your way or you’d be doing it, not reading this. Which is why, after you’ve identified the things you love your next step should be identifying the things you hate.

Yes, hate. Not dislike. Not prefer not to do. Not don’t know how to do or don’t think you can do. Hate.The things that you absolutely will not do…unless someone is paying you very big bucks to do it. These are the things that are keeping you from doing what you love because, at some level, we all realize that to build a successful career or business doing what we love we’re going to have to do some things we hate. The artist is going to have to balance the books. The CPA is going to have to market their firm. The software programmer is going to have to make sales. The salesperson is going to have to teach others to use a product. Have you figured out why you need to know what you hate yet?

That’s right: once you know what you hate, you know who to look for and what’s standing in your way. Chances are there is someone out there who loves doing the very thing that you despise. They may even be willing to do it for you, either in exchange for you doing something they hate for them or for monetary compensation. It’s a win-win situation for everyone. Both parties get to do something they love and they remove one of the roadblock standing in the way of doing more of what you love. Find enough people who love doing what you hate and hate doing what you love and not only are you doing more of what you love, you may even have discovered how to make a living doing it!

Do what you love. It’s such simple advice. As long as you know what you hate. 

6 thoughts on “Do what you love by knowing what you hate

  1. I’ve been implementing this into my life over the last couple of months and love it. When something that needs to be done comes into my life I ask myself some simple questions, and based on the answers I will delegate or outsource it 🙂 Made my life a lot simpler and a lot more enjoyable.

    1. Glad to hear it! I’ve applied this technique more rigorously in the past, so writing this was a good reminder! May I ask what questions you ask yourself?

      1. Now I don’t want anyone to take this the wrong way, but Im all about return on investment which is time because it’s the most valuable asset you will ever have. If I know I’m worth $500-600/day and something menial comes into my life and I can outsource it… and use my personal time to grow my business by doing other productive activities, I will delegate it.

        I also take into consideration urgency of the task, and skill set required to complete it. I firmly believe that people need to know and understand their strengths and weaknesses so that they can concentrate and grow their strengths, so that they can delegate their weaknesses to someone who enjoys it and is strong in that field.

        Sometimes you just need to get out of your own way :)…thoughts?

      2. I was brought up with the ethic that before you hire someone to do something, you need to be able to do it yourself. The problem with that is that if you can do it yourself, it makes it more difficult to rationalize hiring someone, especially in the early stages of a business or career when money is tight.

        Add in the idea that you should focus on the positive, like the things you love, and the situation gets even trickier. People, or at least I, need a reminder and in some ways permission to hate things. Not to mention the reminder that not everyone loves or hates the same things!

        The questions you ask are good ones because they demonstrate that there are other factors to be considered besides Can I do it and do I enjoy it? Hopefully keeping them in mind will help me overcome the self-reliance and Pollyanna hurdles by demonstrating that sometimes the best thing you can do for you personal success is let someone else succeed with you!

      3. I absolutely agree, I was raised with the same ethics as well, but like you said then it becomes tricky because you’re always thinking

        “well why don’t i just do it myself?”

        Letting go and playing to other peoples strengths & expertise will make everyones life easier and more enjoyable 🙂

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