The doing what you love question

My fairly recent article, “motivations for starting an online business“, had received an interesting question because I quoted a line from a book, and this view was questioned.

I’m never a person to suppress a good question and by looking further at the article, there is definitely some room for ambiguity so rather than simply just replying to the comment I decided to write a whole article about it. I’d actually like to thank Andrew Warner, before I get started, for allowing me to expand on this idea. It is definitely one core part of the article that left a lot to the imagination….

The Doing What You Love Question

AndrewWarnerQuestion

Andrew Warner of Shadeofinfo.com was kind enough to comment on this article about motivation.

Andrew does summarise points I agree with based on this rather throwaway statement by Kevin Duncan.

The truth about work

In life, how often do you do what you love? I think you may find that in life there are a lot of points where life is just a grey grind of gruelling work.

With online business I would also agree that on the most part, you may have to chase your customer and find something they are buying in order to optimise your return. This may not necessarily take you in an area you are comfortable, or enable you to stake yourself in something you love.

So is this statement completely useless? Defunct?

How about an alternative

In Andrew Warner’s view you don’t necessarily create a niche or sub niche for business in an area you love.

When does “doing what you love” best apply?

Often, it doesn’t matter how much competition there is for something as long as you bring your passion and enthusiasm to it.

Google as a search engine came a long time after the traditional search engines started, and through simplicity and a change in the game, cleaned the clock.

Red Bull came to Formula 1 seemingly from nowhere (with a hunk of Austrian energy beverage money) and Sebastian Vettel stormed to victory 4 times against the established big teams. This was no less impressive than the Brawn team steaming to victory with Button behind the wheel. The Brawn team later became the Mercedes team and once again, the silver arrow is set to demolish the opposition this year in rude form, at time of writing I’m not sure which driver will be holding the trophy.

What do all these companies share in common?

They do what they love. They are committed to the win. They have “form” from past victory and they carry this into everything new that they do.

So this redraws loving what you do into loving the process. It’s going to be poop at times but because you are interested in the process and passionate about your work, you are more likely to stick with it.

Are there examples of loving the process?

There certainly are. Pat Flynn is a good architect of such winning processes and you can see the attention to detail that he lavishes into his niche projects. His most recent niche site dual (2.0) challenge comes in the form of Foodtruckr.com. It is a site he has built from the ground up, starting with absolutely no knowledge of foodtrucks other than from being a customer. Whilst Pat may have no particular love of the food truck industry, he has a passion (love) for helping people and providing useful information and he has been able to create a minimum viable product (something he can sell) to fulfil the monetary aspect of the site. His creation of Foodtruckr also feeds his nichesitedual site and in turn provides even more ammunition for people to take out hosting through his Bluehost affiliate links. Through linking up all of his activities he has created a powerful engine for cash income.

The important point that Kevin Duncan made about “doing what you love”

In doing what you love, you are able to maintain forward momentum during the hard times, and there will be hard times where your motivation will be challenged by the lack of results.

If you have a love for what you do, you are more likely to override these setbacks.

As Andrew Warner argues, you could potentially find that what you are doing is far from what you love, but is paying the bills. As I have redefined, loving the process enables you to perform any task with resilience as long as you love what you are doing and have faith in the journey.

Is there something to voids of interest?

The problem with niches are that if you go too obscure, your target audience is very limited. Whilst this is great for an enthusiast who has no aim to reap monetary divination, its terrible for a bandolier wearing entrepreneur. If the target words you are trying to rank for barely raise a whimper then you are probably on for a bit of a dull time. Your options might include waiting around until the area matures (in which case you are able to claim a historical advantage) or you might need to diversify into some more productive rankings which may ultimately steer you off course and make your effort a mixed  bag.

So if you are a fan of tiddlywinks, it is quite likely that you will not become a storm in the Entrepreneur front if you try to market this aggressively.

A short checklist:

  • You’ve got to make sure what you love has an audience (because in business, you need to fill seats, wrestle tigers and take names)
  • You’ve got to make sure that audience wants to buy something (or can be persuaded by skilful artistry)
  • It is important that what you do is not diminished by doing it as a job (the hobby to income threshold is something to consider) because sometimes by over producing you may take the shine off something you enjoy and you won’t find out until you try the conversion.
  • You should trial how many potential posts you could write about the topic, less than 50 and you may struggle to keep this going.

6 Comments The doing what you love question

  1. Andrew

    Hey Jackson,

    Really good post.

    I have no problem about people trying to do what they love. I think it’s a noble thought and it’s something people should go for … but only if there’s a market for it.

    There may be times where you may have to learn something completely new or if you have a minor interest in something, take time to study it, like Pat Flynn did and then make it your own.

    Oh and your point about the 50 post test is very true, especially if you’re pursuing a niche. You need to make sure you have content … enough content … to satisfy your readers.

    If you don’t have that, they it may be time to look elsewhere.

    Great post.

    – Andrew
    Andrew recently crafted…7 Actionable Tips You Should Use Today To Improve Your BlogMy Profile

    Reply
    1. Jackson Davies

      Hi Andrew,

      I’d like to say a big thank you for your participation as I enjoyed making response to your query. In reflection I thought about how the term was too casual a get out to what people actually face when they want to make a fist of online business.

      Part of the fun of developing your platform is discovering new skills and harnessing them. I’ve really enjoyed getting to grips with social media platforms that I would otherwise have no reason to get involved with and I’m sure there are many other bits of tech that people get to use that they otherwise might not have any reason to.

      The 50 post test is taken direct from Pat Flynn and I think it is a really good way of testing whether the niche you choose to pursue has potential or not. If you fail to find 50 rough ideas in an hour, it is time to think again.

      Good content is the watch word. Everybody can write average content, and lots of it, but the skill is writing great content. However, you need an audience to read that content. You could have written epic content but it won’t receive the golden light it needs because you don’t have the people to view it (and more importantly share it).

      Thanks for your assistance!

      – Jackson 🙂

      Reply
  2. Mi Muba

    Hi Jack

    Very unique post and does have a huge value.

    I think the only guarantee of success is doing the work you really love. Sooner or later you will success.

    We see people vary in skills and qualities in every field. Those who lag behind actually are the ones came into a wrong field. Those who make wonders in a field actually were borne for this field and are lucky enough to get into the same field.

    Thanks a lot for sharing this very thought-provoking post.
    Mi Muba recently crafted…5 proven ways to make your digital product the best sellerMy Profile

    Reply
    1. Jackson Davies

      Hi Mi,

      Thank you for your response!

      I think your analysis is very keen, people who lag behind definitely shouldn’t stick with it out of some false duty, you should only stick with it if you love it, and that would be the type of person I might steer to try something else.

      Because some markets are very full (those that show signs of making pots of money), you have to be awesome to move along and that has to show in your passion for your topic. It is not something that you can squeeze into easily otherwise. You have to deal with crushing defeats, annoying setbacks and bumps in the road on the way to your victory and often, there may not be so many wins in the early days.

      Because of how we are drawn more to success than failure it can often set us up for a fall. Any good business person knows that when strategising (for long term goals) we have to consider contingency (what is the worst that could happen). For something we love we might be able to shoulder the worst that can happen because we love what we do. If we are only there for some monetary gain, and not there for the love of the process, we won’t have the same relationship (and deep connection) to keeping that project alive.

      Pat Flynn of Smartpassiveincome.com has noted on numerous podcasts and in his articles that he considered ditching the site on many occasions but he stuck with it, it took considerably longer for that website to gain the sort of traction that other projects have surpassed and yet it now acts as a key focal point for his business by helping to redirect his audience to his various monetary outlets. Pat Flynn provides his value by giving away great, free information in order to help those new bloggers (who have an interest in making money) succeed. I never want to appear be a Pat Flynn fan boy but he does give away such valuable information that you’d be an idiot to ignore it. Pat Flynn is just one of many men and women who provide intense value, born of their passion, without passion you have nothing.

      Taking a salesperson as an example, they will always find it easier to sell something that they can believe in and pass on the value to others, rather than sell something that has a dubious quality. A salesperson will also prefer going about their “Sell” in a way comfortable and familiar to them, they won’t continue to do something that makes them uncomfortable for a long stretch.

      Being a blogger is all about standing behind a topic you love to write about. I know that you love to write about being a money blogger and I take great interest in your work. I can often see some great insight from Business Studies related material applied in your articles that resonates with what I have been studying in my degree and I can see a persisting value in that for your audience. I can also see a passion in what you create and it shines above small articles that other lazier bloggers might write. You take time to research your articles and add what you’ve learnt over your time. That is how a new blogger should apply their time.

      Thanks Mi,

      Highly appreciated comment as always!

      Reply
  3. Andrew Spence

    Great topic and article 🙂

    All too often people get held up with their need to find ‘that thing’ that they love – their calling.

    If you don’t know what your calling is my advice is to merely take a practical approach. Find those things that you enjoy doing and work towards some realistic goals that can give you what will make you happy. The process of working towards those goals will give you immense satisfaction and may even help you discover what it is that you are meant to be doing. You don’t need to see the end tape, just create happiness for yourself and it will unfurl for you.

    Great blog and article, I’ll tweet it!

    A.
    Andrew Spence recently crafted…3 Social Media Challenges For Marketers and How to Solve ThemMy Profile

    Reply
    1. Jackson Davies

      Hi Andrew,

      Thanks for your warm words. It is a good topic to get people talking as it is a question dear to many people’s hearts. There are those people through no choice who commit to doing things they hate for years but should we really settle for that? If we can’t love what we do should we learn to love how we do it instead? It throws up many questions.

      Being realistic is important as you mention. Realistic goals is perhaps a tenuous subject in that what you might consider to be realistic at the time actually turns out much harder to produce in practice.

      I like what you say about these goals however in that the end result will be sweet. I believe that patience is required and as long as we are receiving some degree of warmth from what we are doing we should continue along that line.

      It’s not always about the destination but more about the journey. 🙂

      Thanks for contributing Andrew!

      Reply

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