What You Love
I enjoy snowboarding and playing tennis, good red wine, and dinner at The Corson Building. I love watching college hoops and professional soccer. Finally, Stephen King books have always been a guilty pleasure.
No one will pay me a dime for any of these activities however. Those are personal hobbies and there’s nothing wrong with them. Making a career out of them, at least in my case, is just not realistic. So why do so many self-help or career-oriented articles start with the saying, “Do what you love”? Is that really the best advice?
I have loved snowboarding for decades but I still haven’t figured out how to get paid doing it. I doubt I ever will. Just because you love doing something does not mean that others will see value in it for themselves and reward you accordingly. Value creation has to be with others in mind, rather than simply personal enjoyment.
Perhaps a better perspective is to first start with what you are good at in life. What noteworthy skills do you possess? Can you use them to help or bring enjoyment to others? Will someone actually pay you for this? Can you eventually scale this idea? And, most importantly, will you enjoy doing it over and over again until mastery is achieved?
I have hesitated writing this for some time, because I know that if I were to have given my 21-year-old self this advice, he would have told me to pound sand, and justifiably so. And yet, here I am. It’s an unpopular opinion, and I’m sure many will disagree, but I don’t believe the best advice is to do what you love. Many personal hobbies will not result in career success in whatever form you choose to measure it. However, some can bring you career success, and that leads me to my next point.
Maybe the better advice is to figure out first and foremost what you are really good at – something that potentially distinguishes you from others. It may indeed be a hobby, or it may not. Focus on finding ways to use that skill or interest to create utility for others, not just yourself. Finally, and most importantly, make sure you also find enjoyment in doing that activity over and over again. Mastery without enjoyment is neither healthy nor sustainable.
I love sales and I love helping to grow FCR. I truly believe in what we do as a company. I love it when we bring careers and opportunity to small US towns. I love helping tech companies grow and scale their support departments. Finally, I love seeing the end result of all of the hard work from our 2,000+ colleagues. This I can do over and over again, each and every day. It creates value in all directions and never ceases to fire my interest.
Of course nothing is as much fun as snowboarding on a powder day, but that is what separates the personal hobby from the true career path. One involves an inward personal view while the other looks outward, creating real value for others and success for yourself in the process.
CEO & Co-founder
Matthew Achak is the CEO and Co-Founder of FCR. His role within FCR involves actively managing all company wide sales, marketing, business development, social media, public relations, client facing communications, and ongoing program growth. Founded in 2005 in Roseburg, OR , FCR is the most respected outsource provider in the industry.