“Do what you love and you’ll never work a day in your life.”
Singer Marc Anthony has said this but variations of it
date back to 1982. Are people still spouting this motivational bullshit? Sometimes, when I tell people I just met what I do for work, this quote gets thrown at me and every time, I vehemently disagree.
I got into coffee as a hobbyist. I loved how much there was to learn and tinker with (I still do) and how there was such an interconnected community. A decade later, the rose-tinted glasses are off and I’m a lot more realistic about this industry. I still love it and its people but not in a blanketed kind of way.
Entrepreneurship, solopreneurship, freelancing – whatever you call it, it gets way too romanticized. You can’t just be like Nike and just do it. Once you start selling and receiving payment for things, that’s when you get deep into LLCs, liability documents, quarterly taxes, and so on (or worse, someone else tells you that you haven’t been paying taxes correctly). And to be honest, when you do what you love you feel a lot more passion for it and subsequently, you do a lot more of it. This means you find yourself finishing up an article at 9 pm like I did last night. Believe me, at 9 pm, I did not love being a writer.
I love what I do. I love all the writing and photography and marketing consulting. I don’t love forcing myself to write or having to track invoices or constantly wondering where my creative inspiration went for photography. I also don’t love emails or sitting at my desk for most of the workday.
If you’ve been thinking of going off on your own, don’t let this list stop you. But also, please don’t believe all the hype of everything being rainbows and puppies. Even puppies come with their own set of hyperactive energy and frustrating training exercises. The benefits outweigh the negatives, which is why I’m still doing what I do. I write all of this from a position of privilege. Being able to control my work and projects and general schedule is a benefit that not everyone has.
“Do what you love and you’ll enjoy work more but not always” is my pitch for a replacement quote. I know it’s not as catchy but it’s definitely more realistic.