Finding Your Passion Amid the Hate

Asking QuestionsOh, you hate your job? Why didn’t you say so? There’s a support group for that. It’s called EVERYBODY, and they meet at the bar.” ~ Drew Carey

“I Hate My Job…”

That’s one of the most common answers I receive when I ask “why do you want to start a home-based business.”

“Hate” is a strong word – but one that captures what a lot of folks feel regarding their work. The question is this – is hate a good reason to do anything?

“Why Do You Do It…?”

The next question I usually ask it “why.” Why spend so much of your time doing something you hate?

The answers are universal – to pay the bills, feed my family, security, benefits, or to make enough so I can do what I want. There’s often a lot of passion in the answers. Sometimes there are tears. Some feel trapped. Others like indentured servants.

I have a tremendous amount of respect for them – and for you – if you are in the same boat. You are doing what it takes to survive, and that is commendable. It takes guts and a sense of self worth – otherwise you would have just given up long ago.

“But Is There Another Reason…?”

Which brings me to this – what about your job to you love? Not like, not tolerate, but love. Is there something about the work that you do that makes it worthwhile?

Where you are now is because of choices – maybe a college major, maybe taking an opportunity that looked good, or listening to parents, teachers, or friends. But there had to be something about it that was appealing.

Most things in life come down to pleasure and pain – the choices we make regarding work included. Knowing why you do the work you do is important, particularly if you are considering the life of an entrepreneur.

Think about where you are and how you got there. If you hate every aspect of your job – get out now. If there are things you love about it – focus on that while you build your own business. Learning to see why you make the choices you make each day is a powerful realization to have.

A great way to find your passion is to look for it in your day-to-day life, hidden among the frustrations you may feel at work.

There’s at least a hint of it in the work you do now. It’s up to you to find it.


  1. Tony, When I hear folks complaining about their work I have a tendency to say something like, “This is America. If you don’t like your job, go find another one.”

    Of course I’ve had to eat those words a time or two. ๐Ÿ˜†

  2. I was an elementary school teacher for 35 years and there was much I loved about the relationships I developed with the children. To see a seven year old excited about learning to read or write stories or whatever was very rewarding.

    Unfortunately, the pressure of the job plus undiagnosed diabetes and other illness forced me to retire a few years earlier than I had planned. Sadly, I lost the passion.

    Three years down the track I can now say I made the right decision. I have now filled my life with a passion to write (and blog).

    I don’t miss the stress.
    I don’t miss the staff politics.
    I don’t miss the long hours.
    I don’t miss all that administrivia.

    But I do miss the children – and I hope they miss my jokes.

  3. I’m truly astounded by friends who complain about their jobs. I’ve always thought that life was far too short to hate what you do for a living.

    Most people spend the majority of their waking hours at work each day. I can’t figure out why those people would want to torture themselves by doing something they hated day in and day out.

    Some folks hate their jobs with enough passion to tell everyone around them that they hate their jobs.

    That seems like a express bus to ulcer-city to me.

  4. I think I might be one of the few who actually enjoys their job. Or what I like to call it, a career. My employers were the ones who taught me everything I know in regards to marketing and have encouraged me to keep the entrepreneur spirit. They have also invested in my well being to live a successful professional and personal life. Ahhh. Iรขโ‚ฌโ„ขm spoiled. ๐Ÿ˜€

  5. I think this article is great advice for someone who would like to do something else, but can’t quite make the leap yet. Focusing on the positive is always good advice. Finding your passion in the positive aspects of a hated job is an interesting concept.

  6. Chris – I know what you mean. It’s hard, because I sometimes think the same way. But I always try to look at where they are coming from and it really is a struggle. But once they see the limitless opportunity, something clicks.

    Trevor – It’s very cool that you’ve seen the shift in passion and followed it. That happens a lot, but some folks try to hang on to something they used to feel. I’ve done it myself.

    Dave – I agree. It key is to find out WHY you continue to do it. If it’s strictly to pay the bills, or to tough it out until retirement, there are much better ways than to ride the “express bus to ulcer-city” (great image ๐Ÿ˜‰ )

    Christian – That’s awesome – and a great place to be. I’ve worked with clients who are also in a position where they are doing what they enjoy, and have the support of their employer to keep the entrepreneurial spirit.

    Anthony – Thanks. There are almost always going to be pieces that are enjoyable. They can be clues to what you’re passionate about, and make the day job more tolerable in the process.

  7. Great post! I don’t think anyone should just “put up with” their job, they should love it. And can you really be productive at something you don’t love? What makes you try?

  8. I think the hardest part is making the initial leap. How do you know you make money of your own? What if you can’t? Going from a steady income stream to nothing is frightening.

    People are so coddled by the corporate environment. All you have to do is show up every day, do what’s asked, not make any waves, and you are guaranteed to get paid. Being 100% responsible for you own livelihood, especially when you’ve never done it before, is daunting.

  9. Answer the following questions:

    If you won $2-billion, would you be happy?

    If you had to die 2 seconds after you won, would you still want to win?

    You answered no, because each second of our lives is truly priceless; worth much more than $2-billion, as your previous answer indicates.

    Just remember this next time you are caught in a traffic jam, in the middle of an argument, or worrying about this or that.

    The click ticks. It’s up to you what attitude you choose to wear.


  10. Hannah – That’s a great point. You’re always going to be more productive doing something you enjoy than something you hate.

    John – Very true. That comes back to the concept of calculated risk, which I mentioned the other day. I’ll be posting more about that this week.

    Shane – Right — time is a currency that once it’s spent, you can’t get it back. You can always make more money (if you’re willing to work hard, or work smart). You can’t make more time.

  11. QUOTE: If you hate every aspect of your job – get out now. If there are things you love about it – focus on that while you build your own business. END QUOTE

    Those are nothing less than words to live by, Tony!

    Everyone has responsibilities, but doing something that you don’t enjoy for years goes well beyond the realm of just “taking care of business”. Do what you have to do for the moment while you make plans to – quickly – start only doing what you WANT to do.

  12. There are many reasons I don’t like my job, but the good doesn’t weight out the bad. So I am working on building a business, when I am doing well enough, I can leave the 9-5.

    I see having freedom and being respected, earning what your worth more of a motive, than being a corporate desk jockey.

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