by Rachel McDermott | Featured Contributor
I have always loved cooking. I remember spending hours pouring over a Boys & Girls cookbook. I still have it, actually.
My Mom taught me how to make oatmeal when I was 9 ½, I learned to do it just like she did—without measuring anything. I learned the concept of eyeballing it, and cooking without instructions came along naturally.
You could say I’ve had a life-long love of cooking.
I’ve gotten used to hearing people tell me, “You should open a restaurant, Rachel!” I can’t even count how many times people have suggested I open a restaurant because they’re in the middle of a foodgasm over something I’ve made. But I always shrug the idea off. I would hate it.
I would hate it in 6 months or less. I know I would.
You shouldn’t start a business just because you love to do something. It’s too easy to start hating what you’re doing, and then what you love no longer brings the same joy.
Why would this happen?
Someone or something taints the experience for you. Or, you’re forced to do the things you don’t enjoy more than the things you do. I would have to do the same thing over and over for lots of people. Now, instead of choosing to share my love for cooking when and where I please, I feel forced to do it whether I’m inspired or not.
A good cook does not a restaurant owner make. There is a lot of work and logistics to running a successful food service business. Running a restaurant isn’t my dream. I love to cook, but I don’t want to start something I know I’ll end up hating. What about you?
How can you tell if you’re starting to hate what you’re doing?
Are you avoiding the work that needs to be done? Do you find yourself saying “I can’t” rather than the reality of “I won’t”?
If you’re passing the work onto somebody else because you don’t want to do it but you know you should, you’re in danger of a shame spiral. You’ll know you’re spiraling when you find yourself not doing what you know you should, feeling shame as you continue to put it off. Feeling horrible, you try to hide or avoid your feelings by binge watching Downton Abbey.
What do you do if you’re starting to loathe what you love?
First, sit down and think about things. What do you really want? Think of what an ideal scenario looks like. What are your options? What are some ways you can move towards that?
What can you outsource? Let other people do the busywork or tasks you hate doing. If I owned a restaurant, I wouldn’t be the chef, because for me the joy of cooking is found at home. I’d only own a restaurant if everything was managed and operated for me.
If you find yourself hating your business, if what you love isn’t so lovely anymore, consider changing. Change your business or pivot in a new direction. Focus on what you really want. Give the things you love more of your time and the things you hate, less time.
How do I do what I love without hating it?
Step One: Establish your boundaries
What are you willing and unwilling to do? It’s not about what you think you should do, or what you think you have to do, or what others tell you to do. It’s about you, if you could have it your way –what would you do?
Step Two: Find ways to accomplish the things you don’t want to do so you can focus on the things you DO want to do
This could be –shutting down the parts you don’t want to do (or finding someone else to do it for you through staffing or outsourcing), or finding a way to automate things so it requires less of your attention.
I love what I do, there’s no way I’d ever hate it!
For the things you love to do, don’t let anyone get it your way. But the things you don’t want to do, slash and burn. Don’t let anyone push you into a corner.
So I hate it, does this mean I have to close my business?
If there’s a part of your business you love, you don’t have to quit. You can make it work. Re-route your business to increase what you love, decreasing the things you can’t stand to do. If there is absolutely nothing you enjoy about your business—stop. Don’t waste time on unfulfilling work.
If you’re starting a business to do something you love, go in with your eyes wide open, expect challenges. You’ll need good systems and boundaries to make sure you won’t start to hate your business. Just like for me, if I owned a restaurant, my boundary would be—I don’t have to do anything with daily operations.
Simply loving something doesn’t mean you should make it a business. But your business won’t work if you don’t love what you’re doing.
Is there something you love to do that you’d never make a business out of? Is your business sucking some of the passion out of what you love? How have you handled that?
Rachel McDermott is co-author of Hook:Why Websites Fail to Make Money and co-founder of HooktoWin.com. Hook hit #1 on Amazon and was a bestseller in 4 categories. It’s been sold in 12 countries around the world. Her Free 5 day mini course shows entrepreneurs how to fix website failure and attract customers automatically.
Rachel and her husband have spent the last decade helping clients sell more products and win more customers. They’ve experienced the day to day grind of building a business and understand the challenges that come with it.
When she’s not writing you can probably find her reading, in the kitchen cooking up something yummy or playing outside with her 2 boys. She also loves to go shopping and thinks buying groceries is relaxing (when she gets to do that alone, of course).