Success doesn’t always come from “Doing what you love” sometimes you have to “Do it with love”

iStock_000015841880_ExtraSmallI was scrolling through my Facebook updates and Terence (Terry) Donnelly, Chief Marketing Officer at MDC partners and former recruiting executive at Mandrake; posted “Do what you do with love and success is a natural symptom.”

It got me thinking. Terry is a musician and has been one since he was a teenager. He’s always got a gig or two going with his band Community Soul. He went on to say…..

“Most people think if you do what you love, success will come. This is not true. That only works if you can find a way to do what you love and get someone to pay you for it enough times that you can make a living. It’s more important to find something you can do for a living, and do it with love. Then you are guaranteed success.”

After years of being a clothing designer and film artist it dawned on me that recruiting was in fact something I had found that I could do for a living. It was my first daughter that motivated the switch, I had bigger bills to pay and travel was no longer an option.

When I recruit with love, things always blossom. Many of us end up finding work and becoming successful when we do it with love. When we stop putting love into what we do, we see the negative impact.

The approach here segues nicely into Seth Godin’s concept of being a linchpin. I’m not saying we all aspire to be linchpins, but certainly having an artful approach to your work has got to be fueled by the love you put in to it.

I quote Seth here, “Your art is what you do when no one can tell you exactly how to do it. Your art is the act of taking personal responsibility, challenging the status quo, and changing people. I call the process of doing your art ‘the work.’ It’s possible to have a job and do the work, too. In fact, that’s how you become a linchpin.”

So many of us fall into our careers. We were doing something we loved and hoped to find success, we then transitioned into the critical mass of adulthood and started to have children or interests that cost us more money than we could afford. We realized that we needed to have a more utilitarian approach. Through networking, serendipitous connections or pursuing higher education; we sought alternative places to apply our talents and we eventually started to make headway with new careers.

I’ve seen this transition in many professions, for example – programmers who’ve been musicians in previous lives; sales executives who were artists or actors; and digital strategists who produced films and switched to web media.

I know a lot of you out there have become successful by doing what you love, there’s a good case for that too.

When we do what we do at work with love, it’s a sure fire formula for brilliance, innovation and success.

There’s a reason that Deon Jackson’s hit songĀ  “love makes the world go round” was such a sensation in the 60′s, it continues to influence contemporary lyricists today.

Thanks to Terry for the inspiration.



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I'm the founder of i-identify a Toronto based recruiting company. I deliver full-time and contract professionals who are leaders in their fields. Much of my work has focused in the tech sector, however; I have done some great work in retail, not-for-profit, consumer packaged goods and mining too. I've become a generalist who specializes in identifying great talent.

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