1.2 WHY Doing What We Love Is Solid Business Thinking

Not Self-Indulgent, Good Business

inside-out thinking

Did I really mean to say the word? Yep.

Love. Not like, enjoy, or get kick out of, but have a passion for, live for, hold in highest esteem. Every person needs a quest, a cause, and a purpose.

That’s right. One — that one simple question.

What businesslike thing do you love doing?

is critical to your business.

Because it’s how we’re wired as humans. We bring our best to whatever challenge we face. We’re better when we’re inspired by deep feeling. We’ve known that since we were kids.

Any less is inauthentic, second-best, didn’t try, plan b, was absent that day, ho-hum, phone it in, stand in right field and let that pop-fly pass us by instead of saying the game . . . we might as well be out!

There’s a reason that so many folks — on TV, in IT, in academia, in every career — say the same thing. . . . find your passion, do what you love.

They’re not promoting self-indulgence. They’re supporting solid business sense.

WHY Doing What We Love Is Solid Business Thinking

What makes loving our work solid business thinking? Why is it more critical now than before?

In his book, A Whole New Mind, Dan Pink points out that “high concept” and “high touch” values (design, story, symphony, empathy, play, and meaning) have become as important as linear thinking, detailed analysis, and spreadsheets.

On his blog, Doc Searls recently said this about how business is doing. It was part of an interview with Shel Israel.

In the original website version of Cluetrain, Chris Locke wrote, “we are not seats or eyeballs or end users or consumers and our reach exceeds your grasp. deal with it.”
Recognizing a situation and dealing with it, however are two different things. The “dealing” has barely begun.

In this Internet, global economy we deal direct — no middle man. Conversation and relationships matter as much as schedule and budget do.

In plain and simple words, thinking and doing what everyone has thought and done no longer work. Now it’s think and love what we do — That’s the only way to draw customers to us.

Think hard. Thinking alone doesn’t solve every problem. Some problems are human. Some require empathy and finesse. Some situations call for more than intelligent reasoning. Before you talk yourself out of what you love doing . . . think about the reasons we need to bring all of yourself to your business — head and heart.

7 Reasons WHY Doing What We Love is Critical

When we bring all of who we are, full engagement of head and heart, we bring 7 deeper values and higher outcomes to our work.

  1. Complete presence — focus. We’re all there — the all thinking business is no longer sufficient. Computers can’t smile. Computers can’t listen to the spaces between words. People buy what we sell.
  2. Peak performance — productivity. We invest more, do more, go further for the work we love.
  3. Tolerance — perseverance. We have more patience, time, and energy for problem solving when we directly reap the benefits.
  4. Value and Appeal — compelling story. To compete a product or service has to be useful and beautiful. Simple and elegant, for to the adult and the kid in each one of us. Bringing logic and emotion to a business outdistances the world view of logic alone.
  5. Total Differentiation — identity. The uniqueness of our being shines through in concept and execution when we start from what we love.
  6. Fully Invested and Worth Investing In — market value. Rolling all of the above values into one, nothing beats the 360 degree investment of brains, money, and dreams all in the same direction. Any VC worth his or her salt looks for that combination when funding a small business.
  7. Sense of Worth — authority. We value what we earn and what we love.

Can you see why it’s only sense that a strong business is built on doing what we love?

Got questions yet?

Next: 1.3 WHAT IF you don’t know what you love to do?

–ME “Liz” Strauss
Is your business stuck? Check out the Start-up Strategy Package. Work with Liz!!

To follow the entire series: Liz Strauss’ Inside-Out Thinking to Building a Solid Business, see the Successful Series Page.


  1. says

    The seven reasons why doing what we love is critical goes directly to the experience of “flow,” where we are so engaged with what we are doing that time seems to fly by, there is more to be done, and the hours spent don’t seem like work.

    It takes critical thinking on our part to get to flow and figuring out what we love to do.

    This is some excellent thinking on this and can’t wait to read more.

  2. says

    Hi Scot!
    I’m with you on getting to “Flow.” Optimal experiement, right smack dab between boredom and anxiety is where I want to live my life. It does start, as you say, with knowing our strengths and what challenges we love to tackle. Work can be play. :)

    I can’t wait to see what I write. :)

  3. says

    Liz –

    Yesterday on my blog Steve Roesler left a great comment about why he isn’t looking toward retiring any time soon. I feel the same way – and it got me thinking.

    When you love what you do – you don’t even want to stop. Stopping would be like ceasing to be who you are – you can’t!

  4. says

    Number 8 Reason WHY Doing What We Love is Critical? FUN!

    I love what I do and this effects the quality of my life NOW. Not in the future, not after I succeeded – it makes my life great in the present. Every day – and this alone is worth millions if not billions!

    Love this post Liz, as always you are a great inspiration and a extraordinary teacher.

    Much power & love to you!

  5. says

    Yeah, Ann,
    That’s a great point. When we’re all engaged like we are. It’s hard to imagine not having this kind of experience. It’s too fun and thrilling. 😉

  6. says

    Hi Steli!
    All of the reasons are just ot make sure that the fun doesn’t overpower the intelligence of loving what we do. :)

    If you’re not having fun, you’re just not doing it right. :)

  7. says

    And this is why the company that have just employed me (I started on Monday) have got a great deal. I love what I am doing there, as well as the rest of the team it seems, and once the training is finished they won’t be able to stop me!

  8. says


    It’s the dawning of a new age in the way business at hand will be conducted. The old formulas aren’t working anymore, hence the fall and buy outs of so many of the “old standards”. The world of individuals is beginning to show itself and the old way of finding a set business formula that appeals to the “masses” is no longer viable. Now businesses may find that (much to their senior members dismay) each business has to present itself as a unique entity unto itself that makes it’s entire appearance appeal to the market it wishes to target. Nothing superficial or phony as we have now where one can dig past the surface and find the same old thing underneath…this has to go “to the bone”—you have to believe in what you’re doing and love and enjoy doing it.

    I’ve seen this coming for awhile now and I’m loving every minute of it and it’s so good(!) to see someone of your nature and presence get past the obstacles and just say it!

  9. says

    I spent three pages in my journal this morning working on “I love to…” One of the things I was wrestling with was being sure I was identifying the things I love to do, and not just things I like to do. It’s not always easy to identify the cut-off point between liking to do something, and loving to do something. It came to me that perhaps the way to resolve that is to ask myself “What would I do if someone told me I could never do [x] again?”

  10. says


    Now that sounds like the right question everyone should ask if they have a problem wrapping there head around this subject. perhaps the reverse would help as well:

    What would I hate giving up?

  11. says

    Hi Phil!
    Companies who understand that the greatest gift we bring is ourselves and our dedication make great strides. Those who don’t frustrate everyone, don’t they? :)

  12. says

    Hi Kirk!
    Yep business is changing that’s for sure. There’s no way that it can’t. Businesses have been much like a guy on a date who wants only one thing from employees and customers. Now relationships matter. :)

    So does love. :)

  13. says

    That’s a great way to go about it. What would make me feel starved if I couldn’t do it? What would I hate it if someone took it away?

    We often know what we love by what we miss. :)

  14. says

    Here’s something I just ran across this evening that’s apropos:

    “If we stop trying to improve ourselves and start trying to delight ourselves, we get further as artists. If we lean into what we love instead of soldiering toward what we ‘should,’ our pace quickens, or energy rises, optimism sets in. What we love is nutritious for us.
    – Julia Cameron
    (in Walking in This World)

  15. says

    Great thinking points! Thanks for sharing. By doing what we love in work we also get the chance to be completely ourselves, a habit or luxury which is sadly denied in these busy times. I think doing what I love keeps me as a busy SAHM sane in spite of my family life!

  16. says

    Hi Amanda!
    Yep! Doing what we love is sensible and serves us well. It’s the way we can find how to serve others and find folks who love what we do. :)

    It’s so cool that you’ve found a way to be a Stay at Home Mom and do what you love. :)

  17. kris says

    I perfectly agree with everyone out here that to be outstandingly successful, doing what we love the most is not a choice, its the best possible potion! but over the years I have tried to chase doing something that did not matter much to me in any great way just to be successful, that now I am so lost, that I cannot find what I really love doing..can anyone help me how I can rediscover myself?

  18. says

    It’s very true that loving what you do will be better for business. Studies have shown that when people have a passion for what they are doing, they are more likely to show up to work every day and put in valuable effort. This effort and enthusiasm will be turned into profit for the company. Also, when people love what they are doing and who they are working for, customer’s notice and are more likely to repeat business in the future.

    • says

      Hi Jenna,
      Yep, the research and proof are all there. Besides we can see it in the people we meet. They’re more engaged and more fun to work with. I always find they bring out more in me. :)

      You’re not a stranger anymore.

  19. says

    Thanks for this post. What you say makes such sound good sense to me. I think most of the world has somehow separated business and personal into two different categories – mostly perhaps to justify unethical behavior! “It’s not personal, it’s just business.” But I believe that our work should be an extension of who we intrinsically are. It should be how we use our innate creativity, and it should connect us in the best possible way with community and the world.

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