Doing What You Love Is Not Enough For Success

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Successful people are passionate about what they do. For example, Warren Buffett loves studying companies, finding them at reasonable prices, and investing in them. Similarly, Elon Musk loves engineering and design. So, he builds EVs, rockets, and flame throwers.

“If you want to become successful, do what you love.” You’ve heard it before. All the internet gurus say it. So, that must be true, right?


Doing what you love is not enough to succeed. Its wrong interpretation can lead to failure. So, what is wrong with that statement?

Let’s take an example. Suppose you love dancing. Do you think you can become successful by doing it? Well, sure you can. For instance, you can participate in competitions, make videos online and gain massive followers, teach other aspiring dancers, and so forth. You can become successful doing all those things.

But, there is a slight problem; you have to be exceptional at it. Thousands of other dancers also do all those things because they want to succeed. That means only those who are excellent at it will make it.

Think about it; if you are not a good dancer (or just an average dancer), do you think you can win competitions, gain an online following, and teach others. No, you can’t. You must have extraordinary talent. So, just because you love dancing doesn’t guarantee that you will succeed at it.

Be Exceptional

Refer to the dancing example in any area—business, writing, music, filmmaking, or even at your job. It works the same for all.

Warren Buffett is successful because he loves studying businesses, and he is also good at it—better than anyone else. Similarly, Elon Musk loves building rockets. He does it exceptionally. Furthermore, his products are exceptional too. He did it better than anyone out there.

Whatever you love doing, you must also be exceptional at it if you want to succeed. You must do it better than anyone else or bring unique ideas and innovations in the area.

I get it; you cannot outperform everyone. So, doing it better than anyone else is not easy. But, at least you should be good enough for others to take notice of your work.

How can you do that? By becoming skillful and using innovative strategies. If you don’t have the skills to create and market your craft, it won’t be easy to succeed at what you do. Just because you love doing it does not mean that you are good at it. In most cases, you must build the skills to become exceptional at what you love doing.

Provide Value

Your craft should also provide value to other people. Think about what value you can give others by doing what you love. Do people need what you are willing to provide? Is there a demand for it? If not, it will not be easy to become successful at it.

People must be willing to consume your content. It sounds more applicable to only creative sectors, but it works in all areas. For instance, suppose you work at a financial institution as an equity analyst, and you love your job. It is your passion in life. In this case, your consumers are your clients, potential clients, and even your employers. You provide value to your clients and potential clients by consulting them on the right investment strategies. Similarly, you also provide value to your employers by performing well at your job and bringing profit to their company.

Seek to provide value with your work. Only then will you have a chance of success.


As I said, you must have the skills to do what you love exceptionally. So, you can only become exceptional at what you do if you practice the skills.

Practicing your craft will also boost your self-confidence. The more you practice, the better you get. Assuming that you can do well without practicing is a road it failure. You might be able to do it well enough, but soon there will be others that will outperform you. And then, you are back to the initial state, where you can only talk about doing what you love.

Take the time to learn and practice your skills.

“I fear not the man who has practiced 10,000 kicks once, but I fear the man who has practiced one kick 10,000 times.” —Bruce Lee

Don’t be afraid of failure. Take action, fail, fail more, learn, and win—that’s how you succeed.

In Summary

  • Doing what you love is not enough for success. Instead, you have to be exceptional at it.
  • You must provide value by doing what you love. Otherwise, there will be no place for your craft in the market. It will remain a hobby that nobody cares about.
  • The only way to become good at what you do is by learning the skills and practicing them repeatedly. The more you practice, the better you become. Additionally, you will gain immense self-confidence.
  • Take action. Learn from failures and experiences and use them to become more profound.