You have to love the work

in On Entrepreneurship

I’ve worked with some very successful entrepreneurs.

I’ve had some success, myself.

I’ve written about my frustration with the 4-hour work week, and about the nastiness that is the biz opp side of Internet and information marketing.

Here’s where they all collapse into the ultimate test for any entrepreneur.

If you are building a business and one of your driving questions is, “how can I build a business that will make it so I don’t have to work too much?” — you aren’t cut out for building a business.

Dump the entrepreneurial dreams, save up some money, and buy a franchise. The steady and safe return with minimal owner involvement is what they were created for.

But if you are striking out in the world, finding your own path, and seeking to create value with a new venture where before there was none … well, if you want to know the secret beyond all secrets it is simply this:

You have to love the work.

Building a business is hard. You will be battered and bruised. You will make mistakes. And while mentors, roadmaps, resources, and support are out there; when everyone and everything is telling you to give up, only your effort and resolve will see you through.

If you hate the work, if you are working so that you “don’t have to work” … you’ll never make it over the hump. At the first sign of challenge you’ll give up and go home, because you were never invested in the work to begin with.

When you love the work?

When you love the work — and not just when it is easy or pleasant … but because in your bones you feel is HAS to be done and you are the one to be doing it — then you find your strength and resolve. And it is in those moments of strength and resolve when you have the opportunity to make magic.

{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Christopher John Payne April 18, 2012 at 3:55 am

Hi Michael,

I stumbled across your site via a google search, and I’m glad I did! I met you at a Dan Kennedy event and really enjoyed our short time together. You have a way of engaging which I really appreciate.

I was very happy to later invest in your teleseminar/webinar course, and got many great insights from it. Thank you!

I have thoroughly enjoyed reading through several of your posts. I like your stance. I myself am bewildered by the amount of rubbish which is on sale in the internet marketing sphere.

Like you, I believe that what matters is that we love what we do in our hours at work. I adore working with my clients. I’m passionate about giving them advice that far outweighs their investment.

I think your approach takes a lot of courage but, for me, it’s the only way to live life.

Each day could be our last on Earth. Why not make it count? Why be so focused on ‘get rich quick’ when we miss the beauty of the here and now?

I think most people, if they were told they had an hour or 2 to live, would be very upset and would plead for more time. What a waste.

There is no later. There is only now. I think life is about asking every day, “how do I want to live, who do I want to serve, if this could be my last day alive?”

Because one day it will be.

And if I keep living this way then I’ll have no regrets and only gratitude, when that day finally comes.

Thank you, Michael, for inspiring me to stop and take time to think and write about what matters to me. You’re a star.


2 Hetty Frederik November 30, 2012 at 9:29 pm


Your comment has taken a heavy load from my heart. It has gladdened me to finally have found people who still believe in honest work.
I am on an email list of internet marketers who are totally focused on making big money and early retirement, nothing else. Of course, money is necessary, we all know that. But having it built to the only subject in one’s life? How miserable. They don’t realize how immensely poor they are.


3 Roxanne April 13, 2012 at 6:41 pm

Hi Michael, your experience is very inspiring and it’s true that if people would like to have a steady and easy business, they will go for a franchise. But having your own business is one of the greatest achievement in life, right? With passion and full commitment interest with your business is a great step to success. You have to love the work so that it will not be hard on your part doing it. This post is very interesting!


4 steve/authentic abundance May 31, 2011 at 6:47 pm

Hi Michael,

The real reason you have to love your work is simple: at the end of the day, you’re the one who will have to make it work, and unless you’re engaged at your deepest level, it’ll look like the work’s too much to handle. After all, you’ve got to be the CEO, the Chief Marketing Officer, researcher, accountant, writer, designer and general factotum.

At one point or another during the day I wear all of these hats. And, you know what, I like the challenge involved in learning to do things more effectively, easily and professionally… because I believe in what I am trying to accomplish. It’s that simple–and that deep.


5 Jim Campbell April 25, 2011 at 7:33 pm

Successful entrepreneurs take a breath, then get back in the game. It’s just too much fun to rest…


6 DCL March 23, 2011 at 9:55 am


This is my first trip to your site and I think it’s great.

I disagree with the post above in one certain (and some might say) picky way: franchising is a hands-on, intensive way to earn a living and should not be categorized as a “lesser-than” when considering becoming an entrepreneur. While the challenge of a franchisee might be different to that of a person inventing a new widget or piece of software or social network phenomenon, it’s a HUGE challenge nonetheless. A ‘real’ franchisee (read: the one with tremendous value to the franchisor) is always looking at ways to expand their footprint with new locations, compete with both established brands and ‘mom and pop shops,’ hire and retain great employees and most of all, excite the customer.

Sure, if you open a Quiznos and stop in every other Friday to deliver the checks to your employees, it’s pretty easy. You’ll be poor and broke right quick, but your run as an ‘entrepreneur’ will definitely be easy. LOL.

Successful franchisees work their $%&^# off – plain and simple.

Keep up the thought-provoking work, sir!


7 Brandon M Dodd December 6, 2010 at 4:52 pm

So true Michael. I spend a ton of time helping small businesses, and I get so tired of hearing people talk only about the money. I try to explain to them that, just like you said, what really matters is that you enjoy the ride.


8 faulvem November 22, 2010 at 2:07 am

i like your post Michael, short yet very insightful. Starting a business is not an escape of less work, it might need more extra hours to do the work and without love and passion it wont succeed. Standing strong amidst many challenges will make it to the end.


9 Anonymous October 14, 2010 at 8:36 am

Must already be on everyone’s love to love his work helps to succeed just as wisdom of love to his work will never succeed


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