Derek Sivers

Programmer, writer, avid student of life. I make useful things, and share what I learn.

Articles → Doesn’t feel like work (or I’ve forgotten)

We’ve all heard that the career we should be pursuing is the one that doesn’t feel like work.

Someone today asked me, “But of course there are times when you really have to do a lot of hard work to get a new business going, right?”

I thought about it for a long time.

I can’t remember anything in my last 20 years of running my own business that really felt like hard work!

Was it hard work finding band members, scheduling rehearsals, or trying to book gigs in the college market? Not really. It felt like an extension of the creative process of making music.

Was it hard work answering thousands of CD Baby emails myself for the first few years? Not really. It was good to hear what people were thinking, what problems they were having, and felt great to solve them all.

I could see how these things would seem like hard work, but when it’s your company or you’re so filled with love for what you’re doing, it doesn’t feel like work.

Then I realized a good comparison (even though I’m not a parent):

Wiping someone else’s baby’s bottom feels like work.

Wiping your own baby’s bottom doesn’t feel like work.

On the other hand, they say women often remember childbirth as less painful than it really was, so maybe my brain is wired to forget the hard work, otherwise I’d never do it again.