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How to Do What You Love

How to Do What You Love

Most of us have dreams of some day finding a way to do what we love for a living. In our weekly “Do What You Love” column, we feature people from all walks of live who’ve figured out how to do just that.

Here is the best advice from those we’ve featured so far.

The Big Cheese

The Big Cheese

As star of the Cooking Channel show “The Big Cheese” Jason Sobocinski loves telling stories about cheese and it’s history. His advice on how to do what you love:

“Don’t even think for one minute about if you can do it, if you’ll make enough money, if it’s right for you. Just have the courage to go out and do it. I didn’t ask myself any of the above questions, and if I had, I probably wouldn’t be doing what I am now.”

To read Jason’s full story visit: Do What You Love: The Big Cheese

Notre Dame’s Top Computer Scientist

Notre Dame’s Top Computer Scientist

As head of the computer science department at Notre Dame, Kevin Bowyer loves that he gets to study all sorts of fields. His advice on how to do what you love:

“Do something that you can excel at. It is a trite old saying – “excellence is its own reward.” But it is easy to enjoy something that you are good at, and hard to enjoy something that you are just OK at. And if you are one of the best at what you do, people will bring interesting opportunities to you.”

To read Kevin’s full story visit: Do What You Love: Notre Dame's Top Computer Scientist

Dr. Oz

Dr. Oz

Dr. Oz was inspired to become a doctor by his own father, who was one, too. His advice on how you can do what you love:

“Never, ever give up. Just stay the course. Slow and steady wins the race, and enjoy the journey.”

To read Dr. Oz’s full story visit: Do What You Love: Dr. Oz

The Comic Book Hero

The Comic Book Hero

James McLauchlin founded the not-for-profit Hero Initiative to help comic book industry creators in need. His advice on how to do what you love for a living:

“Chances are, nobody but nobody is going to pick you out of a crowd and offer you your dream job, not even knowing what it is. So you have to jump up, pursue, ask, demand and make the first move yourself.”

To read James’ full story visit: Do What You Love: The Comic Book Hero

The Batman Movie Producer

The Batman Movie Producer

Michael Uslan is the originator and executive producer, along with partner Benjamin Melniker, of the Batman franchise of motion pictures. How did he find a way to do what he loves:

“Got up off the couch to pursue my passion in life. Knocked on doors till my knuckles bled. Had a high threshold for frustration. Believed in myself and my work. Made a commitment and never gave up, even when I had to walk through hell.”

To read Michael’s full story visit: Do What You Love: The Batman Movie Producer

The Fantasy Sports Entrepreneur

The Fantasy Sports Entrepreneur

Taylor Caby had a knack for poker, but he also had a desire to be an entrepreneur. So, the self-taught player decided to turn his millions in winnings into two profitable online poker companies … that is, until the Department of Justice cracked down on online gaming. Now, he’s back with a fantasy sports site called DraftDay.

His advice on how to find a way to do what you love:

“You should be realistic. You should absolutely dream big, but you have to start small. Sitting around trying to think of the next billion-dollar idea (for example) just isn’t likely to happen. Start by thinking about where you hope to be someday and then take 10 steps backwards and think about where you can realistically be in a month or so.”

To read Taylor’s full story visit: Do What You Love: The Fantasy Sports Entrepreneur

The Google Engineer

The Google Engineer

When he was growing up, Keith Stevens admired his dad, a computer programmer who worked on all sorts of cool projects, including video games. Now he works his dream job at Google. His advice on how to find a way to do what you love for a living:

“You shouldn’t do what you want to do most, you do the thing that you’d always regret not doing in life. That thing that people are too afraid to try because it’s foolish or bound to fail. Once you figure out what that thing is, do it and figure out how to make it a career.”

To read Keith’s full story visit: Do What You Love: The Google Engineer

The Celebrity Agent

The Celebrity Agent

You know many of Ken Lindner’s clients — Matt Lauer, Mario Lopez, Lester Holt and Dr. Sanjay Gupta, but Lindner, who describes himself as both an agent and a life coach, stays mostly behind the scenes. His advice on how to do what you love:

“Identify which positions/jobs/professions will take advantage of and showcase your unique skills, talents and gifts.”

To Ken’s whole story: Do What You Love: The Celebrity Agent

Dancing Queen NiRé AllDai

Dancing Queen NiRé AllDai

NiRé AllDai has heard a lot of famous people sing her songs. In fact, she has written lyrics for Mary J. Blige, Keri Hilson, KeKe Palmer, and Demi Lovato.

Earlier this year, however, AllDai came out from behind the scenes and released her own songs “Hella Bad” and “Inside Out,” marking her debut entry into the Billboard Dance Club Song Chart. She tells us how you can find a way to do what you love for a living, too.

“Be patient. When venturing out on your own, life tries to make us prove our dedication and usually it may take a while to see the true fruits of your labor. But be patient and have ultimate faith along with your diligence, and eventually the universe will have no choice but to reward you for your efforts.”

To read NiRé AllDai  visit: Do What You Love: Dancing Queen NiRé AllDai

The Dancewear CEO

The Dancewear CEO

Robb Lippitt is the CEO of Revolution Dancewear, which makes and sells bodywear, footwear and recital costumes, to more than half of the 18,000 dance studios in the United States. When he was a kid, he wanted to be a baseball player or a dentist. His advice on how to do what you love for a living:

“Take responsibility for yourself, your success, and your happiness.  You are not limited by your boss, your situation, or anything other than your own willingness to grow and change.  When you approach things from this perspective, it will help you make better choices, be more creative, take more (positive) risk, and feel more empowered.  Taking responsibility will always lead you toward your dreams.”

To read Robb’s whole story visit: Do What You Love: The Dancewear CEO

The Rock Star Inventor

The Rock Star Inventor

Harry West, CEO of Continuum, a global design and innovation consultancy, has had a hand in designing products that have become household names, including the Swiffer, Reebok Pump shoes and “stages” diapers. His advice on how to do what you love for a living:

“Try things out. If you aren’t happy, change your job. Or if you are lucky enough to work in a place that supports it, change your role within your job.”

To read Harry’s whole story visit: Do What You Love: The Rock Star Inventor

Chef Tony Mantuano

Chef Tony Mantuano

Chef Tony Mantuano has proven himself in the kitchen as the owner/chef of six restaurants and on television as a season two finalist of Bravo’s “Top Chef Masters.” He also owns one of Chicago’s best restaurants, Spiaggia. His advice for finding a way to do what you love:

“I can’t remember who said this, but it was something like, “hang on while all the other hanging on-ers are falling off, just persevere.”

To read Tony’s full story visit: Do What You Love: Chef Tony Mantuano

The Celebrity Baby Blogger

The Celebrity Baby Blogger

Lisa Weber started Celebrity Baby Scoop back in 2006 while she was working as a labor and delivery nurse. She tells you how to do what you love:

“The No. 1 thing would be to do what you love and don't give up. If it’s something that you’re not interested in, you’re going to get bored and lose interest fast.”

To read Lisa’s full story visit: Do What You Love: The Celebrity Baby Blogger

The Guncles

The Guncles

Bill Horn and Scout Masterson (a.k.a. “The Guncles,” short for "the gay uncles") are regulars on Oxygen Network’s hit reality show “Tori & Dean: Home Sweet Hollywood.” In addition to appearing on the show, Horn and Masterson run a public relations firm specializing in baby and kids' products.

Masterson’s advice on how to do what you love:

"I'm from a very small, rural town and I dreamed of becoming a casting director. I researched, made my plan and worked my butt off. I wasn't above working my way from intern to casting director over a course of 10 years. I made a career plan and didn't accept no for an answer. So many people want to just skip ahead to their dream position and forget that more than likely, the folks in their dream job have worked years to get there."

To read The Guncles’ whole story visit: Do What You Love: The Guncles

The Hubble Astrophysicist

The Hubble Astrophysicist

Mario Livio is an astrophysicist who works on the Hubble Space Telescope. He’s also a successful author and a self-confessed art fanatic.

His advice on how to do what you love:

“Follow your dreams. If you cannot find precisely the job you wanted, there are two things to remember. It is possible that you'll be able to find that dream job at a later stage. Try to identify what were the qualities that identify your ‘dream job,’ and then do your best to incorporate those qualities into the job that you did find.”

To read his full story visit: Do What You Love: The Hubble Astrophysicist

The Artistic Entrepreneur

The Artistic Entrepreneur

Nancy Epstein is the founder and CEO of Artistic Tile, a tile retailer, wholesaler and importer. She’s pioneered a new business model and has found a way to combine her love of history, religion, politics and travel into her job.  Her advice on how to do what you love:

“Be brave. Don't listen to naysayers. Be willing and able to make decisions quickly, sometimes without knowing all of the facts. Be willing to be wrong, and not letting the fear of making mistakes slow you down.”

To read her full story visit: Do What You Love: The Artistic Entrepreneur

Carmen Electra

Carmen Electra

Before she appeared on “Baywatch” and in dozens of movies, Carmen Electra kick-started her career in 1991 as the pop protégé of music legend Prince.

Now more than 20 years later, Electra has returned to her music roots, a dream she held on to for years. Her single "I Like It Loud" premiered in November 2012.

Her advice on how to do what you love:

“Put in the work and then just go for it! Keep trying and never give up.”

To read her full story visit: Do What You Love: Carmen Electra.

The Men Who Dress Hollywood

The Men Who Dress Hollywood

 Jimmy Au’s has outfitted stars for major film and television projects over the last 20 years. Dressing everyone from Al Pacino to Dick Clark and Michael J. Fox to Mel Brooks. Alan Au’s advice on how to do what you love:

“LOVE your clients and/or customers by seeing their perspective in dealing with you and why they need your product and/or service. This attitude is infectious and can linger long after you leave to pursue your own career dreams.”

To read his whole story visit: Do What You Love: The Men Who Dress Hollywood

The Hollywood Monster Maker

The Hollywood Monster Maker

You may not know his name, but you’ve likely seen his work. Todd Tucker, president of Illusion Industries, is best known for creating iconic creatures in classic and award-winning films such as “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button,” “The Pirates of the Caribbean” and “The Smurfs 2,” coming out this summer.

“Start by gathering as much information as possible to help you understand how to achieve your goal. Come up with a realistic start-to-finish game plan, then take one step at a time. Be patient, motivated, passionate, smart, and don’t get discouraged by setbacks.”

To read his whole story visit: Do What You Love: The Hollywood Monster Maker

The Fashion Star

The Fashion Star

You may know Caprice Willard from her role as a featured buyer for NBC’s reality show "Fashion Star.” She’s also a vice president and regional planning manager for Macy’s women’s apparel department.

Here advice on how to find a job doing what you love:

“Make a plan and stick to the plan! Make sure the plan has realistic benchmarks and celebrate the successes along the way! Every promotion I got I celebrated with my family — even if I still hadn't reached my end goal, I made sure to still enjoy the ride!”

To read her full story:  Do What You Love: Caprice Willard 

The Crowdfunding Philanthropist

The Crowdfunding Philanthropist

Dave Boyce is on a mission to make everyone a philanthropist. 

The oldest of eight kids and father of six bootstrapped himself out of humble beginnings in Stillwater, Okla., to the epicenter of Silicon Valley, where he now serves as CEO of Fundly —the world's largest and most widely adopted crowdfunding platform for social good.

His advice on how to do what you love:

“What are you waiting for?  If not now, when?  If not you, who? That advice has stood the test of time for a reason.”

To read his full story see: Do What You Love: The Crowdfunding Philanthropist

Jeanette Mulvey
Jeanette Mulvey

Jeanette has been writing about business for more than 20 years. She has written about every kind of entrepreneur from hardware store owners to fashion designers. Previously she was a manager of internal communications for Home Depot. Her journalism career began in local newspapers. She has a degree in American Studies from Rutgers University. Follow her on Twitter @jeanettebnd.