How to find the answer to the question, "What work would I love to do?"

How do you get to do what you love and get paid for it when you don't even know what you love?

If you're stuck in this dilemma, you're not alone. In fact it is the single biggest obstacle I come across amongst people wanting to get paid to do what they love.

I've decided it's time we did something about this major stumbling block. So I'm getting together with Head Coach at Screw Work Let's Play, Selina Barker, over the next few weeks to show you how to get around it.

Now, if you don't know Selina, she is a true 'player' in the best sense of the word.

Here are 3 fun facts about Selina:

  • At 24 Selina was co-founder of a leading career change organisation and has helped change the careers of people on seven continents, including the Antarctic! She now runs the Screw Work Let's Play 30 Day Challenge with me where she is a powerhouse of energy, inspiration and enthusiasm for the 200 participants.
  • Selina has been living a nomadic lifestyle for over a year now. With her business in a bag she has travelled the UK in a campervan, learnt to surf in Costa Rica, created a pop-up home in Buenos Aires for 5 weeks, and is currently road tripping through California
  • The one thing people are most likely to say about Selina: "Be careful sharing your dreams with Selina because she'll have you doing them before you have time to say 'This is scary'!"

Watch this short video

So with Selina in San Francisco and me in London, we recorded a short video to get you started on finding work you love. Watch it and find out:

  • Why is it so common not to know what work we would love to do? And...
  • What can you do right now that will start to produce some answers for you?

Can't see the video? Try this instead

Where have you got stuck on finding what you love?

Leave a comment below and tell us where you are with knowing what you'd love to do. Where have you got stuck? We'll address your questions over the next few weeks in some more videos.

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  • Anonymous

    It's in my book and we cover it in the 30 Day Challenge

  • Jo

     ok ,will look, i have your book, thanks

  • Anonymous

    I know several people whose businesses revolve around travel and writing and adventures. If you're willing to go for it, it is possible. Have you even started a blog yet?

  • Stuntman Burt

     Thanks for the reply, John -- I do have a blog, but so far the high water mark has been about 25 visits, so I don't know what I need to do better -- other than write better.

    you refer me to the writing of people you mention, for inspiration?  I
    promise not to fall into the trap of thinking "it's different for them,
    because", I'd just like to see their work

  • Stuntman Burt

    You make a good point about saboteurs and limiting beliefs, do I need a coach or therapy? 😉  But seriously, what sort of coach do you recommend -- a life coach or a career coach?

  • Jo

     hi John, yes,good advice if in uk or europe but would run into work visa territory elsewhere which i wanted to avoid. (age and all that is restrictive!) I have done the free range human 21 day course  but ran out of steam in week 2 when i just couldn't come up with the idea of what to do to work on the move...

  • David B

    That's a really good way of looking at it which I hadn't thought of - thank you.

  • David B

    I think this is true for a lot of things, partly because we're a part of a society which wants/needs to put everyone into a particular box. So often, if there's no box for you, you're seen as a misfit.

  • Anonymous

    Write once a week minimum. Stay on topic/on brand/on message. Address real world concerns people have. Be controversial. Be funny. Be yourself. Go deeper - ask "What's really going on here?" and write what you find.  Write enough to get good. Then... comment on others' blogs, see if you can write a guest post, tweet, Facebook and so on.

    Bloggers I like include,, Michael Neill

  • Anonymous

    The important thing is not to sit around thinking but to play it out. Pursue interests that could turn into location independent income streams further down the line. Choose things that have lots of energy for you.

  • Hi Stuntman Burt, perhaps you could include a link to your blog when you reply to comments, or have your name linked to a twitter account (ie: like mine is). I'd love to read about travel / adventure type stuff and there's no way of checking you out! 🙁

  • Claire Hughes

    Great video. What you said about education made me cry! I think a big issue for me is forgetting WHY I want to do what I want to do, if that makes sense. I need to remind myself of my core values, or else I start second-guessing myself. Work doesn't always feel fun once it becomes work, because then it involves money and that can change the dynamic. Other obstacles I have faced include a hard time giving myself permission to play (go have some fun, dammit!), and lack of a support network of like-minded people who are doing a similar thing. That said, I absolutely believe it can be done! I'm on the right path, largely thanks to the help I received from you and the 30DC! Its a brave new world and I really think we're on the cusp of a big change - know I am. 

  • Jan

    Of course it's different for everyone, but I don't think big blocks of time are as useful as they seem. Last year I basically had a year off to do whatever I wanted (yup, just like John's 'imagine you had a year off' scenario) and I actually found it harder to get round to things than when I had no time. It gave me too much opportunity to put things off. I've always thought that we work relative to the time we have- ie, if I wake up late and have 10 minutes to get ready I'll do it in 10 minutes, but if I'm on time and have an hour to do the same routine, it will take me that whole hour... I'm digressing, but I think if you have only small windows of time you tend to focus more, get straight to the point and get things done!

  • Hi John, I've been looking at all the posts that have been left, one thing jumps out at me every time a question like this is asked. The reason we don't make that move or do that jump is that we are to busy putting up wall! asking ourselves if this happens what will we do? If that goes wrong how will we cope? Wanting answers to every problem before we have a problem before we even start.
    I know I'm just as bad as the rest of you moaning about my work life, talking about what I could do. but always finding a reason....what if? what if?

    The people that succeed and have fun playing this game of life are the the ones that jump in with both feet, the ones that just do it and don't worry about the what if's!, only dealing with problems as they come up and only if they come up.

    You only have to watch a program like "Grand Designs" on the TV to see this type of person. I would love to build my own home but I know I never will because I would never get started, I would worry about all the things that could go wrong and the money I could lose and the builders that could let me down and so on and so on.

    To end up a player we have got to move out of our safe zone if only to dangle our toes in the pool of uncertainty. (There's one to quote over and over again to yourself tomorrow :o). 

    Lets do something towards are happiness before the month is out. 

  • Stuntman Burt

    Thanks for the advice an the links, John!

  • Stuntman Burt

    Nice blog, Sarah -- just checked it out. I don't know why my Twitter isn't linking here when it shows my avatar, but it could be because I'm browsing on a mobile. Anyway, my blog is

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  • Jo

    yes i have sat around for 2 years now...will give it some thought! 🙂

  • Noooooo!   🙂

  • Alice dalla nascita

    I have an idea. It's only an idea at the moment. I live in a small town and there are no buses going from the outskirts to the centre, because the distances are short, even if too long if you are in a hurry or if you are an old person.
    So my idea is to start a kind of "taxi" service, picking up more than 1 person at a time and getting paid as a bus, not really a taxi (too expensive).
    My question is: why has not someone else had this idea? Maybe this business is not so profitable? Is there a way I can make it more profitable?

  • Jo

     ha ha! i know what you are going to say next. I am fed up with fighting for head space and the bills, i hve put my house on the market today to free me up! 🙂

  • "Much to learn, you have" - Yoda

  • Jo

    that is very true, but iat least its action rather than thought! 🙂

  • Devi

     Also, if you are the only one doing something, that can be a challenge too!  You may have to explain your career completely afresh to people.  Doing something someone else is already doing couldbe 'standing on the shoulders of giants.'

  • Greko

    First of all, I find finances to be the biggest obstacle. How do I finance my idea, especially if it involves not being able to work and earn money for a few months while I am putting my plan into action? And second, the big downer, what if I cannot get anybody interested in it afterwards? I would have still enjoyed doing it at all but I also would have wasted a lot of money.

    My idea involves travelling around, interviewing people on a certain subject (just because I am fascinated by the subject and what people think about it) and then ideally finding someone who would also finds it interesting enough to publish it.

    I think in general a big problem is to take the "playing" seriously. How can I tell my friends and family I am going traveling, talking to people for a couple of months without feeling judged (and probably judging myself) for just goofing around?! This is confusing...

  • This isn't goofing around - this is doing something you care about! And sod anybody else who says otherwise.
    Can you start a blog right now and make sorties in holidays/weekends to go interview people?
    What's the topic?

  • Greko

     Thanks, John! Encouragement is always appreciated. I could use holidays, I  guess. That might work. (Not weekends since it would involve traveling from Germany to the U.S.). The topic is time-sensitive in a way as it centers around Obama and his presidency. So I could not drag the interviews out over a long period of time if I want to get a publisher interested. That's why I was thinking of travelling over there for three months (the length of a tourist visa) and do as many interviews as I can while over there.