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What if you’re trying to do something and getting no rewards?

I’m on Clearwater beach right now getting ready to start my 5-day Retreat tomorrow. I don’t have my normal video set up with me, but I’m going to do my best to shoot something on my phone to say hi while I’m here.

In two weeks my show comes out on NBC.

In just three weeks my book comes out in North America.

All this means that my current schedule is pretty unrelenting.

As I write this my trainers are all sat around me on the top floor of the hotel, working on content before we go into action mode for the next 5 days.

Here’s the view from where I am:

It’s always strange the day before going on stage. I sit and think about all of the things I want to convey, and I go through my training manuals to make sure I’m on my game. One of the most important things to do before a speech is to emotionally connect with your material. If you don’t do that you can have the best material in the world but you won’t speak from the heart.

I work incredibly hard and I think about my work a lot. Often people tell me to take a break or to go on holiday. But what they don’t realise is that this IS my holiday. I’m doing what I love. There’s nothing else in the world I’d rather be doing. Maybe that’ll change one day. Maybe I’ll go in another direction altogether. But until it does, I’ll keep doing this all day everyday, because my life is focused on doing what I LOVE.

When I talk to people about their lives and whether they are doing what they love, I often hear this response: “Yeah but for you it’s easier because the successes you get validates the work you’re putting into it. It reinforce your efforts so it becomes easier to work hard.”

There is a lot of truth to this. The successes I’ve gotten HAVE reinforced my behaviour and provided much needed motivation at times.

But here is where this idea misses the point:

I was doing this LONG before there were any successes to report.

For those of you who have been following my work for years, you may remember this video:

I filmed this over 3 years ago when I was living in my apartment in London and none of this had happened. I have even older videos from 3 years before that (which were pretty terrible by today’s standards) when I was really only starting out in coaching. When I first started I was in survival mode. It really wasn’t easy. There was a ton of rejection. Lots of doors closing on me from people who said I was nobody, that I had no experience and wasn’t established enough.

But I did it anyway because, well, what else would I do?

See it’s true that on some projects in life you stop when you’re not getting any rewards.

But when it’s your love, your passion, you do it regardless of the ‘validation’, because you know you wouldn’t be doing anything else in the world.

If your love in life was business, then you wouldn’t stop creating businesses just because one project didn’t pay off. You would just change your approach. If you love business then you know you’ll be creating businesses till the day you die, because that’s what you love.

A painter who is a painter in her heart doesn’t stop painting because no one is buying her work. She paints because that’s who she is at her core – a creative soul who expresses it through her paintings. She doesn’t do it for the money.

I love the lifestyle I get from my public speaking. I love the fact that I get to travel. I love the amazing individuals I’ve been able to meet as a result, and the opportunities it affords me in life. But I was doing this before I had any of that, and I’ll still be doing this when the TV cameras go away. I’d do this if there was NO money in it and I had to sustain myself working in Mcdonalds. I’d be doing this if I had only one person to give a seminar to each week, because I F*****G LOVE learning about and helping people. It’s my obsession.

Everything else is a just a wonderful bonus (most of which I never even anticipated, let alone got motivated by).

Oh and do I need to point out the obvious parallel with your love life?

  • Flirt because you LOVE flirting.
  • Love because you LOVE loving.
  • Be courageous because you LOVE being courageous.

Don’t do it for the rewards – those are all just wonderful bonuses.

I want to leave you with a video today from an up-and-coming artist who is also carving his space out in the world. His name is George Watsky and he’s another great story to follow. His new song is called Cardboard Castles. I have no reason to promote his work other than the fact that his song sums up so much of this blog post, and that I love to help someone succeed in doing what they love.

My favourite line of the song:

“I do things on a shoe string you couldn’t do with a cool mill”.

Because that’s what we do here on this blog. We work with what we have. You don’t have stone? Then build your castles out of cardboard.

I’ll finish with a question aimed at you…

What do you do in your life for no other reason than you LOVE it? If you have 30 seconds tell me by leaving a comment below. I can’t wait to learn about your passion in life.

Massive love to you AND your wonderful life.



I love supporting you through my blog. It’s a place where I can give to you without you having to think about whether you can afford it or not. Having you behind me is what keeps this alive. The best way you can support this free area of my site is to share this post with the people you know and love. Facebook share it, retweet it, leave me a comment… It all helps. Your individual support for my work is more powerful than you can imagine. Thank you.

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188 Replies to “What if you’re trying to do something and getting no rewards?”

  • Hi Matt,

    Love your message! I’ve been going through a lovely transition in my life over the last few months where I have been taking great chances in life and love. I’ve been following you for a few years now and it’s amazing to see you grow in your career. I find it inspiring because I remember watching your apartment videos on you tube : ) Congrats!


  • I also have a job that I love that involves helping people with their problems on a daily basis, I love doing but, and sorry if this is a little off piste, what is your advice for the times that taking others problems on becomes a little suffocating? It happens to me once every couple of months- it’s definately difficult helping others all the time – how do u take a break from the emotions- to ensure that you can provide the best possible assistance to the client?A private email response is fine if you don’t think it is appropriate to put the answer in this thread.

  • My big dream is to get a chance to model, also I would love to try acting and dancing is my big passion. Even though I wouldn’t describe myself as a good dancer, i like doing it. I don’t really have experience in any of those areas, but I think this is what makes me happy!

  • Hello Mister,

    I enjoyed your blog A lot and it just reminded me to keep going no matter what even if others don’t or do support you. My passion is helping people whether it be friends, famiy, or strangers. Just knowing I made an inch of a difference in someones life for one second means the world to me and I’m pretty sure you understand that as well. I also love to color pictures and ride motorycles and bring love back into peoples hearts through emotional healing or just by being there for them.Its something I believe I was born with and although sometimes it backfires because not all the world is dandy I still keep it going no matter what. Can’t wait to meet you in Los Angeles. But I don’t know where in lA its gonna be. Thanks again and God Bless your soul! ;)

  • Truly inspiring blog piece this time, Matt, and so terrific to see how we’ll you’re doing. I’ll always remember how excited I was that day you called me at work in response to one of my emails – Matthew Hussey rang me up! Amazing to see how far you’ve come.

    My passion is being an agony aunt and, like you, payment or not, it’s what I do so I set up my website a few months ago and it’s going great – when you follow your passion it pays off in fulfilment.

    Have a beautiful retreat.

    All the best,
    Lisa from ChatToCherry.com

  • I love writing! Especially poetry. I also am obsessed with learning languages. I have been learning Spanish for a little more than two and a half years now and I am enjoying it so much that I’m already teaching it! I have been dabbling in other languages too. And I never knew that I had any special capacity for language learning until 6 or 7 months in when I took it up at university, but I was enjoying it all along despite the struggle of learning it alone. And in August, I’m moving to Spain!!! People are like, ooh isn’t that scary?? And I’m like “NO!!”. I’m not scared at all. I’m too excited. Thank you for your posts. They are always so wonderfully uplifting. Especially as I am going to need a lot of confidence for meeting new people in a new country, new culture. Can’t wait to put your tips into practice on those Spanish hunks haha!


  • I absolutely love educating women in the areas of health and beauty. I love living the healthy lifestyle and being an example. I just wish I had this boldness to talk to this guy I like. I turn into such a tard when he is around:-(

  • I love DRAWING!! I love observing and learning about people, then putting it all down on a page that reflects what I feel. I hope to be an animator one day, and to have the ability to tell the stories in my heart through art.

    I haven’t seen results yet, but I don’t care. Maybe I won’t get into college, and maybe my work will stay on my barely acknowledged tumblr page, but I’ll keep creating because for me, without that, there’s nothing.

  • RUN! I love running, I like to say I sweat endorphins, and it makes me so happy. And when I’m done, I feel like I just had 2 shots of tequila.

  • I’m a singer and an actor living in New York City. I do whatever I can for a living, short of anything immoral. I’m not too good for any job. The thing that most people don’t know is that I went to college on a full academic scholarship. I had law schools and advertising agencies recruiting me before I even graduated. But that’s never mattered to me. All I can think about doing as a career is finding opportunities to act and sing. I’ve had some limited successes so far and I think there are good things on the horizon for me, but even if I knew they would never happen, I would still sing every day. I sing while I’m working, while I’m cooking, while I’m scrubbing the floor. I sing when I get ready in the morning. And I will do it every day for the rest of my life. It balances me. It makes me happy. And I’ll never, ever stop…even if people on the train look at me like I’m crazy when they catch me inadvertently humming.

  • Hey Matthew, I enjoy music and I love to help and inspire people because the expression on their face when they realize something and they set out to do what they want is absolutely fascinating. :D
    Thank you for everything you have done, you changed the way I see life ( in a good way).

    To do what you love takes courage and sometimes that is all you need.
    Have a nice day :)

  • Oh dear!! l cried when l read the question “What do l do that l love” Nothing is what l do….lv always fancied writing somedays theres all these thoughts and ideas going around and around in my head but then this voice in my head tells me not to be so silly and who would ever read anything of yours. Damn it your right Matthew, it doesn’t have to be for money but pleasure – lm wasting my time going on dating sites l need to be more productive. Thank you Matthew its a light bulb moment for me.

  • I love baking even though it doesn’t always turn out the way I want it too and I continue baking and cooking because I love to share the good stuff with my friends and family. :)

  • Great post Matt. I’ve been following your work for a couple of years now. I’ve watched numerous of your seminar video’s and you have always been one of my favorites. since i started working on myself, i’ve completely changed my life. I’m more confident in myself, I have a better understanding of the big picture, i’m very successful in my career, and i have a great girlfriend. I have to thank you for indirectly helping me change my life. The great thing is i’ve made what i learned my mentality and lifestyle and the sky is the limit where i’m headed. Much like you.

    Regarding your question, i have a few passions in life. One being my career, which is I’m working to take a small company to exceptional growth, which not to mention is super successful thanks to me instilling a lot of the mentality into it that i’ve spoken of above.

    I’m also passionate about working out and playing poker on a semi professional level.

    Anyway, keep it up Matt. You’re only getting started. :)

  • Brilliant reminder of the power of passions Im a therapist and social entrepreneur like you i love seeing people heal and fulfill their potential have no doubt you are doing an awesome job of helping me in the one area I’ve always had trouble with your commitment and encouragement is phenomenal your really helping me work this stuff out, heal my heart and love my interactions with opposite sex and i keep telling everyone about you. I haven’t got there yet but everyday im learning facing uncomfortable truths and learning how to live the beautiful life from the bottom of this heart huge thanks and so glad your success has come in for you don’t you dare forget us ;-) Rebecca x

  • Hey Matthew,
    I’ve been feeling really low today and this post just made my day, u have no idea. So thanks for that :)
    I absolutely love learning and trying out new recipies and since I live in France now, its pretty amazing. I also love a good read, if u have read anything good lately I would be happy to hear about it.

    Bisous, Annie

  • Hi Matthew,
    I’m a massive lover of nature and the great outdoors! I love strolling along a beach or a gorgeous meadow! Taking in the beautiful scenery, the sounds and observing the amazing wildlife! This truly makes me feel alive and empowered for I think to be part of a world as diverse and fascinating as this….surely anythings possible! :) X

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