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?”

  • Hello my name is Laura Fitzpatrick and i’m a Urban photographer in London.

    I’m currently working on a project called Reflections of the Street (London).
    “These images are bold in both colour and form as this is how I see London, as a bright , strong and exciting city to live in. Enjoy!”

    I just LOVE wondering the amazing city which I live within. And how one like myself can show a new and interesting prospective on this city. One of the best bits about doing this is being able to share my work with Individuals and groups all around the world.


    Matt, Thank you for sharing your life with us you are a inspiration to me and many others all around the world. I wish you all the best in your near and far FUTURE. ;-)

  • Hey Matt,

    I really liked the fact that you showcased some of your older works.
    Your dedication is inspirational! To answer your question, I play the acoustic and electric guitar for no other reason than the enjoyment it brings me. Though I know I will never persue it as a career I couldn’t picture my life without such a simple pleasure.

  • Hello lovely,

    I absolutely love making people smile – so event planning and directing/acting are my passions – really enjoy both of those!
    Talking to anyone about anything…anywhere! So, I’m going to sum that up as ‘being extremely social and generally hilarious,’ hehe
    Another song you might like is ‘King’ by Lauren Aquilina. It’s all about being happy with who you are, etc. I absolutely love it! Have a listen to it :)

    Take care and good luck xx

  • I love playing with my nephews. They are so funny and happy. And way easier to flirt with and tease than adult men :)

  • I love to read. I like to lock myself in my room and just dive into a new book. I enjoy making connections with the characters and if I am really into it, I become emotional and start talking or yelling at the what’s going on. Reading for me can become an emotional roller coaster and after I finish it I usually want to reread it or remember my favorite scenes. Reading a book is my personal oasis where I can pick out my favorite book if I am feeling down or need something to make me laugh.

  • Wildlife conservation. After volunteering in Africa I came home to California and started volunteering in wildlife rehabilitation. I love it and am in the process of selling my business (which I spent the last 10 years building and now realize adds nothing to my life) so that I can focus on what I really should be doing.

  • Well, this is cool… While I was watching your video that’s 3 years old, a commercial came on the tv and it was NBC promoting your NEW tv show coming up in March on love!!! Haha, I thought that’s amazing… How far you’ve come Matt!!! Very proud of you!!! ;) love all our videos!!! Keep them coming!!!!!!!

  • I love my life!

    I love helping people through design. Through design I am able to help a business owner grow his/her business by creating their brand. I am to create social consciousness and support many causes through thought provoking posters or illustrations.

    I love doing this so much that I would do it for free if I didn’t need to make a living ;)

  • I really needed encouragement today and receiving this email was perfect timing.

    I love everything about independent filmmaking, writing, shooting and editing films is truly my passion. I love writing screenplays, mainly dark comedies, because that involves another love of mine, the love of laughter. Being able to laugh and having a sense of humor has got me through the hardest times in my life. If I can make someone laugh and have a better day through my films then my mission is accomplished.

    I’m working on a dark comedy right now about a blind date gone bad, called “Invali-Date.” Probably not the best advertisement for what you do…lol. Anyway, the people who have read my screenplay and have seen the footage shot so far laugh and think it’s really good.

    I’ve decided I’m not going to mess around with other work in between films to pay my bills and this time I’m determined to make a living in film, no matter what now…FTW !



  • When we get caught up in a piece of music, we don’t search for rewards, we’re in the moment, intense and loving, and we enjoy …See the parallel? ;) Your job is to teach us to get “in tune” lol
    Thanks :)
    P.S. Really wish you could come in Montreal next time :)

  • I love to loose myself in something creative. Photography, chainmaille or some sort of creative endevor where I can loose myself and just enjoy the process. I am always tinkering and learning new crafts, I love it so much. This past weekend I took part in a local craft fair (my first one ever), it is rewarding to see other people enjoy the things you put together. Thanks for the blog post, it makes my day reading such positive things. Good luck with all of your exciting upcoming releases!

  • Hi Matthew, thanks for all the bloggs. I’ve started reading gtg & think it is great. Keep up the good work, your doing brilliantly.
    My passion in life is Mediumship & Spiritual Healing, it feels really good when you know you have helped someone by being a chanel for Spirit & helping to pass a message or to help with the Healing process :-) xx

  • While I was reading you, your video appeared at the bottom and I went “Oh I know this one so well” ;)
    Believe it or not, a lot of what you give are ‘my thoughts – your words.’
    I would like to gently poke at your word choice on two things though, it is not a “holiday” it is a trip… And we are on board with you, so keep enjoying it thoroughly, cuz we do, thanks to you! :) This said, I totally get what you mean and am genuinely happy for you in every aspect of the way.
    Moreover, it is the first time I have seen you use the word “obsession” when in fact PASSION it is. You are a true definition of passion. To cut it short: “It requires a passionate person to generate the strength and enthusiasm to apply the effort needed to achieve and create, which requires they “make great demands of themselves.” http://bit.ly/WIunfJ You better relate to this, because that is totally what you have, a passion you honour ;) So even if this one ends, and selling cheeseburgers is next, I would still buy. :p
    My passion is putting a smile on other people’s faces (whether I know them or not). :) I am starting to think, that I have a real inside urge to make people feel better about themselves and life. Life is not a b*tch, life is wow… It all about the intonation of the ‘wow’… (Ok my other passion is the ocean, but people keep getting it wrong by always saying “Oh yeah right, you wanna save the dolphins and the whales”. When in fact it is much deeper than that…)
    Now, this might sound blunt, as you wouldn’t really say that to someone you have met once, but I have respect for you Matthew. You HAVE come a long way and yes in your case it is sometimes good to step off the treadmill and look at how far you have come (that’s a healthy approach). Be proud of yourself, for not only guiding woman how to get a guy, but for all those you inspire in becoming a better part of themselves (like you), for that today you are not only showing us a 3 years old video but a ‘you’ who has transformed itself over the years. You remind me of the ugly duckling lol.
    M x

  • I love to coach people in nutrition and exercise, to walk them through the weight loss process to find a healthy weight, and even more important, a healthy lifestyle. I like to help them understand that there are no “bad” foods, just bad relationships with foods. I like to encourage them, to listen to their struggles and to help them find a way through them.

  • Hi,

    I love living and creating my life and learning from it. The first 30 years of my life I pretty much spend it in fear and my life was lived by it.
    It turned pretty nasty for a while and decided that there is only one way to live.


    So I packed up my things and left dreadful Holland.
    It’s not always an easy road since most of the time when I get a new project in my mind of what next I want to do with my life it means that I have to let go of some other things. But when I finally manage to manifest my new life, the payoff is amazing. It makes me realize I can do anything.
    Since I’m seriously running out of time, my new big (long term) project is becoming a mother. Next to that I’ve got lots of other projects in my heart as well, like finding a second home on a warm and sunny island next to my lovely home in beautiful but rainy, misty and cold Ireland.


  • I love working out. Particularly Crossfit. It has become my passion in the last year and I can’t get enough of it… It is also where I’ve met the man of my dreams.. But the problem is that he is a trainer there and there is a rule about dating clients. So though we’ve always been flirty, nothing has ever happened. Now I’ve actually started to take steps to become a trainer there and since then he and I have hung out a few times but though he flirts with me and other people have made comments about how he is obviously crazy about me he has never said anything to me about how he really feels.. I know he can’t break that rule.. But is it a bad sign that he still hasn’t made his feelings known after all this time? Should I wait and see if things change when I’m not a client anymore.. Or let go now?

  • i love to learn something and started sharing it among my friends or people around me at a time. Either in the car when we re heading to some where, or when we were hanging at the coffiehouse or somethings. I love sharing things about what i read, what i watched lately, what is happening around me, any good imformation that i think it might help them in their life. By sharing the imformation with them make me feel good, is like showing my love and corcern towarss them. The more deep the conversation, the more loved i felt. The funny thing is, sometimes is them that asking me whats new that i can share with them. Isnt that lovely?? Yeah. Like seriously, i will just join any talk without getting any pay. Like seriously lovin it.

  • You Matthew, have a very similar gift with people as does my younger sister. I love that about you two :) I love learning, whether its in piano, photography, writing, building confidence, enjoying life, and learning how to build good relationships with your advice!

    Thank you for always sharing with us fans!

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