John DeMato - NYC Branded Lifestyle Portrait Photographer

NYC Branded Lifestyle Photographer - Blog

NYC Branded Lifestyle Portrait Photography Blog | Hi, I'm John DeMato, and I collaborate with thought leaders to create powerful, purposeful and authentic images. This is my blog where I talk all about the magic behind the portraits we create.

The big lie


“When you do the thing you love, you’ll never work a day in your life…”




I was on a friends social page the other day, and he posted a photo of himself at work with the caption - “living the dream - when you do the thing you love, you’ll never work a day in your life…”

Now, I’ve heard this statement uttered by many people for many years, dating back to when I had a full-time job.

I remember when we would collaborate with self-employed folks at work, and, I would just marvel at their freedom and the passion for what they do. They seemed so relaxed and happy, it made me quite envious.

Frankly, I had no idea just how happy they were - I didn’t talk to them about their situation outside of the project that they were collaborating with us on, so, my frame of reference simply was conjecture and assumptions based on them looking a hell of a lot happier than I did.

At the time, the “when you do the thing you love…” statement was actually something I believed wholeheartedly, because I sure as hell wasn’t doing the thing I loved, so, I assumed if I flipped the script, I’d ultimately feel that way.

And then, one day I did, indeed, flip the script, and you know what I realized?

I realized that that statement is bowl full of BS.

At first, the entire process was far from “love”ly - I was a fish out of water losing my mind as the day wore on. Eventually, the initial craziness died down, and I could at least allow myself the space to focus and get work done.

Fast-forward past the diaper wearing/crawling/incessant drooling stage of my business to the present moment.

I have a much stronger handle on all areas of my business and am not freaking out every second, which affords me the opportunity to sit back and take stock on the growth that I’ve experienced over the past couple years.

Do I love what I do for my clients?

Unconditionally - I’ve monetized my art in a way that serves others and doesn’t compromise my integrity - I mean, you really can’t ask for more than that.

Does it feel like I don’t work a day in my life?

Absolutely not - this is the hardest I’ve ever worked in my entire life, by leaps and bounds times 10.

And, that’s totally okay by me, :)

Although the challenges I face daily sometimes can become overwhelming, ultimately, it’s the most satisfying and valuable work that I’ve ever created because I’m collaborating with amazing people who help others, and, that really matters to me.

If I could rewrite the original statement, it would go like this:

“If you do the thing you love, you will work very hard every single day of your life, but, appreciate and be grateful for every second of the experience.”

I think people’s hearts are in right place when they offer the initial “ the thing you love…” statement, but ultimately, we have to work for the stuff we’re passionate about, and, that’s not just a business thing, that’s a life thing.

The more pertinent question to ask yourself is “am I doing the thing I love?”

If the answer is no, then that sets up a whole different conversation altogether...and that’s a completely different type of blog post, :)

What are your thoughts on the “When you do the thing you love, you’ll never work a day in your life…” statement?

PS - For those of you who aren’t in the know, I mail out these blogs 3x a week, and lemme tell you, they’re a real party, so, if you’d like to get in on this, sign up for it here and I’ll throw in a free gift for you, because I care, :)