Advice 1: Don’t do stuff you hate.

Advice 2: Grind through the bullshit to get to where you want to be.

Both are sound pieces of advice. But they seem conflicted…

If you shouldn’t do stuff you hate, why would you go through stuff that you hate in order to get to where you want to be? Doesn’t it make sense to start by doing stuff you enjoy? But if you only do stuff you enjoy, you’ll miss out on developing the discipline that gets you to where you want to be. This discipline allows you to create things that build off of each other rather than enjoying the pleasure of each moment every day.

Young people commonly hate things like sales, monotonous tasks, or cold calling. They don’t want to be just a cog in a machine. They want to be challenged. They don’t want to do the same thing over and over and they don’t want to feel unimportant.

What a lot of them miss is the fact that you can find importance, meaning, excitement and growth in cold calling and other seemingly boring tasks.

I’ve had people who love writing tell me that they hate monotonous tasks. Writing is monotonous. Every time you write, you sit down at a computer, and push buttons for several minutes in a row, sometimes hours.

Of course there is a lot more to writing than pushing buttons on a computer over and over. There’s a creative process behind developing and connecting ideas. The ideas have to be communicated clearly and concisely, and it’s always an improving process.

The same goes for cold calling. Dialing numbers on a phone and reading a script is monotonous. But there’s a lot more to cold calling than just that.

Cold calling gives you an opportunity to present value to people, then hone your communication skills based on constant feedback. You get the chance to talk to hundreds of customers and improve yourself quickly using the rapid feedback.

You may be selling the same product, but you can turn it into a project that develops you into a better person. Try 50 calls while you force yourself to smile. See if that makes and noticeable difference in the quality of your calls or your sales numbers.

Try 50 calls with an aim of getting 5 rejections before quitting.

Try 50 calls by telling a story within your sales pitch.

Try 50 calls where you spend the first 5 minutes asking the customer questions that have nothing to do with the product.

The possibilities are endless, and so is the potential for what you can learn.

By conducting fun experiments, a monotonous job turns into a playground littered with value-creation and growth opportunities.

If your goal is to do the same thing every day, then read the script and don’t think about what you’re doing. You have that option (until your company realizes you aren’t providing much value and fires you).

If your goal is to provide value and to be better, use each call as an opportunity to do so. This is also an option, and it’s up to you to choose it.

Experiment. Test new things. Adjust based on what you learn. Just because your job sounds monotonous doesn’t mean it has to be.

Extract meaning, value, excitement and growth in everything you do.

Those things will not seek you out, and they are not located in a specific industry or job description that you think you want.

Opportunities to create value for yourself and your company are endless, yet they are still contained within that “cold-calling” job that used to sound dreadful before you really thought about the possibilities within it.

Chances are, you don’t know what you hate.

You probably don’t know what you love, either. The only way to find out is to try things. You can’t know until you dive into something completely. This process can take months which is why it’s so frustrating for people who are impatient.

But forgoing the several-month-long process stifles your ability to explore all that an experience has to offer. Then, deciding whether you love or hate it will be an uninformed decision. Sometimes, you will learn that you truly hate it – but not if you only try it for two weeks.

Try something for 3 months. Actively explore and experiment within that realm. Grind through the bullshit, and use your experiments to make it exciting and new. If, after 3 months, you find that you really hate that thing, THEN stop doing it. Give yourself the time to explore what each opportunity has to offer before deciding that you hate it.

Don’t do stuff you hate. But until you really know how you feel about it, grind through the bullshit. In the meantime, actively make it exciting by proactively experimenting and challenging yourself.