We’re always being told to find our passion and then follow it, and the money will come. Some people spend a fortune going to life coaches to discover their “life purpose”.
We’re told that just having a job is not good enough.
“ Don’t you want more out of life?”
“What is your passion, what do you REALLY want to do?”.
And thereby isolating everyone who has a job, and making them think it’s not good enough, they’re not good enough, it’s not acceptable to “just” have a job.
But what’s wrong with having a job? I’m talking from personal experience here, as a person who has followed their dream, and who now has a job. And you know what? Having a job is far easier. You go to work, you come home, you have free time, you do what you want.
Because when your life coach, or guru, or whoever you follow, tells you to pack up your job and follow your dream, they don’t tell you that not only will you get to do what you love every day, but you’ll have to do hours of other stuff that you don’t love.
You’ll have to promote your business, set up social media accounts and spend hours posting and sharing and shouting out into the ether until you get a trickle of followers.
You’ll have to set up your own website, or pay handsomely for someone else to do it for you. And then promote that by writing blog posts about your passion, and posting links far and wide, on a daily basis.
You’ll have to do your accounts in your own time. You’ll have to chase people for money. Or accept less because they (and you) don’t value your services, or because you’re new to the game and desperate for any income.
You’ll have to pay rent for an office, or find a corner of your home where you can sit interrupted (that’s not an error: I didn’t intend to write “uninterrupted,” because when you work from home people think you’re free for coffee anytime), and work. Your home becomes your work, so you never leave work. Or perhaps you’ll become a nomad and work your way around all the local coffee shops, putting up with other customers and noisy kids running around while you’re trying to concentrate.
You’ll have to do some sort of networking to get your name out there. You’ll have to be constantly talking about what you do, and dreaming up new and innovative ways to promote yourself.
You’ll have to get good at selling yourself. Talking yourself up. Even when you feel crap, even when you feel you’re not good enough, you have to talk the talk. Impress people. Ask them to buy from you. Again and again. How much do you enjoy selling?
You’ll have to work even when you’re sick, and know that when you’re on vacation you’re missing out on income you could be making if only you worked every week of the year.
There’s much much more to do than just doing what you love. Doing what you love is just a small part of what you’ll be doing.
And if that’s not enough, following your passion may be one of the worst pieces of advice that’s out there. Because what you enjoy doing as a hobby — for a few hours a week – may be spoiled if you have to do it for 40 hours a week. All the enjoyment of your hobby sucked out, because it’s all you’re doing. You didn’t know that the reason you enjoyed doing it so much is because you only got to do it for a few hours a week!
Here’s an example: You like painting. You do it for a few hours every weekend. Turn your passion into a business and now you’re doing it 8 hours a day. On top of that you have to pressure to produce an income and do all the other stuff you have to do when you run your own business. You have deadlines, and demanding customers. Is that really what you want? Think hard before you go down that route, my friend.
Not everything you love has to be a business, not everything has to earn you money. After all, you love your kids or your partner, but you don’t rent them out do you? (Or maybe you do: let’s not go there).
So the next time you’re tempted to follow this piece of advice and start a business based on your passion, take some time to really, really think about it, and what it entails. Maybe NOT following your passion is the best piece of advice I could give you.