How to do What You Love and Get Paid for It

The common goal of many people life is simply to be able to be paid to do what they love. There are more feel good movies, books, shows, and inspirational tales than I care to count about people who get that very opportunity. The best part is that there is a common thread there that anyone can follow for a reasonably general definition of what you love. The key is:


Its not that hard since you already love doing it. So just keep doing it, eventually you will find you are good enough at it that someone will pay you. Do it while you are riding the bus, during evenings and weekends, during lunch breaks and train delays.

The greatest evidence of this being true comes from the results of the watching successful people around me. There is a direct connection between people who are have something they love, people who are really good at what they love. and people who end up in awesome jobs doing what they love. Its because if you just keep doing something, eventually you get good at it.

They are the engineers that were in the design labs on Christmas Eve three years running building prototypes because it was the best time to have uninterrupted access to the equipment. They are the political scientists that were out running every council and student group they could find. They are the business students that entered every case competition they could find.

The time these students put is wasn't a reaction to parental pressure that they must do the best they can in school. No. Many of these students I know sacrificed marks in some classes because “The side project was more exciting and I wanted to spend more time working on it”.

They did this because the path they chose was the one that they loved. They would hurry home from a full day at school writing code for courses because there was another side project they could code there. The long days spent working were never resented as they loved what they were doing and looked forward for the chance to do it.

I am lucky to be one of those people. I love building software and robots. I truly would have done all of my jobs for free on the side (please don't tell my manager though). They were really just chances for me to be able to code and design for more interesting projects than I would be able to work on by myself.

What happens when you’re not great at something but keep trying

You don't have to be in an technical field for this to work. I was lucky enough to stumble onto my first job in high school by continuously playing basketball until someone suggested I get paid to do the same thing at a summer camp. A filmmaker can just keep writing scripts and filming low budget productions on YouTube until someone starts paying him. It doesn't even have to be a full time job. I didn't turn programming or robotics into a full time job until 5 years of with working at them almost every free evening and weekend I had.

The only key is making sure that you love it. If at any time it seems like work, like you are forcing yourself to do it, you are on the wrong path. You can't do something for the hours that are needed without truly loving it.

But if you know what you want to do then do it. Get out there start. Not next week. Not next year. Today. Start building and creating, talking and networking, whatever it is you want to do. Because the only thing holding you back from doing what you love is not doing it.

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