The Truth about Doing What You Love for a Living
It’s a problem that a lot us read about: to choose a career doing what you love. Should a person go with their passion? Or does it make more sense to take a career solely on income?
As a person who illustrates children books, motivational prints, writes publishes books, and hosting this podcast. I can safely safe I know what’s it like do what you love for a living.
I’ve worked and known people in the more ‘lucrative’ industries so I see the pros and cons they have. To clarify that following your passion is doing something you are deeply passionate about. But do tend to have an average or less income. (Not always though).
The opposite are the careers that grant an above average income and aptitude that will lead to a strong career path. But the downside of not enjoying any of it all. (Also not ways though.)
Life is probably going to pull you through both paths
Going through my college education was in art (design as I consider myself to be much more a designer than an artist.) There wasn’t any design or hardly art related classes in my high school so I stuck with the standard curriculum, math, english, science, etc. I never cared about income at all.
After college I knew it was going to be difficult but I knew my passion and identifying problems people have that I know my creative abilities are useful.
That’s what lead to TyypoPrints and the Don’t Quit Podcast. It’s all about solving people’s problems through creative methods and self reflection.
Yes, I could go into the practical careers as I do dabble in programming and accounting. But they’re not my passion.
So here’s some truth and misconceptions about what it really means to do what you love for a living.
It’s certainly possible to do what you love and live off of it
They’re going to be naysayers that you can’t do something full-time. But as I’m living this — it is *very* possible. Many other people have and are doing as well.
So, how come not everyone is doing that?
My reasoning is that there’s no direct path or guarantees. The skills that require you to do what you love may not really be in demand so there’s no reason to gain income when no one feels you deserve it.
That’s what the most common are self employed either running a business as themselves such as a freelancer or owning a business such as TyypoPrints. You’re essentially ‘hiring’ yourself.
It’s important to note that whether self employed or employed money doesn’t rain from the sky, it’s always earned from another human being. So that’s the biggest challenge to getting people to value what your passion is.
Now the ‘practical’ careers are usually in high demand so generally not too difficult to obtain.
Another reason is that there’s a level of grit and work ethic it requires. You could love writing — maybe even writing about medical related topics. But if you had to write about that topic for hours every day would you still love it?
Would you have the grit it would require to be successful in that career?
Grit is necessary to get the required skills it takes to good a job. A lot of people start going into their passion career but realize they don’t have the grit to continue it. There’s a constant feeling like it’s not going to pan out.
I’ve spent thousands of hours and days to design things that worthy of wearing and showing off. Those hours spent writing, preparing, and revising. This is all the process of continuing and improving.
It can do what you love but don’t expect it to happen instantly or even in the next year.
There is No Job That’s 100 Percent “Doing What You Love”
I love what I do — or I wouldn’t be doing it. The feeling of satisfaction when people listen to this podcast or read my books makes it all worth it. Tons of freedom and fun.
But it’s not all sunshine and rainbows. There’s a lot of fears I have that all of this isn’t going to work out especially when I’ve put in hours and hours into it. There’s a level of feeling like everything I do, spend money and time can be a waste.
Not only all that but there’s routines that I have to do before I can do other things. While I have freedom but I have to sometimes follow other people’s desires as I’ve mentioned before — my living is earned from their approval.
Don’t even get me started with taxes.
So there is no job that’s 100% “doing what you love.”
Let me repeat that.
There is no job that’s 100% “doing what you love.”
The best creatives in the world still deal with their audience which can be fickle, disrespectful, or not even there. Famous people can’t leave their house without being harassed by people and the media.
When you’re doing something you love you’re essentially trading time for things you want to love to do — if that’s something you purely love to do then might have too high of expectations and thus leaving disappointed.
To do what you love to do is without anyone else’s approval or judgment but the reality is that’s not how you’re going to make a living on your own. In which point that becomes more of a hobby than a job.
There’s always a catch and something you will have to deal with.
The best way to start doing what you love is by having a side gig
Everything I’ve accomplished started as a side gig.
None of this just happened full time instantly. It all started in college and was always during the after hours or weekends. None of it was main focus.
There’ a level of safety and no pressure when it’s just a side gig. So if it fails it’s never the end of the world.
You’re probably going to fail at first
I say this loosely as I don’t really consider my ‘failures’ to be failures. What I mean is that I re-purposed original ideas or work into something that was more useful and lead to more results.
This may be different to others though. As my side gigs never coasted any serious investments other than time. Maybe you invested a lot of resources into a book or panting materials that never worked out. That’s a bummer but there’s also a learning lesson in all that.
That’s with all things in life. Look at any serious entrepreneur and they failed multiple times before they made a million dollar business.
Failure is a part of life and more about something you recover from more than anything.
What you original thought might be different
If you told me in high school all the things that I’ve accomplished so far I probably wouldn’t believe you. Not that I wouldn’t think it would be possible but more would have the passion to do them.
Reality is that we change and as we go about our our passion might not originally be what we thought it was going to be. I wanted TyypoPrints to be just about art prints but has expanded greatly since then.
My stories in my books always have to be changed in some way to make sense or to get people to be interested in it especially after getting feedback. Revisions and pivoting are a part of it all. You learn to accept and embrace it.
Love can be fleeting and so can your side gigs
I’ve had passions to start an arcade business and nonprofit for endangered species but I’ve never went though them because they slowly weren’t my passion as I went through college.
That isn’t to say that I may have been successful in doing those things as I just no longer want to pursue them.
That’s normal and something we do as we learn more about ourselves and what we want to do in lives.
The best thing is move on to something that is more fitting and attainable for you.
So you too can do what you’re passionate about but thinking it’s all possible from the get-go is the hard part. Instead ease yourself into it. Don’t cast everything into it. Be prepare for failure and don’t get too attached to your ideas — they are not your children.
“Some things need to fall a part in order to fall into place”
When you’re it feels like you can’t do what you love just keep telling yourself that quote.