I’m sure you’ve heard the saying “find something you love to do and you’ll never work a day in your life”. Sounds sweet, doesn’t it? All of us somewhat envy the athletes, actors, and musicians out there who are making millions of dollars each year to do what they love to do. I certainly admire the full time bloggers out there who quit their traditional 9 to 5s and made a career out of what most would call a hobby. And who can forget new billionaire Mark Z. whose company went public recently (even if the news claims it’s a “failure”)?
There’s also the millions of people out there who are working, well, for a paycheck. They’re doing what they have to do to make ends meet. Maybe they have several jobs to keep the lights on, or one job that they’ve grown to hate as the years they worked there began to accumulate. They long to start a different career or open their own business, but for one reason or another, they’re just not happy.
The fact of the matter is, the first group of people are usually the exception, not the rule. Back in October 2010, Business Insider reported that 80% of people are unsatisfied with their jobs. That’s just sad, no pun intended. You mean to tell me when the alarm goes off, 4 out of every 5 people are wishing they could hit snooze and stay in bed? So what are people out there doing? There’s only 1 out of 5 of your coworkers who are happy to be at work? What gives?
I personally have always enjoyed my jobs. Given, I’m only 21 and I’ve had some pretty awesome jobs and internships. As a Social Media Coordinator, who wouldn’t love being on Facebook and Twitter all day and get paid for it? You mean to tell me you want me to read blogs and leave comments all day? You insist that I spend all day on social networks? When I tell my friends that, they’re always like “where do I sign up?”, but it’s more than it sounds like.
One of my other passions is of course writing. Freelance writing kept us afloat during the 15 months of unemployment. If it wasn’t for the bloggers out there, we’d be way broker and in much worse shape than we are now, and I more than appreciate you all. I’ve always loved writing, but I’ll be honest. When I had to freelance write in order to be able to pay our rent or make sure our Internet bill was paid or to be able to put gas in my car, there were times where I hated it. Because I had to do it. There’s just something not fun about doing something out of obligation.
Now that I don’t have to blog or write for money, I find myself falling for it all over again. I actually want to write. I want to expand my audience to different topics. I want to learn about new things. I want to be known as a writer again. Part of me thinks it’s ass backwards because back when I had unlimited time to do it, there were times (more than I’d like to admit) where I couldn’t rise to the occasion. I’m sure there’s some bloggers out there who can testify that there were times where I was downright unreliable (I’m very sorry about it). I could chalk it up as lack of maturity, I could blame it on all of the personal things I was going through, or I could just learn not to do it again and grow from it.
My point is, sure, passion can pay the bills. There’s plenty of people doing what they love to do and they make a handsome living from it. According to surveys, there’s not enough of those people out there, but they do exist. My hope is that if you are looking to make a living out of your hobby or your interests, you don’t necessarily look at it as an obligation. You’ll start to resent it, and you may find yourself moving from the 20% over to the 80%. Work hard and play hard, and you can learn to love your work.
Do you love your job? Do you make money from something you’re passionate about doing?