Discover your passion or no?
Even before I decided to quit my well-paid full-time job and work for myself, I listened carefully to the “experts” about following your passion and not following your passion. They argued in my head continually. One side stated that your passion could lead to a fulfilled life. The other argued it was a road to nowhere, a frivolity that was a misleading pipe dream.
I could see both sides. The “For’s” reasoned that true fulfillment of life was doing what you love. But the Against camp stated that if you love making widgets and no one wanted to buy your widgets, it was a pointless endeavor. So, what is a passionate person to do?
What did I do?
For myself, I knew that both sides had a point. It is essential to find something you love and be genuinely passionate about presenting it to the world, but it also needs to provide a viable income, or you will be "happily" living in poverty. It took me nearly two years before I finally took the plunge, weeding out the various items I loved to do and deciding what could make me money, without feeling icky about selling the end product.
Finding the “one thing” wasn’t easy, I certainly would be content writing every day, but the industry for publishing a book is cutthroat, and I am not one who would easily succumb to being told what type of novel to write so I could make sales. That idea got put on the side. Copywriting also suffered a similar end.
I also love reading and yet did not feel qualified to be a proofreader or editor. (Those people are monsters of grammar and punctuation, and I am not!) I love gardening, photography, and talking to people about anything. Again, I felt constricted or unqualified to present myself as a master gardener or portrait taker. But wait… “talking to people” is something I have been doing for ages. People felt comfortable with me. They felt safe, sharing their most personal thoughts and situations. I could do this!
What about you?
Not everyone’s path will be quite so simple. Yes, I had an excellent support system, everyone from my man to my parents and friends. I had been talking about going out on my own for a long while so perhaps they were expecting the change. I was also able to retire early from my job and get a small pension, and I found a part-time, flexible job that would help pay my bills. My financial situation has been cut down to less than half of what I used to make. I don’t regret my decision.
What if your situation is not so simple? What if you have tons of bills and too many obligations? The idea of following a dream may seem irresponsible and childish. I understand that also, I have been there. Maybe you will need to keep that full-time job for a few years or longer while you build up and grow your passion into something you can market. If you like making widgets, see if you can join a local flea market for free or nearly free and sell your widgets there. Online shops are easy to set up these days and affordable.
You won’t know until you try, and that is the critical part. Take your first step and see what follows.