I am often asked, “How do I make money doing what I love?”
I am in contact with people every day who are like you. They just want to be both successful financially and feel fulfilled in their work. Luckily there is a way to have both and I will show you how.
In order to answer this, I’ll describe the process it requires as well as one major false concept to overcome in that process.
FIRST: Identify what you’re good at
Okay, let’s talk about the process of making money doing what you love.
If you’re going to make money doing what you love you first need to identify what gifts you have, what you’re good at, or can become exceptionally good at. Try eliminating those things you love to do but can not or would be best not to try to monetize; e.g. becoming an opera singer when you’re completely tone deaf.
Make a list of all the gifts, talents and skills you have. Be sure to be honest with yourself. You may think, “But I already know what I love, and I love playing in my rock band.” That may be the case, but that doesn’t mean you can’t fall in love with doing something else. Don’t get so hung up on it being just one way. Remember, there’s more than one way to skin a cat.
The reason this is important is because, first of all, our talents are ours to help or inspire others, which means you have things within you that are profitable. Secondly, you’ll often love what you’re doing if you are using those gifts to serve others in your work, which means your happiness and monetary success are quite malleable.
SECOND: Find the Value
In order for you to actually make money doing anything, let alone what you love, you have to provide value that other people are willing to pay for. If you want it to be sustainable, you’ll need to ensure enough people are paying you for that value. If only your mom will pay you for it then you aren’t actually providing value worth buying or you at least haven’t made enough people aware of it yet (a.k.a. marketing).
It’s important for you to take the time to figure out what people will pay you for. There are all sorts of jobs that exist which need the talents or skills you have. So do a quick Google Search. Apply for those jobs, or if you already know what you want to do, try and sell it, go out and do it, see where it takes you.
“In order for you to actually make money… you have to provide value that other people are willing to pay for.”
-Addressing the Elephant in the Room
Let’s just call out the Elephant in the room. Most people live under this assumption that if you do what you’re most passionate about, you’ll magically make money. What a load of bologna! Things don’t magically happen, unless you’re actively attracting that magic (in other words “luck”) through consistent work.
Here’s the other Elephant in the room.
Many people are fed the idea: ‘Find something you love to do and you’ll never have to work a day in your life.’ Not true! I have done the work, I’m still doing the work, and I know many people far more successful than I, and they too know this is a lie. (No one actually knows where this quote even came from: read here)
Here’s the truth about. The outcome can sometimes be so exhilarating that the work you did feels like nothing (at least for a time). However, in order for you to do what you love it will require you to do things you don’t love, but those things will increase your time and return on doing what you’re most passionate about. More on this below in THIRD.
THIRD: It takes Mettle!
Maybe you’ve already looked into jobs and have tried a million different things, or maybe you’re going to try this out. Eventually you will hit the same wall. The wall of: this sucks, I don’t want to do this.
At some point you’re going to realize something: Making money doing what I love involves doing a lot of things I don’t love. -Congratulations, you’ve stumbled onto another truth. This truth is known and embraced by the successful.
Any time you attempt to do anything there are obstacles to overcome. All work, all jobs will entail obstacles. Many people have small obstacles they are accustomed to dealing with because they are reaching small goals or not striving. Any time you really try to succeed, and reach greater heights like making money doing what you love, those difficulties are going to be much greater.
So how do you deal with any of this? By having mettle. In other words, pushing through this, not giving up, embracing what needs to be done and doing it.
“Making money doing what I love involves doing a lot of things I don’t love.”
It is completely unrealistic to expect that your work, no matter what it is, will be enjoyable and pleasant. Even super successful people who made a living doing what they love didn’t always enjoy it. Walt Disney, for example, was often super stressed out, spending all of his time trying to fix problems. He embraced that in order for him to achieve the outcome he wanted, he would need to push through the trials of finding enough money, overcoming bankruptcy, and fighting fierce competition with much better resources, etc.
And this brings me to the last point I want to emphasize:
FOURTH: OUTCOME vs PROCESS
I don’t want to paint the path to your success with gloom and misery because there’s actually a lot of sunshine. But the main problem most everyone faces when it comes to succeeding is changing their wrong thinking.
When people think about making money doing what they love, they normally begin mixing the OUTCOME with the PROCESS.
For example, imagine a man who wants to be an artist. He knows he can paint and he wants to make money doing that. What does he picture in his mind? He sees himself holding up a magnificent, finished painting before an admirer and then that admirer handing money to him and taking the picture home, leaving him with a smile on his face and a feeling of success. -This is the outcome.
How did he get there?
What the artist doesn’t see are the countless hours he spent trying to get his layout just right on the canvas, getting the mix of colors just right, correcting mistakes, and even starting over. Then calling vendors and applying for shows to showcase his painting, driving there, setting up, and worrying that maybe his painting isn’t as good as the guy’s next to him. Then going to another show and another without a sale. Watching people walk by, trying to convince them to look at his painting and engage their interest. Late nights, early mornings; low pay, no pay, and dead ends. -This is the process.
He is completely oblivious to the process because all he sees is the outcome. And that’s what most of us do.
Yet, we should focus on the outcome, but we must learn to do so without allowing ourselves to become so disenchanted with the process that we give up on it. Succeeding is allowing our desires for the outcome to be brighter than the shadow of challenges in the process.
So, remember to keep your head level, don’t be disillusioned with the work before you. Making money “doing” what you love requires work, hence the word “doing”. If you didn’t have to work for it you would not love it. Change your thinking, identify your skills, and persevere through the process to obtain the outcome.