Over the years I’ve thought a lot about the conflict between living an authentic life and paying the rent. I’ve had multiple people advise me that if I pursued my passion, the laws of a benevolent universe would somehow ensure that enough money showed up to repair my car and buy groceries as needed. I have almost always scoffed at this piece of advice, but there were a few months when I experimented with this. I quit my job and wholeheartedly pursued a business I loved. Unfortunately, things did not work out for me; after a few months I found myself very broke, in debt, and forced to take a job that was definitely not my passion.
Ok, it's possible that I did not do things right; maybe this only works if you are also doing something else that pays the rent while you pursue your passion. I don't know. Maybe my anxiety after the first month meant that I was not able to give myself over to the process. I do know that this did not really work for me.
I think there are a lot of ways to make money at whatever it is you love to do. I wholeheartedly urge you to follow your passion. You love to make cute throw pillows, do Morris dancing, make wooden models of submarines? Great. You should do those things with all your heart. Teach classes, enter competitions, get an Etsy site – there are lots of ways to make money doing what you love.
But as thousands of fantastic musicians will tell you, you will not always get rich doing what you love. It may, in fact, be damned hard to make a living doing what you love.
I am not saying, "Don't follow your dreams." I am saying that it is a not fair to tell you that following your dreams will – by some magic formula – lead to financial success. Following your dreams will hopefully lead to something that money can’t buy – inner peace, satisfaction, and the knowledge of a life lived with authenticity.
If I wrote a book on this topic, I’d title it: How to do what you love and make enough money to be able to keep doing it. Not as catchy, but it feels like good advice.