Work Online » Freelancing

Why You Should NOT Follow Your Passion

To Follow Your Passion,
You First Need To Find It

And that’s much easier said than done, right?

Most of us have no idea what we’re passionate about, or what kind of job we could possibly love so much that it never feels like work.

The danger is that we’ll invest tons of time and energy into finding our passion, trying all sorts of different things in expectation of a sudden eureka moment.

We see it unfolding like a movie, that moment when you’re engaged in some new activity and suddenly everything clicks and then you know beyond a shadow of a doubt that THIS IS WHAT I WAS PUT HERE ON EARTH TO DO!

"Eureka!"

To emphasize how silly this belief is, imagine if you believed romantic relationships worked the same way.

That is, you believed that you either fell in love with someone at first sight, or not at all.

Sounds ridiculous, right?

You might be physically attracted to someone immediately, or even feel some mysterious and powerful urge to go talk to them, but you won’t know for sure if you’re a good match until you go on a few dates, get jiggy, meet their parents, live together… etc.

See what I’m getting at here?

Just like very few people have their perfect partner fall out of the sky and into their arms, very few people have their perfect career do the same.

But even if that were to happen to you — if you were to find your passion (or your soulmate) overnight or otherwise — it’s not as if success would suddenly come easy.

That’s because…

Doing Meaningful Work Is Hard

It May Take Years To Make Money From Your Passion

That’s if you can ever make any money from it at all, let alone enough money to make a good living.

And let’s face it: unless you’ve got a mattress full of cash to fall back on, you can’t afford to spend YEARS of your life turning your passion into a career.

Bills have to be paid.

Food has to be bought.

The occasional pint has to be enjoyed.

Not to mention the fact that many of the things we’re passionate about simply aren’t ever going to make us a living.

What if you’re passionate about carving matchsticks or collecting stamps or growing cacti?

What if you’re a teenage girl from Finland who loves nothing more than frolicking around on a fake horse?

Even if you invest years in becoming the best in the world at those things, it’s unlikely that anyone’s going to throw money at you. 1

Let’s take a moment and review what we’ve covered so far…

Choose a job you like…

You don’t have to love what you do. Liking your work is perfectly fine.

The past seven years I’ve earned a living mostly as a freelance web developer. But I don’t love doing web development. It might have been my passion ten years ago, but the joy faded from it pretty fast.

Nowadays I like building websites. It’s something I know how to do and do well.

But doing freelance web development affords me a lot of freedom.

In large part because of that skill, I had the confidence to quit my 9-to-5 and the ability to travel the world for years on end.

Make money online from Tenerife

Me working online from a rented apartment in sunny Tenerife.

…can quickly excel at, and be well paid for…

As mentioned, passion projects often take years to pay off financially, if ever.

Some people glorify the struggle of living hand-to-mouth while chasing an elusive dream, like becoming a famous rock star or writer.

I’m not one of those people.

Forget being a starving artist.

Put the dream on hold and learn some skills you can use to generate a reliable income within a few months. That means becoming good at something the world values and is happy to pay you for.

…and you will have a lot more options in the not-too-distant future.

Let’s Review

When you’re just getting started working online, your main goal should be to build a steady stream of independent income, and to do it as fast as possible.

The best way to do that is to put your passion projects aside and focus on building a skill you can freelance. It should be something you like doing, can quickly excel at, and will be well paid for.

Now, you’re probably wondering which skill best fits that description for you.

And that’s exactly what I help you figure out in The Hedgehog’s Guide To Skill Selection.

Click the cute little fecker below and we’ll dive in.

Follow Your Passion: Hedgehog

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Footnotes

  1. Or date you, for that matter.
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