The Money Will Not Follow

The old adage says that if you do what you love, the money will follow. Wouldn’t it be nice if life really were that simple? Sorry to burst your bubble, but the money will not follow. The old adage is anything but complete.

That’s not to say this motto is without merit or without value. I am a firm believer that you are much better off pursuing your passions and doing something that you enjoy than you are trudging your way through a life of misery.

I chose to major in my worst subject in school, because I liked the material and found it interesting. Had I continued to pursue the classes that I disliked the most, my university career would not have been nearly as enlightening and enjoyable. In like manner, going every day to a job that you hate is a sad waste of our short lives. You may be good at it and it may be lucrative, but if you hate forty hours or more of every week, you’re going about it the wrong way.

Do It Again and Again

One of the assumptions that goes along with doing what you love is the repetition that should ensue. If you really like photography, you’ll try to carry a camera with you everywhere you go, shooting pictures in every which direction. If you really love playing golf, the assumption is that you will try to play as much golf as you can.

An assumption that follows from that is you will get better at the task the more you do it. Practice makes perfect, right? Well, that’s not always true either. There are lifelong golfers who never manage to break par, despite spending loads of money on lessons, green fees, and expensive clubs.

What’s In It For Me?

Do what you love and the money will follow. That also assumes that other people are willing to pay money to feed into your passion. Let’s use the example of the accordion player above. Perhaps he goes to the same city park each day, opens up his accordion case, and lets the music fill the air. He’s happy, but he only comes home with a few dollars after several hours of playing. That’s not enough to pay the bills.

However, at least he’s generating some income. Let’s say that you enjoy reading instead. Maybe you enjoy the private aspect of reading, so going into a sound booth (to record audiobooks) or reading to young children (story time?) would not be enjoyable to you. That takes away from doing what you love, right?

You have to generate some sort of value to others. Doing what you love on its own is not sufficient. If you love reading and you happen to be a great book reviewer, then the money may indeed follow. You’ll just need to find someone willing to pay you to write reviews.

Get the Money to Follow You

Don’t wait around for the money to follow; get the money to follow you instead. Whether you’re an aspiring actor or a budding author, find a way to explore your passions in such a way that it can be profitable to you and valuable to others. That’s how the money will follow.

Remember that life is much more about the journey than it is about the destination. Absolutely do what you love, but don’t assume that the money will automatically appear in your bank account. The onus is on you.