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Sunday, October 24, 2010

Should You Do What You Love?

 By: Steve Gillman


There is a saying that is also a book title: Do what you love and the money will follow. Is it true? Not entirely. Is it better to simply find the best way to make money? No. The truth as is common, is somewhere in between.

Let's get the extremes out of the way. If you really love to wander around in the woods, you will probably won't find a way to make that pay. It isn't impossible, since you could guide others or collect things to sell. But maybe you don't like these ways to make money at all - you just like to wander around in the woods alone. In that case, you would do well to find an acceptable job or business to pay the bills and buy the time for your walks. And let's face it: if more than a few hundred poets would like to make money at it in this country, some of them would have to fail at this goal. There just isn't that much demand for some skills.

At the other extreme there are marketers whose advice has been for those of us doing business online to ignore our passions and go where the money is. Nonsense! Not only would I have hated this business too much to continue more than a few months, but I would have failed. In fact, I did try a number of different websites early on, and all of the ones that I had no interest in are doing poorly. Meanwhile three of my most successful websites are based on my interests. The fourth is based on something I have some interest in, but mostly just know a lot about: real estate.

Do What You Love No Matter What

First of all, plan to do what you love no matter what. If you find a way to make money doing it, great. If not find a way to pay for your passions doing something that allows you the time and money necessary. Why would you spend a life doing things you hate or ignoring the talents you are blessed with?

Now, as mentioned, the sites that make the most money for my wife and I are those that I have an interest in. This shouldn't be too surprising. It is easier to get to work on something you enjoy. It is easier to sustain motivation. It is easier to do the tedious work that goes with every business or job when you are at least following your passions.

It also isn't very surprising that people fail at things they have no real interest in. My weight loss website makes only ten dollars monthly, but then I weigh about five pounds more than the 165 pounds I was in high school thirty years ago, and I have no interest in diets. On the other hand, my website on carpet stains makes hundreds of dollars monthly even though carpet doesn't thrill me. I happened to be a carpet cleaner at one time, so I knew enough to make the site and I spend ten hours annually to manage it.

The lesson is to do what you love and what you know to increase the odds of success. What if you are fortunate enough to have many interests like I do (backpacking, money, philosophy, poetry, story writing, and more)? Unless there is one that really stands out as your passion and purpose, start with those that have the most profit potential. Choose theater over insect collecting, for example, if you have a passion for both. That way the odds of making money while you do what you love are even greater.

Copyright Steve Gillman. Learn more about The Meaning Of Money, and get the free Money Matters Newsletter at:
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