I have a bone to pick with the phrase “Do what you love and the money will follow.”
This is nothing new on my end, and smarter people than I have tackled this in their blogs. Many blame it on the book and film “The Secret.” It certainly resurrected after that. But I digress.
A friend told me she felt like a failure because her art hadn’t turned into a viable source of income. Since this was an email conversation, it took longer to express my opinion. But the short version is, just because you love doing something, doesn’t mean you can or should monetize it.
That’s a real short-coming in the American culture – that we need to monetize something to show it’s – or our- worth.
Would she stop creating just because she couldn’t quit her day job to do this full-time? And if she could, would it be as rewarding? That’s a question everyone has to answer who tries to start a business from a hobby they love.
I think the idea is, if you love doing something/creating something/daydreaming etc., it makes the work you do to support that activity, feel less like work.
It’s a shame so many of us feel we have to justify something we love to do, by trying to turn it into a business. For each successful cupcake entrepreneur, there are hundreds of disappointed bakers who couldn’t make it work as a business.
But there are thousands of happy bakers enjoying their creations and sharing them with friends and family.
This is the camp I fall in.
I won’t be quitting my day job, which by the way, I enjoy. It’s highly unlikely I will have some sort of healing or animal communication business. But I am a great resource for my friends and family. Maybe we need to be Gods of Small Things That Make Us Happy, and trust the ripple effect to bring joy and satisfaction to ourselves. And that might be enough.