passion does not have to lead to profit

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I just want to make sure we’re all clear on this concept.

Yes, it is AMAZING if your passion can turn into a full-time job for you. Yes, I do think that if you have a passion for, say … tea or jogging or vinyl records you can turn it into a profitable business (with A LOT of work. See Crush It!). And, yes, personally I am working toward building a full-time business doing what I love….

…. But I also want to remind you that it is totally (completely) great to keep your passion a hobby and not bring in the whole make-it-a-business aspect.

Think about if your passion is photography…. Owning a photography business is about 20% photography and 80% business. Even less photography if you want your business to grow and you take on associate photographers or similar.

Do you want to be thinking about BUSINESS that much? Marketing and financial goals and legal requirements and copy writing and and and and and …. Some people really enjoy that stuff (or have the money to pay other people who enjoy that stuff) … But if you don’t, turning your passion into a profit may not be for you.

Or, what if your passion – your reason for being on this earth – is to work with the Boys and Girls Club. Yes, sure, they have full-time staff who make their living working for the charity. But how many of them actually get to take the time to work with the kids on a regular basis? Are you willing to give up that interaction, that passion of yours, just so you don’t have to work in a cubicle 40 hours a week?

Only YOU can say how much not-fun duties you are willing to take on in order to make your passion – your GREAT WORK – your job.

Just remember … all that time you spend dreaming about being a full-time blogger, professional scrapbooker or paid family portrait photographer … You may only be considering the passion side of that job, and not the business-infrastructure that makes the whole thing work profitably.

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  • Courtney September 21, 2011 at 4:38 am edit

    Thank you for posting this! As much as I admire all those people who say “screw 9-5, I want to follow my passion”, I don’t think all of them consider the reality of this. How they’ll end up working longer hours and harder than they did at their 9-5, how they may end up going into debt to achieve their dreams, how they ultimately might not succeed. I know I sound like a naysayer, but I just wonder how many people are willing to put in the work it takes to succeed (especially when sometimes things just don’t work out, regardless of the dedication). For now, I’m happy to keep my passions as hobbies. I don’t love my day job, but I don’t hate it either.

  • Jaimie September 21, 2011 at 3:04 pm edit

    I so agree with this..

  • Amy September 23, 2011 at 6:57 am edit

    Thanks, ladies!
    I wonder if sometimes people feel BAD because they DON’T want to quit their day job, but all the blogs, and all the personal development leaders say ‘follow your dreams’ …

    In my O&U workshop, I’ve deliberately gotten interviews from a stay-at-home mom w/ no day job, and an archaeologist (not your typical day job, but still IS a traditional career path).

    It’s so interesting to learn about the different points of view!


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