Why your passion still requires hard work
By Celine Wallace
Wellness Expert and Founder of Sattva Soul Retreats
There is this funny misconception that entrepreneurship or leaving your 9-5 job to follow your passion requires nothing but a dream and courage to put yourself out there. I'll be the first to call B.S! Everyone has a vision for a better life, and while you need the courage to pursue that dream, you also need to be willing to put in a heck of a lot of hard work to make it happen.
Since we were kids, we've been conditioned with the most common career advice to "Do what you love!" People love hearing it, heck, I love hearing it, but it's all wrong - except under very specific circumstances, because doing what you love for the sake of it isn't benefiting anyone else unless you work at it to educate, grow and add value to your passion before you share it with the world. Do you see where I'm going here? So, passion is not something you follow. A passion is something that will follow you as you put in the hard work and effort required to become valuable to the world.
If you're still a bit doubtful, then don't worry, I understand because when this concept was introduced to me, I was like 'No, I'm benefiting the world by following my passion.' In fact, the hard truth was the only person it was benefiting was me. For my passion to be worth following and trying to turn into a career I needed to work harder, invest hundreds of hours in becoming more knowledgeable, then I could add value to peoples lives, and my passion would be worth sharing. Passion is almost always the result of a tremendous amount of time and effort.
It's also easy to confuse a hobby or interest for a profound passion that you could turn into a career or business. The reality is, that type of preexisting passion is rarely valuable. Don't believe me? Think about something you're passionate about or that you were passionate about when you were a teenager. Then ask yourself this: Will people pay me to do it?
Money is a great quantifier because it is a neutral indicator of value. In the future, when you think about your passion, you probably have an emotional attachment to it because it's yours, but potential customers don't care about your passion. Potential customers care about giving up their money.
Don't get me wrong this article isn't to discourage you for following your dreams; in fact, it's encouraging you to make an informed decision when pursuing your dream. Do you love your passion enough to work hard for it? Will you put in the hours needed to be the best at what you do? Do you believe there is a return in it making it a possibility for you to pursue it as a career? These are all relevant questions when starting any job, one you choose for yourself or one you do for someone else. That's how businesses grow; they ask questions and evaluate the pros and cons.
Now, if you think you would put in the work and people would pay you for it, then the next ask yourself is: Is there a market for it? Is every person in town trying also to do the same thing?
Or is there an opening in the market and you're willing to build a solution for it? Be cautious of doing anything that's oversaturated and enter into that market carefully by evaluating the competition. If you're stepping into a new area of business to solve a problem or develop something then congratulations on taking the entrepreneurial path, because adding fundamentals to society and solving problems is something that is always needed and might lead you to a gold mine.
In conclusion, I hope this article provides you with a bit more clarity of if you'd like to risk your job to go it alone to study, work hard, invest time and money and potentially fail. This article isn't meant to sound harsh, but it's presented to bring you the facts and empower you with the road you're choosing for yourself. That's how you get to do what you love and be successful. So, by all means, follow your passions, but make sure that what you're passionate about is a field where you can also make a living. Doing work you love, over the long-term, requires getting paid to do what you love -- which means being good enough at something other people value enough to pay you for it. Add all these magical components together, and you might be the next Steve Jobs!