Could it be possible to make the kind of money you want AND do what you love?
Certainly there are people that do it. And when you ask them how, they will usually tell you that they 'followed thier passion.' Sounds trite - but there is a basic underlying truth about this approach. If you are passioniate about something, you tend to find deep wells of energy and focus that give you the 'juice' to actually be successful!
Passion is part of the equation, but just part. Not everyone will be a Bon Jovi or Picasso or Tom Clancy. For every one of them, there's thousands of starving artists. Perhaps that works for some people, but it doesn't do much for me.
If I had "followed" my passions, I'd either be trying to play music for a living or trying to be a professional athlete. While I really enjoy both, and was passionate about both as a teenager, I certainly wasn't going to be paying any bills with those dreams.
I think the more appropriate advice is to be passionate
. My job is, by most peoples' definitions, very un-sexy. But after taking the best option available to me when I graduated into the 2008 job market and working at a soul-crushing company for my first three years, I realized I could just be really damn good at what I was doing. Even if the company was (in my 24-year-old mind) run by a bunch of jerks, I was going to work hard so I could build my resume. Even if the pay wasn't very good, I was going to stay after 5, work weekends, get my numbers up, and use it as a springboard.
Mike Rowe (the guy from Dirty Jobs,) starting something called the Mike Rowe Works Foundation. I won't quote the whole site here, but there's a pledge on the site that I think a lot of people could benefit from.
Mike Rowe Works Foundation wrote:
1. I believe that I have won the greatest lottery of all time. I am alive. I walk the Earth. I live in America. Above all things, I am grateful.
2. I believe that I am entitled to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Nothing more. I also understand that “happiness” and the “pursuit of happiness” are not the same thing.
3. I believe there is no such thing as a “bad job.” I believe that all jobs are opportunities, and it’s up to me to make the best of them.
4. I do not “follow my passion.” I bring it with me. I believe that any job can be done with passion and enthusiasm.
5. I deplore debt, and do all I can to avoid it. I would rather live in a tent and eat beans than borrow money to pay for a lifestyle I can’t afford.
6. I believe that my safety is my responsibility. I understand that being in “compliance” does not necessarily mean I’m out of danger.
7. I believe the best way to distinguish myself at work is to show up early, stay late, and cheerfully volunteer for every crappy task there is.
8. I believe the most annoying sounds in the world are whining and complaining. I will never make them. If I am unhappy in my work, I will either find a new job, or find a way to be happy.
9. I believe that my education is my responsibility, and absolutely critical to my success. I am resolved to learn as much as I can from whatever source is available to me. I will never stop learning, and understand that library cards are free.
10. I believe that I am a product of my choices – not my circumstances. I will never blame anyone for my shortcomings or the challenges I face. And I will never accept the credit for something I didn’t do.
11. I understand the world is not fair, and I’m OK with that. I do not resent the success of others.
12. I believe that all people are created equal. I also believe that all people make choices. Some choose to be lazy. Some choose to sleep in. I choose to work my butt off.