I’m just about done reading a book called, The Instant Millionaire. One concept in it is that as far as a job goes, you really must do something you love.
I’ve heard that before, and I can understand it completely — if you love something, it ceases to be “work.” You’d do it even if you had all the money you needed.
While I enjoy everything that I do, I started thinking about what it is that I *love* to do. If I won a $250 million Powerball Lottery what would I do each day (after the obligatory whirlwind of celebrations and meetings with financial types)? If I could do anything, what would I do?
That is a freaking hard question.
While there are aspects of each that drive me up the wall, I love:
Performing – I haven’t done this as a professional in about 20 years, but I actually dropped out of school after the 8th grade so I could perform full time. In my early 20s I got burned out because it was such a struggle to make ends meet — I had no idea at the time that MARKETING was so important.
Writing – I’ve had dozens of nonfiction articles published (and no, I don’t mean online) but I’m still a virgin as far as fiction goes. I’d *love* to write stories for people all the time.
Programming – Mainly I think it’s the ability to start with NOTHING and end up with something that other people like and use.
Marketing – This is actually similar to programming in that you can create something (sales) out of nothing. Well, you need some raw materials (product, traffic, etc.) but I think in some ways they parallel each other.
I’ve done a few other things here and there, but those are the main categories that you could fit my career path into. There have been overlaps in all of them, and some going back and forth, but that list above is in mostly chronological order.
But there are a couple other things that don’t fit into a normal career that I love doing:
Being A Dad – If money were no object I can imagine being a Dad every day, all day. I love teaching my kids new things, exposing them to new experiences, and showing them sides of life that most people just don’t see. I was thinking this isn’t a “career” but a lot of parents (mostly Moms) do it and it’s more time-consuming (and I think more rewarding) than a normal job.
Acting – This kind of fits in with performing above, but to me it’s a completely different beast. I’ve done community theatre several times and think that acting professionally (TV, movies, or stage) would be a continual blast.
Switching Isn’t Easy
As someone who sold the house and almost all belongings and moved his family into a travel trailer to see the USA, I can testify that making big moves isn’t easy — but it can be done.
However, I think switching careers is harder because you usually have to “start at the bottom” when you start a new career so your income takes a dive for a while.
In my case, the biggest reason (at this point) why I can’t switch careers is…
…I have no idea what to switch it to. =:)
I’ve been happy doing those first 4 things up there. The 5th thing (being a Dad) isn’t something that’s easy to monetize, and the last one is something that, unless you are incredibly lucky, is not something that will pay the bills very soon.
So my options for “doing what I love” means doing something I’ve already done — or coming up with something completely new.
And I’m not sure there is anything new, because if I loved doing it, wouldn’t I already be doing it?
(The last time I wrote something like this I fielded a ton of questions asking why I was thinking of quitting internet marketing. That’s not what this is about — it’s about trying to figure out who I am vs who I should be. Maybe they already match, I’m not sure. =:) )
Are you doing what you love? Let me know about it in the comments below.