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.
I enjoy web design and marketing but would prefer to be traveling and hiking around the world with my family. I keep thinking I’ll do this when I retire however I don’t think the body will be as strong and I’ll probably still be working. Sounds like you’ve worked out a great way to see the USA with travel trailer…congratulations.
I wish some of the “smart people” in the world could figure out how to reverse things — the way it works now is that you have time for your family *after* they grow up and move away. What kind of sense does that make?
If I could do anything, what would I do?…. Both are excellent questions that each one of us asks several times throughout our life time. I know I have.
I think asking, and finding the answer to questions is the worlds best kept secret. Particularly when the answer comes from within. The ‘ha ha’ type of feeling and knowing.
Am I doing what I love? Yes I am however, it took four years and several detours to really gel with me what I enjoyed doing and that was teaching others. Does it provide the income and freedom that I am looking for. No – not exactly. And that is the very reason I am looking to take my passion to the internet to reach a wider audience.
Thanks for opening up the conversation Jay. My guess is the answer will pop into your heart and mind now that you have challenged yourself by asking these particular questions.
What you love to do changes whenever you change what you believe. That’s why people change their minds so much. What you believe is why you do it. You believe in it, it’s the right thing and it will eventually be fun if you don’t give up.
Kids are non-negotiable. Fun or not, nobody gives up on their kids or they’ve got problems seriously beyond the scope of this discussion. I know more than a few people who will STOP doing business with anyone who doesn’t put their children before the customer. Other family members are debatable but children under 18 are non-negotiable. btw- I’ve witnessed YOU (Jay Jennings) do just that when your wife was out of town – last December I think it was.
You spend time with your kids because you believe that makes them happy and that’s what you want. That’s what makes you happy and that’s fun…even when they’re acting up, you never give up and stop spending time with them.
Whatever you do has to be fun or you won’t keep doing it for very long, you won’t want to, not even for money…. you have to want to and what you want is twisted up with what you believe. What makes something fun?
What makes something NOT fun? Whatever you are NOT makes you what you are. Uncomfortable is NOT fun. Working for nothing is NOT fun. Doing anything without purpose is NOT fun. Being ignored and unappreciated is NOT fun. Alone with no support is NOT fun.
Whatever is comfortable, makes money, solves a problem, has your name on it, people support you because they believe what you believe. That is fun. You’re happy. Money is not a reason. It’s the result.
What you believe is why you do something. What you do just proves what you believe. Your true passion becomes apparent. It’s whatever works the best for you on all levels.
Here’s another angle to consider – more along the marketing side of things: http://www.ez-1.net/passion2 Guess how I made this short video webpage in just minutes?
Well, Jay, I tried nursing, speaking, writing and have been on the internet since the early 1990’s. I enjoyed it all. Sometimes it was all done concurrently.
I am an 80 year old great mother and enjoy that a whole lot.
Now I am spending most of my time trying to create new things online. some one might say, ‘why are you doing this now? If you sttay busy you don’t lose your cognitive abilities and wither-up and die.
I have peace doing what I do.
You too, will look back later and say, ‘it was good’.
Lugene, thanks for the perspective from someone who’s been around the sun a few more times than most. I appreciate it!
And I agree that staying busy with things you enjoy is a far better alternative than just withering away! =:)
That’s what so appealing about Internet Marketing. You can utilize and monetize all your “loves” in one place. In addition, the freedom you enjoy gives you the time to be a good dad.
Take it from a guy whose done a lot, had a lot of fun and a fair share of calamity. In the end, if you have a good family, you just can’t ask for more.