Although I’ll be the first one to say that an education does not automatically guarantee success, I will also say that getting a formal or informal education in something that you want to make money at is at the very least worth considering. Personally, I will be getting at least an AA if not a Bachelor’s degree over the next few years, compliments of the U.S. Air Force.
When the fine folks over at Premier Student Loans offered to do a guest post about making money by following your passions, I jumped at the chance to get some quality content for the blog, since my hands are still too full for me to consistently add new content to this site. So, enjoy this guest post, give some serious thought to the role of education in your own success plan, and feel free to leave a comment if you’d like to share your thoughts!
Success, including financial prosperity, rarely comes to those who lack direction or purpose. Most of us possess a loose network of desires, tendencies and interests that guide us to choose a profession and chart a satisfactory direction for our lives.
Perhaps our first stab at a career came when we took the first job we could get, just to get away from, or to please Mom and Dad. Many of us just go on from there, working this or that job, interesting or not. While your job may not necessarily be your life, since you will spend 30 to 50 percent of your life at work, it stands to reason that doing something that you are absolutely crazy about will, at least, make the time go faster.
Stick With Your Passion
All of us want to make a living doing something we really love, but lack the self-confidence to pursue, such as being involved in medical case management, a painter, a gourmet chef, an automobile mechanic, or a writer. As Jack Palance said in the film “City Slickers”, “The secret to life is to pick one thing and stick with it.” The adhesive that will help us “stick with it” and live the lives we love is passion.
On unique occasions, such as being laid off, succumbing to job burn-out, or just wanting more out of life, we decide to make a change and prepare a clean slate on which to plot our next course. It is at these times that our passions, our burning desires, will give us direction and motivation to pursue the next big thing in our lives.
The Other Side of the Passion Coin
We should not accept the objects of our passions on face value, but rather discover what it is about them that really float our boats. If you feel passionate about “helping people”, careers in that field number in the hundreds. They can range from being a live-in aid for a disabled person to going to medical school and becoming a pathologist. On the one hand, a live-in aid has intensive contact with his or her client, including bathing, feeding, and toilet procedures. A pathologist rarely sees patients and works in a lab, preparing specimens and doing hours of microscopic analyses. Both jobs would qualify as “helping people.” The trick to choosing a living by following your passions is to explore careers that offer the most satisfaction that also have the fewest disagreeable features.
Find That Special Niche
A passion for art is also a gossamer-like concept. If all you want to do is paint wildlife and fill up page after page in your sketchbooks, you should run that up the flagpole and go full speed ahead. However, if you passionately love art, and think you should become an artist, but never doodle in the margins of your schoolbooks and are hesitant to make that first mark on a piece of illustration board, look deeper into your passion to discover that special niche.
Perhaps an easier route to living your passion is to look at what you already do. What is the one thing you do that you are always thinking about, analyzing, and doing in your spare time? Making a living while doing what you are passionate about may sound more difficult than hanging in there with your safe old job, but you can seamlessly transition into a new career by setting aside time in the evenings instead of doing non-productive things such as watching TV. There are distance learning courses, online degree programs, and web sites that can teach you just about anything.
If you are ready to commit to making money by following your passions, set the stage by making time for yourself, being honest with yourself about your talents and passions, doing all the research, and establishing a game plan. Let the transformation begin!