We believe that if we follow our passion, then the money will come. Money’s not important.
Now, I’m not saying that money is everything, but to the person who invented this quote, have you ever not had any money? Have you ever been broke? Now, I’m not talking the Awww-man-I-can’t-afford-to-eat-at-a-five-star-restaurant-broke, I’m talking the I-don’t-have-money-to-eat broke. I’m talking the should-I-pay-rent-or-should-I-buy-my-children-food broke. I’m talking the I-can’t-attend-your-birthday-party-because-I-have-$10-in-my-account-and-can’t-even-afford-to-pay-for-gas-to-get-there broke.
I’m talking BROKE without the “K” or the “E.” You’re so broke, you’re BRO. Can’t even afford the last two letters of the word.
I’m going to assume that the inventor of the Follow-Your-Passion-Don’t-Worry-About-Money quote was rich because I doubt that he’s ever attempted to live on his passion alone, unless his passion was software engineering or investing in lucrative firms. If his passion was teaching elementary school, I wonder how he coped with making a mere $35k per year. I wonder how he coped with being inundated with over $100k in student loan debt, while making $35k per year. I wonder how set he was for retirement at 65, or if he ever traveled the world or saved enough money for his children to pay for school. I wonder.
The truth is that the follow-your-passion perspective is skewed because it does not allow room for error. If your passion is painting, how are you going to pay rent if you haven’t sold your artwork? How are you going to eat if it takes many years for you to make a name for yourself and start earning income? How are you going to get by?
The quote should read:
Follow your passion but have a foolproof backup plan.
Be an elementary school teacher, but take on side software development projects to supplement your income and diversify your cash flow. Be a graphic designer, but maybe prepare taxes on the side or sell real estate. Develop skills that are invaluable in the marketplace, so you’ll always have money to fall back on, if your passion fails to help you earn money.
If there is a burning desire inside of you to accomplish something great, then pursue it fiercely. I support you and your endeavors. We should all have a passion, something that makes us feel alive and fulfilled when we are working on it. That’s what life’s about. But let’s be smart. Following our passion with a backup plan makes us even more likely to succeed, for money makes us more likely to be fed, clothed, and have shelter. Money keeps our mind at peace, for we know that if an emergency were to arise, we would be all right. All of these factors will push us closer to living our dream.
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