I would have perhaps stuck with half-successes, continuing to push them along in mediocrity and never really succeeding. But you keep going because being fit and taking care of your body is what you … Remember when I mentioned that English was one of my favorite classes in high school? There are deadlines and contractual obligations. Another reason is that it requires “grit” and work ethic. One issue that you’ll see constantly debated in books and articles about choosing a career is the idea of “doing what you love.” Should a person “follow their passion” as a primary guiding light for their career? Do what you love, and you’ll never work a day in your life. What I ended up realizing I had a knack for was a particular flavor of half-memoir half-advice articles that I could write quickly and relatively well–the kind of stuff you’re reading right now. For example, you might want to be a software engineer so that you can support your side gig as a romance novelist. “…and they lived happily ever after…” sure sounds great and it is something you can achieve if you always keep in mind it won’t be smooth sailing all the way through. But you deal with it because being self-employed (and the freedom it provides) is what you love. When I was in college, I tried out a bunch of side gigs–part-time jobs in various areas. I started a number of blogs, including a parenting blog. So go back to the beginning. My side gig was working for that professor. Maybe you’ll even learn to ward off the guilt and bury the shame and suppress the futility and disappointment. When you do, the passion will follow--and if you work hard enough, someday you'll be so good they can't ignore you. A person might deeply love writing about personal finance, but how about writing about personal finance several hours a day, every single day, for years? Taxes for self-employed people are frustrating at times, to say the least. You can do what you love. No matter what you do, there are tasks that you won’t enjoy. Just think about all the things you love. Many people have personal passions, but they don’t have the internal “grit” necessary to do it every single day until they hone their skills and personal assets to perfection. The flip side of this, Tokumitsu notes, is that those who didn’t make it didn’t love the work enough. Doing what you love means that you will face adversity. Some were obviously pure part-time jobs just to earn a buck, but some of them were work-study jobs with professors that were in areas that interested me. However, real success didn’t strike until The Simple Dollar took off. There’s a great myth of modern self-help: just “do what you love”. And, he notes, there are innumerable ways in innumerable fields to make that difference. I wrote rough drafts of several novels, including one called Rings of Saturn that I actually sent to publishers and received some positive feedback on (it was a story about two highly competitive brothers during an era shortly in the future when we were starting to mine different parts of the solar system for resources). They advise you to quit your job or to leave you profession if you are not completely satisfied with it. Here are seven truths I’ve found about this question through my own experiences over the years that I want to share with anyone trying to figure out whether to follow their passion or follow their money. I get to have great conversations with readers–I get lots of Facebook messages with great questions and ideas every single day. The number one key to doing what you love is to keep your horizons as open as possible and try lots of things, even if they seem completely strange or completely different than what you dreamed about. Of course, here in the real world, most of us have people to support. This is the best route I’ve found to get there. How about you? What happened? I’ve worked on podcasts and YouTube channels. The big reason is that it’s not a guaranteed path at all. You might want to be a lawyer so you can support your side gig as a board game designer. Next year maybe I’ll discover a new artist, writer, band, book I love. A home for anyone interested in the Green parties of the UK. And so on. I used to love music. Don’t ask your mind. I love Joy Division, Picasso, Truffaut. It’s not even wrong. I’ve done all of those things as side gigs since starting The Simple Dollar. Is the writing great, the kind you’d find in The New Yorker? In the end, the ideal job is the one that pays reasonably well with the least amount of time spent doing things you don’t want to do. Better yet, you can fail over and over and over again. I love my work right now. Sometimes, you’ll find that the exact thing you always dreamed about–like, say, being a science fiction and fantasy novelist–doesn’t quite work out like you dreamed that it would. First of all, if you have a great-paying main career, you can financially support almost any side gig you might want to dabble in. What you love is always changing. I read a LOT of emails, many of which I enjoy but many of which are either upsetting or frustrating. “What you love to do is to make a difference,” David Sturt says. Your goal solely is to build experience and learn the craft, as it doesn’t have to put food on the table for you (yet). And maybe there are people that’s true for. Start with the last one. Will this ever love me back?

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