How to Follow Your Passion and Do What You Love without Going Broke

Do What You Love

I just made a big decision. I decided to discontinue what I was currently doing as a job and for the time being focus 100% of my working efforts onto MyrkoThum.com and my vision of my Lifestyle Business. I can’t go into too much detail yet but I have a plan and I’m in the process of executing it. More importantly with this decision I also follow my passion of personal development.

Passion is one of these strong and enduring emotions about something or someone. I especially enjoyed the definition of passion from UrbanDictionary.com:

Passion is when you put more energy into something than is required to do it. It is more than just enthusiasm or excitement, passion is ambition that is materialized into action to put as much heart, mind, body and soul into something as is possible.

Passion is just the ultimate fuel for your endeavors because it never really runs out. When you go after your passion, assuming you found your real passion, you tend to get more energy from working towards it. Most people who follow their passion wouldn’t really talk about it as work or as a job. Many would even do it for free, some would pay to do it.

Is “Follow Your Passion” Bad Advice?

There has been some real controversy about following your passion. For Bill Gates passion is the number one factor for success. Also Steve Jobs said:

“You’ve got to find what you love. And that is as true for your work as it is for your lovers. Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it.”

Others say following your passion and concentrating on what you love to do will probably result in failure. For instance in an article on CNN called Why ‘follow your passion’ is bad advice the author Cal Newport argues that trying to “follow your passion” in your career can lead to anxiety, job-hopping and disappointment. In another post called Dont Follow Your Passion, Follow Your Effort Marc Cuban says “Follow Your Passion” is easily the worst advice you could ever give or get. Instead he suggests to get good at that where you apply most of your time and effort – passion and success will follow.

Why is that so? Answer:

Passion Alone is Not Enough

I think the core error that both of these articles saying “following your passion is bad advice” commit, is to assume that by following your passion you blindly want to make a money-making business from what you are enjoying in your spare time. Of course, it’s not that easy. It may work, or it may not. You have to educate yourself to know. So if you assume just by going into tunnel-vision, ignoring the market and your real abilities to excel, you will create success by following a passion you have… yes, you would most likely fail. The key is to do it intelligently and to use your passion as one of many other decision factors.

The problem with the Marc Cuban approach of going where you currently spend your time and effort is simply that you may be numbing yourself by ignoring your passion and running after “success”. “Success” which most likely just means running after the money. Making money is great and there is absolutely nothing wrong about it, but making money the only focus in your life may blind you up to a point where you get so ignorant regarding your own needs that you justify a really unhappy career just because you get paid. Stephen Covey has a nice metaphor for this phenomenon: it is the ladder you climb leaning against the wrong wall.

Don’t get me wrong, money should be a major focus in your life. You need to educate yourself about money and it’s good to have a drive to make as much money as you can. What I try to bring across is that anything that is taken to an extreme, ignoring other essential keys, is a problem.

In my Success Guide I already said what I consider to be the 3 keys for a success: Passion, Skill and People. In other words you have to bring the skill and be really good at what you do, possibly the best, and there has to be a market where people are willing to spend money on what you’re offering without too much competition already. If you have both of these, being passionate is what enables you to become outstanding and eventually successful.

So being passionate is a core ingredient of a fulfilled and successful career. Follow your passion is not bad advice, but follow your passion blindly, ignoring the market opportunity and your skill-set, definitely is.

Finding a Passion Worth Following

So here is what you do: List your passions that you think are worth pursuing and then do a check for each of them by answering the following 3 questions truthfully:

Answer these 3 Questions Now:

  1. Do I really love to do it and willing to spend the rest of my life on it?
  2. Am I good at this and willing to constantly improve to be at the top?
  3. Is there a group of people (a market) spending money for it?
How to Do What You Love

Image © by Eskimon

Also have a look at my post mentioned earlier called Success: The Only Guide You Need on How to Be Successful in Life which will give you an even better understanding how to match the 3 keys in your life.

About the author Myrko Thum

I'm author of this site and I could coach you to make a giant leap ahead in your personal life and your business. I founded Personal Breakthrough Academy, a powerful personal development video course to create your personal breakthrough. Sign up below to get started:

7 Comments

  • William Siebold

    September 12, 2012

    Good luck to you!! It takes great courage to move forward. I believe that following your passion is critical to happiness & fulfillment. In today’s world, “following your passion” is more complicated than it sounds. I am a faculty member & former administrator in higher education – in a small college in Portland Oregon – one of fifty such colleges in a nationwide for-profit system. The organizational ethics are highly questionable, the corporate competence laughable, the bureaucracy insane and we just went through traumatic system-wide downsizing (many of my colleagues lost their jobs). Students are paying very high tuition for declining student support resources, and are rolling up huge debt along the way. I have questioned my role in this system – perhaps my complicity.

    But, I love teaching. It is my heart. My livelihood. When I enter the classroom the whole world comes alive for me and I hope for the students. Even in the midst of such corporate greed, I find the peace and joy of my craft – I can come alive with hope and love.

    At 58 years old there are precious few options in the traditional job market for me. So I have been plotting a course outward with my own project to redefine higher education. I have the planning, a bit of validation from the community and the motivation. But the courage is still building. The time is approaching.

    So, best of luck in your efforts. I wish you well and will follow your progress as much as possible.

    ReplyReply
  • Myrko

    September 12, 2012

    William, this sounds like you are following your passion, despite difficult circumstances. Finding and giving hope and love is the good which is probably balancing out the bad for you and for your class. I always found the highest possible reward is being an inspiration for others, you seem to be that. So good luck to you too and thanks for your great comment on the topic!

    ReplyReply
  • Beatriz Maria

    September 12, 2012

    I am really grateful for meeting you in this very transformation moment of my life. Seems like you are doing great!!…you give me inspiration and excellent tools to keep going with my new life project. Specially this article gave me a straight and sharp answer this morning when I woke up thinking : “Yes, I want, I need, to follow my passion…but…it is worth to? “….and, deep inside I’d knew, and I know is worth to, but it looks so unreachable!!…now, you give me the answer and click on my creativity that I feel I can trust in myself and the path I’m taking is correct. Thank you Myrko!!!….you are making it great! :-)

    ReplyReply
  • Myrko

    September 13, 2012

    Thank you Beatriz! Having the courage to go for your dream is always admirable and you have my respect for that! What I personally think is one of the most important things when judging the potential success of following your passion is to have a correct understanding of the market opportunity.

    It is worth spending some quality time to research your market, your competition and size and willingness to buy (need) of people. It’s important and don’t ignore the market and jump blindly after your passion, which would be exactly what the two nay-sayer articles mentioned in my post talked about.

    I believe if you have something to offer that people would like to have, today is a great opportunity leveraging the internet to let people find you. The market doesn’t have to be huge. In fact I think it’s great if it is a niche market, competition is lower and since the internet enables you that a lot of people can come to you. But you have to be educated and do it the right way. If you find answers here, I’d say it’s a great opportunity right now. Maybe also take a look at the book “Crush It!” from Gary Vaynerchuk, inspiring guy too! Good luck to you and all who follow their passion intelligently!

    ReplyReply
  • Jeffry

    August 20, 2014

    Unquestionably believe that which you said.
    Your favorite reason appeared to be on the internet the easiest
    thing to be aware of. I say to you, I certainly get irked while people think about worries that they just do not
    know about. You managed to hit the nail upon the top as well as defined out the whole thing without having side-effects , people could take a
    signal. Will likely be back to get more. Thanks

    ReplyReply

Leave A Response

* Denotes Required Field