Last Updated on March 29, 2023 by Mark Ferguson
There has been a debate for decades over whether it is better to follow your passions when working or to follow the money. One school of thought is that passion does not pay the bills and you should take the job that pays the most whether you like it or not. Another school of thought is that when you should do what makes you happy even if you make less money. However, there is also the opinion that the more passionate you are about work, the better chance you have at success. I personally feel everyone should work hard to choose a career they are passionate about. Real estate did that for me.
Why it is risky to work for just money
Working just for money can satisfy some people. Money pays the bills and we all need money to survive. Even if you hate your job, you can work on the weekends and have time outside work to be happy.
The problem I see with this strategy is that most of us spend a lot of time working. If we spend most of our time, or close to most of our time unhappy, it is going to impact us. I am a strong believer in a positive attitude being key to success and happiness. However, if you spend most of your days unhappy, that is going to make its way into your personal life.
When you are unhappy it is easy to slack off, take shortcuts, and not care. If you want to be successful at work, you have to care about work. If you hate it, no matter how hard you try, it will be almost impossible to give it your all. People will notice, and your boss or customers will notice.
You may be able to pretend for a long time, but eventually, it will catch up to you. It will be very hard to ever reach your full potential if you hate what you do, even if you are good at it.
How being passionate about your work makes you more successful
If you love your work, it becomes so much easier. You enjoy going into the office, you think about how to do things better after work, and you go above and beyond because you want to. If you go above and beyond, people notice and you will become more successful.
The counter to this argument is that being passionate about a job that pays very little is a waste or being passionate about a highly competitive field, can lead to disappointment. Both things can happen, but with the right attitude, you can overcome those shortcomings.
When you love what you do it is so much more find and all of your life is more enjoyable. You don’t have to look forward to work being done to relax. I think loving what you do is most likely healthier for people as well. Stress is proven to cause many health problems and a lot of people resort to tobacco, drugs, or alcohol to cope with stress or a job they hate.
When you love what you do, you pay attention, you involve yourself, and you look for ways to help and make things better. Just like not caring will be noticed by your boss or customers, caring will get you noticed as well. The more you like what you do the easier it is to care about it. You do not have to pretend to care which can wear a person down quickly.
How can passion overcome a low-paying job?
The risk with doing something you love is that you may make less money or risk “not making it”. It is true that you could make less money but there also may be more opportunities when you do what you love. A job itself may make less money, but you may be able to start your own business or move up the ladder quicker when you love what you do as opposed to just showing up.
Many people will say that they want to be a pro athlete or musician but the chances of making it are so slim that the risk is not worth it. It is true that making it big in sports or entertainment is small, but there are so many other opportunities for a career in those fields than being a performer or athlete. If you don’t make it to the pros, it doesn’t mean you failed. Along the way, many lessons are learned and many opportunities present themselves for a career or business in that field. If you have experience in the field it adds to your credibility and does not mean all those years working were wasted. Many very successful business people are ex-athletes who learned discipline and what hard work means and then transferred those skills into the business world. They were successful even though they did not make it to the very top of the sport.
Do I love what I do?
I am a real estate investor, broker, author, and business owner. I do a lot of things and I love them! I am in an amazing position where I have a team that can handle the tasks I do not like doing so that I can focus on the things I do love to do. I was able to get to this position because I figured out what I loved to do and that even changes as the years change.
I was a traditional real estate agent for many years and did okay. I made a living, but my career took off when I got into the REO and foreclosure business. I loved that side of real estate and I didn’t mind working long hours because it was fun. Later, I focussed more on flipping houses and buying rental properties. I became a blogger, YouTuber, and author. I liked trying new things and because I was passionate about them, I usually had some success.
The key to being able to do so many things is making sure I am having fun. I also make sure I am planning well, figuring out how to do those things so that they make me money, and I am always on the lookout for new opportunities. If I simply took a job to make the most money, I may have had a higher income in the beginning, but there is no way I would be as successful as I am now.
Making money is important and it is easy to chase the money, but in the long run, doing what you love or are passionate about usually nets better results.
“People should pursue what they are passionate about. That will make them happier than just about anything else.”Elon Musk