This article was originally written and posted on my personal blog.
This my friend is for you. The creative one out there.
We all grow up with hobbies. You grow up with dreams wanting to be involved in something you love and cherish a lot. You dream that someday your passion we also be your job.But, sadly this happens for a very few. The very very few.
Before we can take stock of the situation, we find ourselves married well and truly to a job, that which is just a job.
This job is a regular 10-5 one, that you go through Monday to Friday ( and painfully sometimes on Saturday ) and wait upon the month end to bring in the money.And then all over again starting with the dreaded and hated Monday.
It usually is a secure job, often revered and well or satisfactorily paying. It allows your wife to shop, kids to get an education, your family to have a holiday once in a while, a nice or at least a decent car in the garage of a decent house.It also pays your bills.It does the usual tricks and keeps you well placed in the society. Well how the world looks at it, you are made. Sub-consciously maybe even you believe the same. But here is one slight problem in the the whole gamble. There’s no love in it !! It’s just a Cash Job.
You have it made in the eyes of the world, but the you in you lights up not at the office desk. It lights-up elsewhere. In the heart of hearts lays your passion buried. A dream, a wish, a desire. You find yourself yearning to be engaged in this passion. You find time after work, on weekends and ” even during office! This is what ticks you. This is your thrill. This is what makes you forget all else and dive into a never-ending thirst for more. All of us , creatives ( and perhaps all else too ) have this second job. This is our love. For the love of it. This is about the passion in our hearts. This is about our Love Job.
This job doesn’t pay your bills( certainly not well enough ).This job doesn’t provide security( mostly ). This job most likely is insignificant in the eyes of the world ( at least mine is ), but for you, this is it. If money is no object, you wouldn’t want anything else to do.You would have long quit the Cash Job. That is the passion you have for it. The frustration of being chained in that for which you have little or no love and seeing time pass you by , with you away from pursuing the passion of your heart is nightmarish. I believe many of us lie chained in such a way, leave a few fortunate/courageous/wise/smart ones.
I am no stranger to the theory myself, with the last few years spent pursuing the passion of my heart. I tell you one thing, I have hated Sundays and days of rest during my time as a web designer, a freelance web designer. Only because that keeps Alice away from Wonderland. Though I do realise that self-discipline is important, it can be hard when your passion is overbearing.Breaks are important and you need them. Yet what a wonderful contrast from the dreaded Mondays and the unbearably awaited weekends.
I come to work ( room adjacent to my bedroom) every morning with great anticipation about the great learning/knowledge that lies ahead in the day. I sleep every night with tonnes of ideas about the next day and the current projects. It is simply awesome.
I am a qualified Merchant Marine, a job that brings in some really decent money. A job that pays bills and allows some luxury as well.As it stands, I have traded that with something that just doesn’t measure up in terms of the money. But totally overshadows in the areas of satisfaction and love. Yahooooo !
But if you can’t pay the bills then you got a big problem.How are you going to survive if the cash flow stops ? What about the responsibilities ? There is a tonnes of situations that do arise when money stops flowing in.What can one do then ?
I think the trick is to maintain a balance. How you do that is really up to you. It is probably unwise to totally let-go of your Cash cow to delve into this other job that your passion leads you into. Well if you can monetize ( like in my case ) this other job, then you have landed the perfect job. If you haven’t then you can probably maintain a balance and keep working at it. It takes hard work and much patience to be able to become skilled in any profession. It may be faster when you love what you do, but it will still take some significant time. So you better not let the cash cow go.
Keep working hard,focused and patient as you work to make a final transition. But avoid any hasty & unwise decisions that tell you that you were born on Crypton and that you are super-man because of which you will do the impossible – make the transition and make the money real quick. That just doesn’t happen.There ain’t no fun in the money that is not the labour of your love and hard work, both.
Life is short and there is no sense of having regrets. Time is a non-renewable resource.
Make sure you make the most of it.
This article was inspired by Hugh MacLeod’s How to Be Creative