Author Topic: Following your "passion"  (Read 5059 times)

epower

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Following your "passion"
« on: July 18, 2017, 12:55:11 PM »
Part of the allure of financial independence is the ability to then pursue a career I'd be "passionate" about. In my case bicycling.

However, looking at roles in the industry which would either be a retail sales person or mechanic, I feel like dealing with customers or working with teenage mechanics in the store would completely kill my passion for cycling.

Anyone worked in an industry they are "passionate" about after chasing dollars in their corporate career? What are your experiences?

rubybeth

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Re: Following your "passion"
« Reply #1 on: July 18, 2017, 01:45:30 PM »
I think you are probably thinking too literally--in both scenarios you mention, you'd be working for someone else. Why not start a side job related to what you love? I don't know much about cycling, but maybe coaching, guiding, personal training, etc. would be more one-on-one session type gigs that you could do.

chasingthegoodlife

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Re: Following your "passion"
« Reply #2 on: July 18, 2017, 02:01:12 PM »
Or if you are FI, why work for money at all? You could spend most of your days cycling, maybe do some long distance touring if that's your thing. Volunteer for a program that rehabs old bikes for people in poverty? Campaign for better bike paths and bike friendly laws in your city?

SpreadsheetMan

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Re: Following your "passion"
« Reply #3 on: July 18, 2017, 02:08:18 PM »
.....

Anyone worked in an industry they are "passionate" about after chasing dollars in their corporate career? What are your experiences?

Yes, but I wasn't FI at the time. Turned out great financially, but having to earn a living from it has completely destroyed my interest and passion in a rewarding hobby.


Schaefer Light

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Re: Following your "passion"
« Reply #4 on: July 18, 2017, 03:10:27 PM »
.....

Anyone worked in an industry they are "passionate" about after chasing dollars in their corporate career? What are your experiences?

Yes, but I wasn't FI at the time. Turned out great financially, but having to earn a living from it has completely destroyed my interest and passion in a rewarding hobby.

And that ^ is why I don't want to mix hobbies and work.

okits

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Re: Following your "passion"
« Reply #5 on: July 18, 2017, 07:56:15 PM »

.....

Anyone worked in an industry they are "passionate" about after chasing dollars in their corporate career? What are your experiences?

Yes, wasn't FI at the time.  The reality is that the activities needed to monetize anything may feel unenjoyable and like you are working a job (which you are).  Pay was worse than corporate career because it was hobby-related, so supposedly part of the compensation was the fun related to that.

If you're FI, figure out what specific activities you like and focus on those.  Refuse or outsource the rest (drudgery unnecessary as you are FI!)

iris lily

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Re: Following your "passion"
« Reply #6 on: July 19, 2017, 09:49:00 AM »
.....

Anyone worked in an industry they are "passionate" about after chasing dollars in their corporate career? What are your experiences?

Yes, but I wasn't FI at the time. Turned out great financially, but having to earn a living from it has completely destroyed my interest and passion in a rewarding hobby.

And that ^ is why I don't want to mix hobbies and work.

Exactly. I love growing flowers, gardening, floral arranging. . "Oh you should sell your flowers/arrangements/etc." say friends and acquaintejces. "You should be a florist".

Umm, no. Why would I want ro do the hard work of a florist, selling and customer servicing let alone standing on my feet all day making those dippy Florist ltd. arrangements with NO creativity?

Or do the hard wor k of landscape maintenance on other people's plots of land that dont inspire me.

Umm, no. Thank you.

Every time I see another little dress shoppe open in a storefront in a poorish neighborhood, I think of Project Runway wannabe contestants and assume that the new shoppe's friends and acquaintances  told him "oh you should sell your designs!" So believing they constitute a viable market, he borrows money from his mom and opens the shoppe. Only to find no customers come in, three months later he is in debt, and he has 9 months more in the lease to pay before he can close.
« Last Edit: August 05, 2017, 11:56:25 AM by iris lily »

mcneally

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Re: Following your "passion"
« Reply #7 on: July 19, 2017, 10:45:27 AM »
Maybe you can find someone to pay you just to ride your bike around for a few hours a day. (kidding)

If you're not sure what you'd do when FI and want some structure in your life, maybe you could get a job working 15-20 hours in a bike shop for something to do and give you more appreciation for your free time. Given the sentiment in the OP, it's unlikely you'll find a cycling related job you're "passionate" about though.

Rubic

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Re: Following your "passion"
« Reply #8 on: July 19, 2017, 11:46:52 AM »
However, looking at roles in the industry which would either be a retail sales person or mechanic, I feel like dealing with customers or working with teenage mechanics in the store would completely kill my passion for cycling.

I know some people who run bicycle tours in exotic locations.  That would be
another possibility aligned with your passion.

wanderin1

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Re: Following your "passion"
« Reply #9 on: July 19, 2017, 11:57:19 AM »
I’ve built a number of businesses by following my passions. To me, the key to a “passion based” career or project is to combine your “subject matter passion”—in your case, cycling—with knowledge/skills/abilities (KSA’s) you love using—all while taking into account how introverted/extroverted you are.

First, drill down on exactly what it is about cycling that you love the most. Health and fitness? The environmental pluses? The ability to dart around quickly even on a congested city street?

Let’s say for example, you love the health and fitness aspects. You also love using your KSA’s of leading groups. And you’re pretty extroverted. Starting and leading a cycling meet-up group would be a natural project match. And it doesn’t have to be just another cookie cutter group. Maybe you and the group members brainstorm unusual superfitness ways to use your bikes. Or you combine this with “social change” SKA’s that you like to use and have a group that’s available to non-profits to lead charity bike rides. So many possibilities!

Or maybe what you like best about cycling is the mechanical elegance of the bike. And the KSA's you love are about working creatively with your hands. Plus you’re introverted. In this case, maybe you dream up and make an improvement to a bike component. Maybe you fix friend’s and neighbor’s bikes for free. Again, lots of options.

The idea is to build a project that fits you—not to take a job that you have to fit into.

Playing with Fire UK

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Re: Following your "passion"
« Reply #10 on: July 19, 2017, 12:14:19 PM »
I think of passion projects like sex. A lot of fun to do for free, but the dynamic changes too much when money is involved.

meghan88

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Re: Following your "passion"
« Reply #11 on: July 19, 2017, 01:29:59 PM »
I think of passion projects like sex. A lot of fun to do for free, but the dynamic changes too much when money is involved.

LOL.  Reminds me of that old (alleged) Churchill quote:

“Churchill: "Madam, would you sleep with me for five million pounds?" Socialite: "My goodness, Mr. Churchill... Well, I suppose... we would have to discuss terms, of course... "
Churchill: "Would you sleep with me for five pounds?"
Socialite: "Mr. Churchill, what kind of woman do you think I am?!" Churchill: "Madam, we've already established that. Now we are haggling about the price.”

ixtap

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Re: Following your "passion"
« Reply #12 on: July 19, 2017, 01:43:44 PM »
I write about my passion sometimes for pay.

I have considered starting a non profit when I settle down in the future. Of course, that would mean a lot of grant writing and fundraising...

catccc

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Re: Following your "passion"
« Reply #13 on: July 19, 2017, 02:02:59 PM »
Or if you are FI, why work for money at all? You could spend most of your days cycling, maybe do some long distance touring if that's your thing. Volunteer for a program that rehabs old bikes for people in poverty? Campaign for better bike paths and bike friendly laws in your city?

Great ideas here!  I agree, I'm done trying to develop careers (at least on purpose) after I'm FIRE.  I think a lot of things are meaningful up until compensation is added to the mix.  It's like how a friend might like to help you move just because they are your friend, and if you offer to pay them, they won't care to do it...

Playing with Fire UK

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Re: Following your "passion"
« Reply #14 on: July 19, 2017, 02:06:47 PM »
I think of passion projects like sex. A lot of fun to do for free, but the dynamic changes too much when money is involved.

LOL.  Reminds me of that old (alleged) Churchill quote:

“Churchill: "Madam, would you sleep with me for five million pounds?" Socialite: "My goodness, Mr. Churchill... Well, I suppose... we would have to discuss terms, of course... "
Churchill: "Would you sleep with me for five pounds?"
Socialite: "Mr. Churchill, what kind of woman do you think I am?!" Churchill: "Madam, we've already established that. Now we are haggling about the price.”

Absolutely, everything has its price. But for me to get paid for something I consider a passion, I need to also be compensated for the obligation sucking all the fun out of the passion. People vary, but IMO obligation is the antithesis of fun.

BFGirl

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Re: Following your "passion"
« Reply #15 on: July 19, 2017, 03:10:11 PM »
I have monetized a hobby for the last 10 years and for the last few years it has really sucked a lot of the fun out of it.  However, I am getting motivated again as I get closer to FIRE and am keeping the side gig limping along at a level I can sustain until then.  Then I plan to continue to pursue it at the level I want to and doing the things I enjoy.  If it seems like too much of a drag, then I will become a participant again instead of a vendor.  The cool thing is that I won't be dependent on the income and I won't have to try to fit it in around a day job.

undercover

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Re: Following your "passion"
« Reply #16 on: July 19, 2017, 03:47:39 PM »
Passion for me is an intense interest that's synonymous with creating something you really want to create. It's when you get hooked on an idea and can't let it go. There's no such thing as following a passion without some degree of obligation. Musk's passion may be to make Mars accessible and create sustainable transportation for the future, but he very often has to deal with employees, the government, his own personal life, etc.

I do think it's 100% possible to pursue your passion and also be an employee, it's just more rare. You won't feel it unless there's a high degree of autonomy. Doctors, teachers, researches, law enforcement, or general leadership positions are all probably pursuing their passions because there's a great degree of autonomy and self-satisfaction that comes from those types of jobs. For the rest of us, it generally requires some form of entrepreneurship or art.

okits

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Re: Following your "passion"
« Reply #17 on: July 19, 2017, 03:48:32 PM »
I think of passion projects like sex. A lot of fun to do for free, but the dynamic changes too much when money is involved.

I like this a lot.  :)

Rosy

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Re: Following your "passion"
« Reply #18 on: July 19, 2017, 03:54:53 PM »
I did:) Best five years of my life - hands down.
Then the novelty wore off and I began chafing at the bit, thinking of related careers and flipping houses as my next step. Passion remained, but I wanted to explore other paths.
Never happened, I came down with an immune disease related health issue and ended up taking an "early retirement" at 55.

I don't regret it at all, it took sacrifice, because it meant a total career switch from corporate America, going back to school for two years at age 50 for a different degree. (I fast tracked to do it in two years - magna cum laude). It was exhilarating, invigorating and I was ecstatic to finally choose my own path, free of consideration for others or how much money this new endeavour might potentially bring in.

Bottomline, I took a gamble. I wasn't FI, but I didn't care, I made it work with zero student debt. I just knew this is what I was meant to do. It was my last chance at career related self fulfillment. Glorious.
Interior Design and Architecture are still my passion, but I've often been told that I am a great Garden and Landscape Designer. Makes me smile, because it is related, but such a personal experience that I know I'd never be any good designing gardens for someone else.
I pour my soul into my garden, but I only guided people to design their dream spaces - a very big difference.

My other passions are art and photography. Considered and tried a few things, but left it at a website where I make the occasional sale. The old adage about starving artists is true to a large degree, in the end you find that you sacrifice your values and artistic talent at the altar of money and acceptance. I need no acceptance for my art - all I want to do is create what I like, to my own standards, that's what makes me happy:)
This does not mean that I will not pick up the gauntlet in the near future to update and improve sales, it means that I lacked inspiration, motivation and drive to work on my skills and my website.
Sometimes you need a little distance to find new perspectives.

Writing - I like to write and keep thinking about a blog or even a book, but unless I can come up with a solid plan and at least a few good ideas, I am disinclined to start down that road.

I believe passions wane, develop and shift in new directions, but unless you are on fire with it and understand the business, it will come to naught. My thoughts on your cycling passion is, never stop considering your options - be truthful with yourself about what are you willing to do, consider all aspects. 
My first question would be: What is the worst case scenario? Does that even matter to me?... How much time and energy do I want to commit to this passion to turn it into a part time business?
Set up a few criteria and if you are serious about your passion, go ahead and give it a go - what exactly do you have to lose? A few months of your life or serious monetary repercussions?
Sometimes it is smarter to just enjoy your hobbies and forget about monetizing them, sometimes you find opportunities that fit - just roll with it:).

EconDiva

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Re: Following your "passion"
« Reply #19 on: July 19, 2017, 08:31:18 PM »
I’ve built a number of businesses by following my passions. To me, the key to a “passion based” career or project is to combine your “subject matter passion”—in your case, cycling—with knowledge/skills/abilities (KSA’s) you love using—all while taking into account how introverted/extroverted you are.

First, drill down on exactly what it is about cycling that you love the most. Health and fitness? The environmental pluses? The ability to dart around quickly even on a congested city street?

Let’s say for example, you love the health and fitness aspects. You also love using your KSA’s of leading groups. And you’re pretty extroverted. Starting and leading a cycling meet-up group would be a natural project match. And it doesn’t have to be just another cookie cutter group. Maybe you and the group members brainstorm unusual superfitness ways to use your bikes. Or you combine this with “social change” SKA’s that you like to use and have a group that’s available to non-profits to lead charity bike rides. So many possibilities!

Or maybe what you like best about cycling is the mechanical elegance of the bike. And the KSA's you love are about working creatively with your hands. Plus you’re introverted. In this case, maybe you dream up and make an improvement to a bike component. Maybe you fix friend’s and neighbor’s bikes for free. Again, lots of options.

The idea is to build a project that fits you—not to take a job that you have to fit into.

From someone who has read what seems like thousands of posts about 'pursuing one's passion', this was an EXCELLENT post. 

Particularly because it's coming someone who is living it....successfully.  This makes total sense and I appreciate your contribution to this thread.  I will also admit that the devil is probably in the details....it sounds easy but in reality how many people are able to figure out that perfect combination of passion and skills and put them to use in a way such that they earn an income and continue to enjoy what they do-if not indefinitely then at least for a long time?  Just a thought.  I'm sure some people give up before they ever get there thinking it isn't possible.  But I bet for those that accomplish this that life is pretty amazing. 

Thanks for sharing.

Ishmael

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Re: Following your "passion"
« Reply #20 on: July 20, 2017, 04:14:34 AM »
"If you want to learn to hate something you love to do, try doing it for a living." No idea where I heard that, but I've always kept it in mind.

Here's a link that I think anyone interested in this topic should readt:
https://80000hours.org/career-guide/job-satisfaction/

Basically, as The Mad Fienist pointed out, people tend to be bad at predicting what will make them happy - jobs are no different. Eliminating that what makes you dislike a job is at least as important as finding the parts you like. There are a bunch of factors that go into it, and the actual core job activity is only one piece of the puzzle. Coworkers, stress, money, flexibility, etc are all factors that are critical.

MadFI article: http://www.madfientist.com/happiness-through-subtraction/

birdiegirl

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Re: Following your "passion"
« Reply #21 on: July 20, 2017, 09:44:47 AM »

Here's a link that I think anyone interested in this topic should readt:
https://80000hours.org/career-guide/job-satisfaction/

MadFI article: http://www.madfientist.com/happiness-through-subtraction/

Interesting reads - thanks for sharing!

spokey doke

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Re: Following your "passion"
« Reply #22 on: July 20, 2017, 11:21:54 AM »
Yes, I did it...and while it is work (and would become a ton of exhausting work if I did what everyone else wants from me, or if I had to make a bunch of money at it)...but I'm doing it all on my own terms, and the workload is one I get to determine and the financial goals are very modest (once you hit your FIRE number, bringing in a small annual income for a number of years makes a big difference...and the ability to extend that more years if need be, adds flexibility and badassity).

Being a fellow cyclist, retail sales and working with teenage mechanics for someone else would kill it for me too...working for yourself is the answer. 

There are some good rec's above, as well as opening a bike repair co-op, or a mobile bike repair van (the latter would add a bunch of flexibility), or just open a low-key shop in your garage.

wanderin1

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Re: Following your "passion"
« Reply #23 on: July 20, 2017, 04:16:07 PM »
I’ve built a number of businesses by following my passions. To me, the key to a “passion based” career or project is to combine your “subject matter passion”—in your case, cycling—with knowledge/skills/abilities (KSA’s) you love using—all while taking into account how introverted/extroverted you are.

First, drill down on exactly what it is about cycling that you love the most. Health and fitness? The environmental pluses? The ability to dart around quickly even on a congested city street?

Let’s say for example, you love the health and fitness aspects. You also love using your KSA’s of leading groups. And you’re pretty extroverted. Starting and leading a cycling meet-up group would be a natural project match. And it doesn’t have to be just another cookie cutter group. Maybe you and the group members brainstorm unusual superfitness ways to use your bikes. Or you combine this with “social change” SKA’s that you like to use and have a group that’s available to non-profits to lead charity bike rides. So many possibilities!

Or maybe what you like best about cycling is the mechanical elegance of the bike. And the KSA's you love are about working creatively with your hands. Plus you’re introverted. In this case, maybe you dream up and make an improvement to a bike component. Maybe you fix friend’s and neighbor’s bikes for free. Again, lots of options.

The idea is to build a project that fits you—not to take a job that you have to fit into.

From someone who has read what seems like thousands of posts about 'pursuing one's passion', this was an EXCELLENT post. 

Particularly because it's coming someone who is living it....successfully.  This makes total sense and I appreciate your contribution to this thread.  I will also admit that the devil is probably in the details....it sounds easy but in reality how many people are able to figure out that perfect combination of passion and skills and put them to use in a way such that they earn an income and continue to enjoy what they do-if not indefinitely then at least for a long time?  Just a thought.  I'm sure some people give up before they ever get there thinking it isn't possible.  But I bet for those that accomplish this that life is pretty amazing. 

Thanks for sharing.

Econodiva, you’re right, “the devil is in the details”—so here are more “how to’s” about monetizing your passion:

HOW TO GET STARTED WITH A PASSION BASED PROJECT Prior to starting each new business, I’ve gone through the exercises in What Color Is Your Parachute. I mostly ignore the “passion” exercises themselves—because I already know what my passion is. I focus on doing the exercises that help you inventory the knowledge/skills/abilities that you love using, the environment in which you like to use them, and the personality traits that come into play. Once you finish, you have a detailed road map of what you like and what you don’t like. I use this road map as a part of my initial business planning, 

HOW TO KEEP GOING WITH A PASSION BASED PROJECT Early on, I developed the guiding business philosophy: “make money, have fun, only do work you can be proud of.” These three components have to be visualized together forming a circle, with no one of them more important than the others. In practical day-to-day terms, my major and minor business decisions have to pass minimums in each area, and have acceptable trade-offs for any imbalance.

HOW TO HANDLE THOSE ASPECTS YOU DON’T LIKE OF YOUR PASSION-BASED PROJECT Two words: outsource or reorganize. There’s a near 0% chance that you’ll love and be good at everything your business or project requires. One option: hand off those parts that you don’t like to others who are passionate about those things (and good at them too, of course!). The OP wants to start a mobile bike repair business, but hates bookkeeping and accounting? Pay someone else to do it. Or if money is tight, get creative: trade services, or have an accounting-type class take your business on as a project. The OP is extroverted and enjoys in-person marketing—but discovers a couple of years in that he prefers one-on-one situations, rather than large groups? Reorganize the marketing strategy around one-on-ones.  When the project is yours, you structure it to fit you.


NOTE: I’m not trying to convince anyone that they should monetize their passion—especially not the many folks here who apparently believe that, by definition, monetization kills passion. I’m simply answering the OP’s original question.  The techniques above have worked for me in an almost comically diverse set of businesses—through good economies and bad, and through all kinds of life stages. The result has been boat loads of money—and even more fun.

« Last Edit: July 20, 2017, 04:34:05 PM by wanderin1 »

mozar

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Re: Following your "passion"
« Reply #24 on: July 20, 2017, 09:16:09 PM »
Really inspirational, do you have a blog or journal wanderin1?

wanderin1

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Re: Following your "passion"
« Reply #25 on: July 21, 2017, 06:02:00 AM »
Really inspirational, do you have a blog or journal wanderin1?

Sorry Mozar, no blog or journal. I wouldn’t enjoy doing either of those things, so I don’t do them.  ; )

Happy to help people individually though. Any Mustachian is welcome to PM me for a sounding board or advice.

Playing with Fire UK

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Re: Following your "passion"
« Reply #26 on: July 22, 2017, 12:12:39 AM »
NOTE: I’m not trying to convince anyone that they should monetize their passion—especially not the many folks here who apparently believe that, by definition, monetization kills passion.

Great post Wanderin1. To clarify, monetization and obligation kill my passion, but that doesn't mean that they will do the same for the OP. It's great to hear a contrasting experience, but I know that my experience has been different.