Follow your passion: Great idea, or terrible advice?
To say “Follow your passion” has become as cliché as “Believe in yourself.” While the latter is widely accepted by society, the former tends to make many think twice.
Before getting into more detail, I’d like to pay extra attention to the word “Success.” So, let’s dig into this tricky subject and determine when – and if – you should do what you love for a living.
Passion and Success
You see, many people think of “Success” and assume a stereotypical life of riches and cars and nice homes…
However, success is largely subjective and your definition may differ from someone else’s.
Back in 2016, a friend of mine – who is actually living the stereotypical definition – criticized my own version after learning that my biggest passion was a care-free lifestyle. This effectively means not managing a million-dollar company, not having to answer 90 calls a day or meet with multiple clients throughout the week.
This likely means that I’ll die with less money than him. And yet, my level of success will be astonishing in my eyes.
Regardless of opinion, you are solely responsible for defining what success means to you. If your goal is to have the best parenting blog for the sake of the children (at no cost or maintaining it on donations) then this effectively makes you successful. You’re achieving what you set out to do, despite the lack of a glamorous lifestyle.
Can Passion Lead to Money?
Whenever this question comes up, the average person will say either ‘Yes’ or ‘No’ without considering a third option: It depends.
Are you following your passion with the hope of filling your bank account in the process? If so, there are countless things to take into consideration.
Simply treating your blog as a “passion project” is unlikely to bring you (substantial) income.
Possible? Yes. Likely? No.
That is, unless you follow your passion while embracing it as a business.
The mom who loves to cook may start a recipe blog and even release YouTube videos and gradually gain a following. Does this mean that advertising (or affiliate) income will roll in?
The money may trickle in, sure, but it could soon dry up if she doesn’t approach that passion as a business simultaneously. That means staying in touch with her audience, answering questions, cooking the things people ask for, releasing new updates consistently instead of “whenever,” and just being a good sport in general.
What if the Money Just Isn’t There?
I’m a firm believer that there’s money to be made in virtually every single passion (or niche).
The real question is: How much money are you after? Please note, just because there’s “money to be made” doesn’t mean there’s riches to be made.
The best you can do is find an angle and explore the crap out of it. For example, a blogger in the business of reviewing Amazon books is unlikely to make much from affiliate book sales. For starters, the average book is only $2.99 – $4.99, and Amazon’s affiliate payouts are fewer than 8% in most cases.
Unless, of course, this reviewer sells other products of interest to readers. He could also form a working relationship with moderately known authors, which could earn him a nice shout out via their social media profiles and/or websites.
That, right there, is a potential angle in a passion that would otherwise yield little to no results.
Passion vs. Money: Mutually Exclusive?
Others have taken a slightly different approach to the whole “Money versus passion” debate. Their best way to succeed from all angles is to simply become passionate about their work.
These people have embraced and learned the ins and outs of their blogging niche to the point where they enjoy every aspect – even if said industry was initially intimidating.
Finally, you could theoretically outsource a niche/subject you’re not passionate about, but this brings its own set of questions and considerations. Can you afford to sustain outsourcing costs while getting it off the ground? Do you care about not being actively involved?
So, should you follow your passion? This can, indeed, make you successful in every conceivable way. Just be prepared to accept the designated financial rewards that come with the territory.