I have seen a few different view points on the question of whether you should do what you love or choose a career that pays well, even if you hate your job.
I have also had many comments on some of my previous articles about the dangers of encouraging children to do what they love because they may be disappointed if they don’t make it. If you have read many of my articles, you should know I am a huge advocate of doing what you love when you work or at least choosing a job that you like and have fun doing.
If you like your job, you will be more motivated to succeed, more willing to go the extra mile, and you will have fun at work. Working at a job you hate just for a paycheck could drag down your entire life.
Why Should We Encourage Our Kids to Do What They Love?
I have 3-year-old twins, and I encourage them as much as I possibly can.
I know they may not remember a lot of what I am telling them at this age, if anything. But I want to start the habit of letting them know they can do or be anything they want to be.
I have heard many people over the years warn about the danger of encouraging our children too much because they might be disappointed if they don’t become what they wanted to be. I can tell you from the experiences in my life that my biggest disappointments are not from trying my hardest to do something and not making it, but from not trying at all and wondering what would have happened had I tried.
When you give it your all and don’t quite make it, at least you know you tried, and you probably learned a lot about yourself and what you were trying to do in the process. Having never tried something, you never learn anything, and you never know if you could have made it. To me, it is much more regretful to have never tried than to have tried and not made it.
Why We Should Encourage Our Children in Sports
One of the comments most heard about telling your children what they can and can’t do is in regards to professional sports.
As a kid I wanted to be a professional baseball player, basketball player or even football player. My parents were great at encouraging me, but the world around me told me I could never be a professional athlete; there was too much competition. I wasn’t big enough, fast enough or strong enough. I never became a professional athlete, and I never really tried either.
If I had tried, I probably never would have made it, but is that so bad?
People argue that it is a waste of time to spend your life attempting to be a professional athlete when the chances are so slim of making it. Most athletes I see who gave it their all, but did not make it are not bad off — and they loved the experience. They also learned an amazing amount of things they can use in life, such as:
- How to push themselves as hard as they can through conditioning
- How to work on a team and trust other people
- How to interact with other people
- How to lead people and gain confidence
- How to focus intently — all sports require incredible focus, and our society as a whole is extremely unfocused
Not only do athletes learn all of these traits and many more in sports, they also meet a lot of people.
In the business of real estate, networking is extremely important, as it is with most vocations. The more people you meet and the more people you become friends with, the better chance you have of succeeding.
Not to mention athletes also can get scholarships that will help pay for college. Don’t forget there are people who are professional athletes, and many of them are not the most talented people, but the hardest workers.
What Happens to Athletes When They Don’t Make it?
If you don’t make it as a professional, you still had to make it in school to be an athlete. You can’t play on the team in high school or college if you don’t pass your classes, so you at least get an education.
That education and the connections you make will help you succeed in life.
But the athlete still is not doing what they love, which is paying pro ball. Who says the athlete can’t get a job in the sports field and still do what they love? You can be a manager, a trainer, a sports psychologist, a coach, an equipment salesman, a front office worker, a reporter, a writer — and hundreds of other related jobs.
By trying to make it, you have an advantage over other people because you have the experience and connections in the business. You can still do what you love — which is work in the sports field — without being a pro athlete.
How Can This Relate to Other Fields?
My example is about being a pro athlete, but this idea can be applied to any vocation.
Whatever you love to do (or at least like to do), you can make money with. You may not always do what you envisioned doing as a child or even as an adult, but if you keep your eyes open, there is opportunity in everything.
By trying your hardest and going for your dreams, you have the experience and credibility to work in that field. You also may see opportunities to start a business because you will see opportunities for improvements or products firsthand.
What Are the Advantages of Doing What You Love (or at Least Liking Your Job)?
If you do what you love or at least have fun with your job, you are more likely to succeed.
Some of the richest people in the world discuss the philosophy that when you do what you love, you aren’t working, you are having fun and making money at the same time. When you love what you do, you don’t stare at the clock waiting for the evening or weekend. You wish you had more time in the day to explore your ideas and work on your projects.
Here are a few advantages of doing what you love:
- You pay attention to your job and are always looking for opportunities
- You show enthusiasm, see things others don’t and will get noticed for promotions or advancement if you have a boss
- You will be happier, which makes your family happier and will reduce stress
- You will not get burned out easily — the longer you work in a field, the more people you will meet and the more success you will see
- If you see an opportunity to create a product or start a business, it will be easier because you love the work
What Are the Disadvantages of Working Just for a Paycheck?
Some say you should chose your area of employment based on how much money you can make. But if you hate your job and what you do, are you going to make much money doing it?
If you don’t like your job, you aren’t going to put in the same effort no matter how hard you try. Your boss will know you hate your job, your co-workers will know, and it will be hard to advance. You won’t see opportunities for new products or business to start because you don’t care.
If you did see an opportunity, would you really want to start a business doing something you have no interest in and dislike?
What About the Money?
I don’t care if you have a passion for the lowest paying job in the world, you can make money at it.
You may not make money doing the conventional jobs that everyone else does in that field, but if you love what you do, you will see opportunity. That opportunity will allow you to make more money by making your boss more money or allow you to start your own business.
I’ll use Ben Leybovich as an example. He was an amazing violinist, but so are about 1,000 other people in the world for every 10 jobs out there. He saw the writing on the wall and decided to get into real estate to help create passive income. He did not abandon music altogether, and in fact he started a school with his wife to teach others how to play. There was not opportunity to make it as a violinists, but there was plenty of opportunity to start a business teaching others.
The average income for a real estate agent is around $40,000 a year; that is not much money, especially when you consider commission splits and the other marketing expenses an agent has. But when you dive deeper into that number, you see a different picture.
Most agents are part-time and bring that number down. If you look at Realtors who work full-time, that number climbs well above $50,000 a year. If you look at Realtors who work 60 hours a week, that number climbs to over $80,000 a year. When you consider most agents don’t try very hard to be successful and are flat-out bad at their job, there is a lot of money in real estate for those who have a plan and work hard at it. I know three agents in my office alone that make over $300,000 a year as a Realtor.
The numbers don’t always tell the entire story when picking a career.
I think the ultimate way to be happy and make a lot of money is to start your own business. In order to be successful, I think you have to enjoy what you do to make the jump of starting your own business and have the determination to make it succeed.
I like houses, and I like real estate, although showing houses to buyers is not my favorite thing to do. I have learned to make money flipping, to make money listing houses, to make money writing about real estate and to make money with rentals.
If you do what you love and keep your eyes open to opportunities, you will make money and have fun at the same time.
What do you think? Do you love what you do, or are you still looking for a career that provides money AND fulfillment?
I’d love to hear from you in the comments!