In 2019, it’s probably easier than it’s ever been to become an entrepreneur or set up a small business. There’s so much support, know-how and encouragement available in the online realm alone. These days we are all encouraged to inject more positivity into our working lives by following our passions and working in a career that we love.
There is so much to gain from doing what you love as a profession, not least of all a flexible schedule that fits around your life and not the other way around. However, the practicalities of setting yourself up as an entrepreneur is a widely discussed subject by everyone from self-help gurus to digital media channels. As a result, there are a lot of myths flying around about how it’s the best thing anyone could do or the worst. The truth is pursuing this lifestyle looks different for everyone. But here are a few home truths about what it’s like to do what you love.
Myth: When you do what you love, you’ll always do the same thing.
When we start following our passions and doing what we love daily, there’s a sense of expectation that this “will be it,” and we’ll never do anything else. The truth is that this journey is an individual one. And sometimes, it can be something different than what we first set out to achieve that clicks with us.
Just look at the story of Ramón Colillas. A former footballer and engineer whose cousin advised him to do what he loved over a decade ago. At first, he thought that his path would be as a professional footballer, but a series of injuries forced him to rethink that goal. After a lot of soul-searching and working in fields as diverse as engineering and personal training, he realized that his path involved playing poker at a professional level. Things finally clicked for him in January 2019 when he became a $5 million champion at the PSPC PokerStars tournament in the Bahamas — a world away from playing football in Spain.
Myth: When you do what you love, things will happen immediately.
Some people are lucky, as when they start following their passion and doing what they love, things take off immediately. That isn’t always the case for most, however. Often your direction can take all manner of twists and turns, and it may be some time before your career takes off.
There are countless people involved in all manner of professions who have had to grind for many years before achieving a notable level of success, but a good celebrity example is acclaimed actress and director Kathy Bates. Bates is now a staple presence in film, TV and theatre. But she would have to wait 20 years before receiving real recognition in her stage work after a nomination for a Tony Award in 1983. It would be another seven years before her career hit the big time, when, at the age of 43, she earned the lead role of Annie Wilkes in the big-screen adaptation of Stephen King’s chilling novel Misery. This proved to be a game changer for Bates. It launched her into the spotlight earning her both a Golden Globe and an Oscar for her notable performance.
Myth: You can’t make a living from doing what you love.
This one is one of the biggest misconceptions about pursuing your passions. Many people believe that it’s not possible to make a decent living from doing what you love. In truth, this isn’t the case. Indeed, it is possible to generate financial and personal success by doing what you love, but it’s not guaranteed necessarily. Being an entrepreneur is an entirely different life path than developing a career in industry, which typically follows a much straighter path toward promotion and lucrative pay packets. When you’re “doing your own job,” you must figure out how to make money from doing what you want to do. This can be tricky if your area of interest is highly specialized or in a niche market.
This idea of not being able to earn a living from entrepreneurship also ties into another common myth. One that says if you’re doing what you love, you’ll never work a day in your life. If you want to be successful at anything, you must commit and possess a strong work ethic. Turning your personal passion into a business that can support you, your goals and ambitions and the needs of your family require a lot of grit, working often unsociable hours to build things up and making plenty of personal sacrifices along the way. So, yes, you will have to work even harder at doing something that you love. However, if it’s what you want to do, then you are limited only by yourself and the time you can dedicate to it.