• Passion, Profit and Prosperity

    If you follow your passion the money will follow.

    In some cases this is true, but in others it isn’t.  What makes the difference?

    People who are passionate about what they do and make a profit; put effort into making their passionate pursuit profitable.  It doesn’t mean they put less effort into their passion, merely that they also put effort into the profit side.

    There.  I’ve just spoiled the punch line.  If you can take that lesson and live with it, build it into your life and make it work for you, then you will have passion, profit and prosperity in your life and you never need to read this blog again.

    If not, read on..

    PASSION

    Is when you would rather do your pursuit than do pretty much anything else – eat sleep, sex, even read.

    When you are pursuing your passion time flies or rather it flows as Mihaly Csikszentmihaly tells us. (In flow the emotions are not just contained and channeled, but positive, energized, and aligned with the task at hand.) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flow_%28psychology%29 It’s the thing you are doing when you lift your head at the end of the day and say “It’s that time already?  Why aren’t I hungry?  Oh yeah I am, I am really hungry”

    PROFIT

    Is more money in than out.  If your pursuit pays you more than it costs you – taking your time into consideration, too – then it is a profitable one.

    Most people would rather just follow their passion all the time.  It takes discipline to allocate the time and energy to the selling of your work.  If you don’t do it, it will not happen.  Every financially successful artist (using Seth Godin’s definition of art) has invested the time to selling his or her work.

    In our society, the pursuit of profit is usually associated with greed.  But really it is about eating and having a life.  If you don’t have profit, you can’t do your best work.  If you are worried about paying the rent, if you can’t heat your area or you are sick from not taking care of yourself you cannot pursue your art.  If you aren’t able to practice, if you don’t interact with others in your field, if you never go to workshops, conferences, classes, you will not grow as quickly or even at all.

    It’s not greedy to want to be paid for your work.  It’s a necessity.

    This isn’t about compromising your art to make it commercial; it’s about getting people to experience it and to appreciate it enough to pay you for it.  It’s about having the courage to ask for what it is worth.  It’s about setting up an easy way for that transaction to take place.

    PROSPERITY

    There are 2 ways to be rich: have lots of money or don’t need much money.

    A prosperous life is one where you have what you need and more.  One of the most prosperous times in my life I was quite poor by most people’s standards. I had a small hobby farm so I ate better than most people and I had the wherewithal to attend University part time.  I had everything I needed and more.

    When you are pursuing your passion, other needs and wants fall away.  Who needs to pay for entertainment when you are doing what you love all the time?

    BALANCE

    I’ll let James Michener give us a lesson here:

    The master in the art of living makes little distinction between his work and his play, his labor and his leisure, his mind and his body, his information and his recreation, his love and his religion. He hardly knows which is which. He simply pursues his vision of excellence at whatever he does, leaving others to decide whether he is working or playing. To him he’s always doing both.

    This from the guy who wrote over 40 titles many of them sweeping sagas that were meticulously researched.  He talked about spending 12 to 14 hours at his typewriter ( an early writing machine)  for weeks on end.

    Did he love what he was doing?  Sure seems that way from his output.

    Was he profitable?  He gave away more than $100 million and left an estate of $10 million.

    Did he live a prosperous life?  He traveled, wrote, taught, researched even after he had enough money to stop.  IT sounds like a wonderful life to me.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_A._Michener

    Look around you.  Who is following their passion and has a good life?  What are they doing?

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