Making Money Is Great, But Will It Make You Happy?
One of my goals is to make more money. Who wouldn’t want more security and access to the life they’ve imagined? However, my other goal is to have fun and explore my creativity while I make it. I have learned that money isn’t enough for me to be fulfilled. I need to be doing something that feels right and has purpose. So, how do we figure out which route to take on the path of being fulfilled and paying the bills? First, we have to really pin down exactly what we want out of our personal human experience.
Pin down what you really want out of life and ask yourself the following questions:
What’s important to you?
What makes you happy?
What experiences do you want to get out of life?
I like to spend time with my family, explore my creativity, write, travel and help people. Most importantly, I realized that I also like freedom over my own schedule. I’m actively working towards having this freedom by entering into the world of entrepreneurship. However, entrepreneurship is not for everyone. There is nothing wrong with working a traditional 9-5 that you absolutely love. The point is to nail down what you want out of life and what you don’t want. This will help you decide which route to take, and unless you win the lotto, there are three main route options: traditional 9-5, traditional 9-5 while working your true passion, or entrepreneurship.
Working a 9-5 receives a little flack in the creative community. Everyone is expected to become an entrepreneur. However, entrepreneurship is not everyone’s passion. Some people have real passion for the careers they’re already in. Also, many folks simply don’t want the headache of working the backend and mental maze that entrepreneurship can bring. The key to being happy in a traditional 9-5 is to really dig deep to figure out what you love to do, or at the very least, don’t mind doing.
The reality is you can find a company to work for that aligns with your values and ambitions. Also, if that company can compensate you enough to meet your financial expectations, while valuing work/life balance, then in my book, you’re winning. However, if you’re not being compensated enough for the lifestyle you want, but you love your job, here are some questions to ask yourself:
Is it possible to receive a raise? You never know until you ask.
Is there something else I can do to supplement my income?
Can I do the same thing somewhere else that has better compensation?
Is there a promotion or an elevated position in the same company/field of work that you can work towards?
Traditional 9-5 and Your Passion
Right now, I work a 9-5 and I also work on my passion. There are many people who choose this option as a permanent route because they are content with their day jobs and have no interest in turning their hobbies into income. My mom worked for the IRS for 30 years and is a beast at interior design, scrapbooking, and event decor. We begged her to turn those passions into a business. Her response, “If I turn it into a job, I won’t love it anymore.” We didn’t push it any further because I think we all understood where she was coming from. She had her job and she had her passion, she was fulfilled. Things to think about when deciding to make your hobby a full time career:
Are you making the decision to stay at your 9-5 because you don’t think monetizing your hobby is possible?
If so, have you researched to see if other people have monetized your hobby?
If you really don’t wish to work on your passion full time, are you truly happy with your current job? Does it compensate you well and do you have a good work/life balance? Figuring this out will determine if you will have the time to do what you’re passionate about in your free time?
This is the path that I’m currently carving out for myself. I have witnessed many successful business owners work very hard to have the experiences and lives that want and dream of. However, I think many people romanticize entrepreneurship and what it really entails and I’m no exception. I used to watch people and they made it look so easy. That simplicity is definitely an illusion. There is so much work that goes on behind the scenes to run a successful business. Despite this, my need for a life on my own terms is worth the effort for me.
When considering entrepreneurship, ask yourself these things:
Am I passionate about it?
If I’m not passionate, do I at least have enough interest that may turn into passion over time?
Do I have the emotional and mental bandwidth to run a business?
Do I have enough capital to start?
With these three routes, the choices you make about your career and what you want out of life are a couple of the most important choices you’ll make in your life. Really think about what you want, plan out your future, and execute.
Which route will you go? Comment below.