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Monday, April 13, 2015

Reality Brings us Back to Square One

"Namesake" acrylic on canvas
I just read something that flipped me out: “Want to be happy? Don’t build a career based on something you love doing.” from the book “Transform” by Jeff Haden.
Isn’t this what most of us want and desire? Haden continues: “Where business success is concerned passion is almost always the result of time and effort. It’s not a prerequisite. Passion is the side effect of mastery.”
And from Cal Newport, a professor at Georgetown University: “Skills trump passion. Too many people confuse a hobby with a career.” For that reason, Newport suggests that we apply the test: “Will people pay you for it? Will they pay you a lot?
“Potential customers don’t care about your passion or your potential,” Newport says. “Customers care about giving up money.”
As my readers know, I’m an avid watcher of Shark Tank on CNBC. Robert Herjevac pulled this gem out of his hat and used it on a wanna-be entrepreneur: “A goal without a timeline is simply a dream.”
How many times have you put in the “time” expecting results because you were passionate about what you were doing and then wondered “where’s the success?”
"Raccoons at Sunrise" (getting a drink before they go back to sleep) acrylic on 16x20 canvas/framed
Sorry to burst your bubble, but passion is not enough. Practice and hard work is not enough. Unless you take the necessary steps to set goals and complete them, you are simply spinning your wheels. Unless people are willing to pay you money for your skills, you simply have a nice hobby.
Haden’s contention is that once your skills are improved and you become confident, the passion follows automatically. If your career or business takes off, you will fall in love with the process.
You may agree or disagree, but it certainly made me rethink my goals and aspirations. Still, I believe it is much easier to work hard when you’re doing what you love. The feeling of “anticipation” is much more welcome than that of “dread.” Being eager to go to work is much better than hating the thought of it.
It’s like arguing about the adage “which came first the chicken or the egg.” And does it really matter in the end? Probably not; but I’ll bet my bottom dollar that it’s much easier to get up in the morning if you’re looking forward to your job.  Yes, we’ve all worked for peanuts at some point in our lives. We all must take a dead-end job just to pay the bills, but that doesn’t mean it has to last forever.
I admire those who have the courage to quit doing what they dislike and start doing what they love. People who quit the “rat race” in order to raise goats or llamas; and why not if they love the farm life and the freedom to do what they enjoy? 
I’m not the barnyard type, but I admire their macho! Sometimes you just have to see if you can. Why not follow your dreams to the end and find out if you have what it takes to make and grow a business? If you don’t try, you’ll come to the end of your life and wonder why? If others can build a business, why not you? If others can make their dreams come true, why not you?
"Brown Thrasher" 16x20 acrylic on canvas