Within the past few days, two experiences have made me think about my identity, my passion, my calling. One was Friday’s Social Media Breakfast meeting about entrepreneurs. They talked about passion and hard work driving people to start businesses part time when they’re already working full time, and how satisfying that was.
The second experience was a Personal Branding blog entitled Your Personal Brand is Failing You – Here’s Why. The first reason was You Aren’t Living Your Passion.
Now, I’ve seen books and heard talks where people say “do what you love and the money will follow” but I’m a practical person. I have no second source of income and I have bills to pay, and would like to be able to retire some day. The things I love are music (composing mostly), painting, wildlife photography, and writing. I have one song published but made almost no money from it. I sold one painting for $30 (tried selling them for more and no one was buying). I’ve made about $125 in six months selling my photography book, less than I spent on my current inventory. Freelance writing was a bit more lucrative, since I was making about $150/month before Eagan Patch stopped using freelance writers. I’m appalled at how low the salaries and contract rates are for writing jobs. I couldn’t live on what they pay.
As I thought about it, I realized that all the things I mentioned have a common thread – communication. All of them communicate something to the reader/listener/viewer. I am a communicator – I need to communicate. That is my passion. I wasn’t doing much communicating at my former job, which is probably why I’m happier at my present low paying contract, where I’m doing promotions that communicate something about our products.
I do have a dream – it concerns an arts complex. The past few days have convinced me that I at least need to do some research and see if there is any feasible way to do it, perhaps in conjunction with local arts groups. That would definitely be a passion – the question is, would it pay the bills?