Should I Follow Passion or Money When Choosing a Career?

Should I Follow Passion or Money When Choosing a Career?

Should I pick a sensible job or follow my passion and try to make a career out of it? You’re not the only professional out there asking themselves this tricky question.

Most people believe that it’s our passions that make life worth living, but things look a little differently when it comes to choosing a career path. Sometimes following a passion means you’ll be taking a huge career risk or setting yourself back for several years at the time in your life that you should be using for career growth.

Is it possible to combine passion and pragmatism when choosing your career? I believe it is – but only if you’re smart about it.

Here are 6 essential tips to help you get to the bottom of the problem and choose a career that perfectly reflects your life priorities.

1. Define your passion.

If you already know what your passion is, you can take the first step to start looking for a career that could potentially combine your passion with a reasonable salary.

Take a good look at your passion of choice.

For example, if you just love music, it doesn’t mean that your enthusiasm should lead you exclusively to one career type like a rock star. Analyze your passion in detail to see what exactly it is that you like about it most.

Sometimes these aspects can be translated into different contexts and points you toward a potential career path that is far more pragmatic than your initial idea.

So take a broader look at your passion and check whether the thing that makes you love it could be refined to fit a sensible career.  

2. Get another source of income.

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Some people are lucky enough to find the source of income that allows them to follow their passions. Having another source of income could put you in the right position to start realizing your dreams and potentially transform your passion into a job.

There are many things you can try to find an extra source of income.

Trading is one good example. It’s something you can do from home in your spare time. Moreover, you can learn how to trade using a multitude of resources on the Internet.

3. Ask yourself and others: What am I good at?

Ask your family and friends to tell you what they think you’re good at. That doesn’t mean you should automatically follow their suggestions, but asking people you trust about your talents may point you in a direction you never expected.

We are generally passionate about the things we’re good at.

That’s because they give us a sense of accomplishment and build our identity. If you build your career on your talent, you’ll be in the unique position for combining passion and pragmatism in your professional life.

4. Think about it personally.

You can follow your passion at any stage of your career. Each of us follows a different path in our lives. So instead of looking at other people, look deep into yourself to understand what following your passion would mean about your other needs.

For example, if you feel secure and ready for exploration, you can do that right now instead of settling down first. Other people may prefer to gain some financial standing first and then give themselves space to explore. Others yet prefer to have a regular job and spend their free time doing what they love.

Analyze your passion and other preferences to see where your two interests come together.

5. What do your friends do?

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Have a look at your social circle to check what kind of careers your friends are pursuing. People with whom we spend time tend to rub off on us. Analyze the careers of your friends and decide which job perks matter to you most. That will help you understand your needs and preferences better.

For example, if you’d like to follow your passion and have the same career is one of your friends, ask them about the reality of the job. You might find out that while some aspects of your dream career are fantastic, others don’t sound so convincing.

6. Weigh your risks and prepare a plan B.

We like to believe that passion breeds success. But the truth is that it takes a while to get there.

Naturally, you need to support yourself in the meantime. If that thought is enough to paralyze you with fear, start working on a plan B to regain confidence and pursue your dreams.

If you dream is to become a musician, you can choose to study music teaching to provide you with the safety cushion in case your rock star career never takes off.

Weigh your risks carefully and don’t jump into a field just because you’re passionate about it. Research your dream career and make a conscious choice about pursuing it.

And finally, stop seeing passion and pragmatism as mutually exclusive. Use these 6 tips to take full advantage of your passions to build a potential career path for yourself.

About The Author

Meagan Weekes works at Bizset as a Content Manager. She enjoys sharing career tips and her broad work experience. She specializes in developing business ideas, career advancement and networking.

Stop seeing passion and pragmatism as mutually exclusive. Use these 6 tips to take full advantage of your passions to build a potential career path for yourself.

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How This Family Guy Makes $10,000/Month Online Teaching Others How to Make, Save and Invest Money

How This Family Guy Makes $10,000/Month Online Teaching Others How to Make, Save and Invest Money - Interview with R.J. Weiss from TheWaystoWealth.com

This is an interview-style post with R.J. Weiss from The Ways to Wealth.

Hey R.J. What’s your background and what do you do?

I blog about all things personal finance at The Ways to Wealth.

Before I went full-time into blogging, I spent ten years in the financial services industry. Specifically, helping families buy the right type of life insurance.

During my time with a full-time job, I’ve always had different side hustles going on. From freelance writing, Amazon FBA, conversion rate optimization, to website design — there were many projects I pursued outside of work.

How did you start your career in finance?

I got started in finance straight out of college working for my the family insurance business. As I love the financial planning side of things, I choose to specialize in life insurance planning. This led me down the path to obtaining the CFP® Certification.

What made you start blogging?

The Ways to Wealth, which I started in 2016, has been my 5th blog.

The others mostly fizzled out most due to a lack of interest. But, in 2009 I started a personal finance blog called GenYWealth.com (no longer around) that had some success.

The idea GenYwealth.com was to write about what I was learning about studying to take the CFP®. The blog was, by all means, a success. I was able to gain valuable knowledge, pass the CFP® exam, earn some extra money and build up a good community.

I then took this knowledge and started a business blog, which allowed the insurance agency I was working for to generate leads.

I started The Ways to Wealth because my passion is personal finance–from investing to travel hacking, I love the challenge of optimizing my finances.

How was The Ways to Wealth born?

I didn’t have much of a plan for starting The Ways to Wealth when I purchased the domain name.

I was actually thinking it would be a niche site, which was inspired by Pat Flynn’s niche site duel. Then, I came across the income reports of Michelle Schroeder-Gardner and wisely changed direction to a more traditional blog.

This change came about 6-months after starting to blog.  I did a timeline of the site in one of my income reports.

What worked best when trying to grow the site?

I had a decent knowledge of SEO. So at first, I started growing the site with email outreach. One of the first posts I had about best investing books of all time, had about 15 links to it.

This was nice to start with but was quite slow to build up, as it can take a while to earn Google’s trust.

The big turning point came when I started to understand Pinterest. I spent a few frustrating weeks on the platform, then it finally started paying dividends.

I went from about 100 sessions a day to 1,000, which was huge for me at the time.

How did you get to 3 million monthly viewers on Pinterest?

the ways to wealth pinterest 3 million monthly views

I lay out my Pinterest strategy here. But at the core the idea is to:

1) Write high-quality content that Pinners want to click through, read, and share.

2) Pin to my own and high-quality group boards, with a keyword-rich description.

3) Continue to Pin my best pins across my own boards/group boards, ruthlessly eliminating Pins that don’t perform well.

One thing to keep in mind is impressions don’t mean much on Pinterest. What counts are clicks to your website. So, you want to design not for impressions but clicks.

What aspects of the online business are you outsourcing or automating and how?

The first thing I outsourced was Pinterest design. I’ll design about 30-40 pins a month, so this was big time saver for me.

Of course, it took some work to get going. At first, I hired 5 or so people on Fiverr. I found one decent designer but the work quality deteriorated over time.

I then went to Upwork and posted a job for a  graphic designer. I found a great team down in Argentina, who I’m very happy with.

I’m currently experimenting with working with a ghostwriter. A few of my latest posts have been transcribed from my recording, with the ghostwriter making sense of it all.

I can compile about 3 posts in 90 minutes, then take another 90 or so minutes to prepare them. Saving me around 3-4 hours per post this way.

What’s your main income stream and why do you think it works for you?

My main source of income for the blog is affiliate revenue. It works because the partners I do have are high-quality businesses, who deliver value and solve real problems. This makes it easy to naturally link to such a partner.

When did you start making more than $10K/month and what was the turning point?

My first month over $10K was in January of 2018. In December of 2017, income was around $3,000 and in July of 2017 around $500. So, it was definitely a jump.

What happened then in January?

First, personal finance is at its peak interest in January.

Second, I had multiple Pins go viral.

Third, in November I started driving traffic via Facebook to the site. So, in January I could take campaigns I’d been fine-tuning for a few weeks and scale them.

How do you balance work and family life?

I have a routine I stick to Monday through Friday.

When inside of my designated working hours, I work. When outside of these hours, I’m not.

This is a lot easier said than done. But the thing important for me is not to take work everywhere I go. This means I don’t have any apps on my phone that are work-related (email, analytics, etc..)

What are you 3 best finance tips for newbies?

  • Focus on your savings rate. How much you save is the most important decision you’ll make.
  • Small incremental improvements add up over time. My favorite example is increasing your savings rate 1% every quarter, means you’ll be saving 20% of your income in just 5 years.
  • Study happiness. Become a student on how to increase your level of happiness. The natural result is you’ll want less overtime, making the game of personal finance a lot easier to win.

What books, blogs or podcasts help you stay motivated along the way of growing an online business?

I read a fair amount to keep fresh ideas in my head.

My favorite podcast is The Tim Ferriss Show.

Two blogs I enjoy reading are:

Farnam Street
Barking up the Wrong Tree

And as far as books. I try to read one a week. A few books I would recommend to online entrepreneurs would be:

Deep Work by Cal Newport
The Compound Effect by Darren Hardy
The Four Hour Work Week by Tim Ferriss

Pin this post if you enjoyed the interview.

Check out my interview with R.J. from TheWaystoWealth to see how he entered the finance niche, started making money blogging, began bringing traffic from Pinterest and monetizing it with affiliate marketing, and is now making $10,000/month from his online business. #blogger #interview #blogtraffic #incomeideas #income