Passion & Money, Which Comes First?
In a survey conducted many years ago, 1,500 people were asked that very same question and were then separated in 2 different categories based on their feedback. Category A believed that money was their priority and would consider doing what they want to do later. 1,245 people went into that group. Category B, made up of 255 people preferred going after their passion and trust that money would follow subsequently.
What do you think happened to both groups 20 years later?
Out of 1,500 people in the whole group, 101 of them became millionaires. Only one came from Category A. The remaining 100 of the millionaires all came from Category B.
That was the group which had decided they would pursue their passion first with money coming in later. That was the same group which delayed their gratification, knowing that their strong faith and love for what they were doing would manifest its true potential. That was probably the same group which was sniggered at by their friends for their seemingly lofty yet unpractical dreams.
And yes, that was also the group I would have chosen to be in.
What about you? Which would you select?
What was the Implication?
Don’t get me wrong. I’m not trying to imply that choosing to go after your passion means you’re set to become a millionaire. Nor am I trying to imply that becoming a millionaire means you’ll be happy and successful in life. There’s no direct correlation and I’m sure you’re fully aware of that
But the survey reveals something that’s pretty insightful.
When you’ve decided to go after your passion intensely and wholeheartedly, your burning desire and faith will open up new opportunities in your life, making sure you achieve what you set your mind on. In whatever form you’ve decided it to be. And in whatever time you’ve planned to realize it.
Be it monetary compensation. Or personal gratification. Be it now. Or a few years later.
My Friend’s Story
Many years ago, when most of her University classmates were wearing corporate suits and working in air conditioned offices in the downtown central business district, my good friend decided she wanted nothing of that.
She quit her first job as a web journalist in a now defunct subsidiary unit of the local television network to work as a project manager under a local celebrity director for a meager pay. She wanted to learn more about TV & movie production, a long time passion incubated since her high school days acting in school plays.
She endured erratic working hours, sometimes being awaken in the middle of the night by her boss to rush down to his place for a meeting over an “ingenious” idea. She suffered delays in getting her pay cheque when the local media industry was experiencing a slump. She even had to be a nanny at times, babysitting her boss’ young children while they were away.
During that time, though most of us marveled at her “luck” to be able to work under a celebrity, we openly encouraged her to leave her boss. Although she took our advice and left to try out a marketing stint in another company, it was not long before she crossed swords with her passion again.
A contact from her former job called her up to partner in a media production house and she had never looked back since. The partnership grew in strength and was later acquired by a large conglomerate. With freshly injected funds, her team received many new overseas working opportunities and contracts.
From what I know, she’s preparing to get her company listed and if nothing goes wrong, she’ll be the first half a millionaire among my peers. A maverick. Rewarded for her efforts because she believed in herself.
And her passion.
Why You Should Go After Your Passion First
Perhaps you may be thinking “Oh, that’s easier said than done. I’m not as lucky as your friend” or “I’m the sole breadwinner. My whole family depends on my income and I can’t jolly well ditch it to become a professional singer!”
I’m not denying what you’re saying is true. But nobody’s asking you to leave your bread and butter now to work on your passion. Plan. If you want to be a professional singer, send your demo tapes to the recording companies while you’re still working for money. Or sing in bars, lounges for a side income while getting some exposure. There are so many possibilities.
And take heed, you create your own luck. Do you think my friend would be asked to go into a partnership had she been a lousy worker? Do you think their company would be acquired if it was doing badly? It’s precisely because she’s working her butt off something she loved that she was able to generate all that good karma.
Here are a few more good reasons :
Higher Vibes & Energy.
By the time you’ve decided to work on your passion or interest after you’ve earned enough money, you may lack the energy to pursue it. Ask yourself, if it’s your dream to be a professional soccer player, do you think you still have the stamina to be one in your forties?
Lower Opportunity Costs
The earlier you’ve decided to work on your passion, the lesser opportunity costs you have. It’s not a coincidence why so many of the Silicon Valley successes are so young. Facebook’s founder & CEO Mark Zuckerberg, for example was only 22 years old when he dropped out of his sophomore year in Harvard to focus fully on the social networking site. What has he got to lose even if he fails? A year in college that he can still resume if he wants to?
You’ll definitely win. Yes, even when you may have seemingly failed. The wonderful memories of having pursued something you loved is enough to keep you smiling, even when you’re on your death bed.