24 Jan Common Misconceptions About Making Money From Doing Work You Love
Happy Thursday Legends!
You might be wondering what a picture of me biking past a Springbok and making money have to do with each other.
Nothing and everything at the same time, so stick with me here…
On boxing day, I was down in South Africa spending the holidays with my boyfriend’s family. We surfed 19 of the 21 days we were there #winning, but this particular morning conditions weren’t quite right for a surf, so we hopped on bikes to go explore the nature reserve down the road. I know it sounds simple, but we went for a bike ride, because… we enjoy the act of biking, the feeling it gives us and being outdoors. Simply put, we did it because we enjoy the process.
But that bike ride came with an amazing outcome, we were only meters away from wild Springbok and even crossed paths with a family of Zebra. It was incredible!
Had that not happened, I would have still enjoyed the ride, but unexpectedly seeing these animals in nature was an awesome bonus!
I share this story for context because I all too often see this concept lost as people are pursuing the path of living their legend. More often than not, people focus on creating success in the outcome instead of creating success in the process. And if you aren’t focused on the road that you are actually on, not the one many miles and twists and turns ahead, odds are high that you will either:
a. not reach your destination,
b. give up,
b. find yourself lost and in a pile of frustration, or
c. manage to get there but still feel unsatisfied.
It can be super frustrating to get on a high, believe in yourself, put yourself out there and then feel like you get slapped in the face when things don’t seem to be working. Trust me, I know this feeling all to well! Especially when every other Facebook Ad out there is touting some ‘Secret to Success’, or a hack for ‘How to Build a 6 Figure Business in 6 days’.
Maybe there are secrets that lead to magical happy utopias without any discomfort along the way, but what I personally know to be true is that there is discomfort in stagnation and discomfort in growth… and you get to choose which you want to sign up for.
But before we dig into what you can focus on to keep the journey enjoyable (because that’s what living your legend is all about!), I think it is important to tackle some common misconceptions about making money from doing the things you love.
Common Misconceptions About Making Money From Doing Work You Love
1. If I Build it, They Will Come
Stats show that there are over 1 billion websites out there, so if this ‘build it and they will come’ theory were true, all 1 billion of those people would be making money from their virtual home, but I bet only a fraction of a percentage of those people are. Here at LYL, we encourage people to start a website or blog for a few reasons.
- Primarily because it is an amazing tool for self-discovery. Getting your thoughts out of your head is a powerful way to live more intentionally and less reactionary. It helps bring perspective to things, it helps you understand you—what lights you up and what doesn’t—and the more data points we gather about what is authentically us, versus the habits, beliefs and ideas we have subconsciously picked up from social conditioning, the more we can live a life that is true to us.
- It is amazing way to shift your mindset! If you happen to be in a situation that is not very enjoyable, it can be hard not to focus on all the things that suck, especially if you are sitting in that miserable situation 8-10 hours a day! We know that this is very real, and not likely something that is going to change over night. That’s why we encourage people to spend some time (even if it is a small amount) pursuing the things that make them feel alive, while in the midst of the things that don’t. If you are in a miserable job or environment when someone asks you how things are going, you can choose to talk about your miserable job, or the song you wrote in your free time last week. You can choose to bitch about your co-workers, or talk about the exciting conversation you had with your mastermind group. Having undesirable things in our life is a part of life, but you get to determine how much fuel you give those things. You can choose to talk about the things you hate, or the things you love. No one, and no situation can take that choice away from you! A passion project is a great way easily start to focus on things you do love, rather than those you do not, because hey, you are actually spending time doing things you love. A website just happens to be one of the simplest, and cheapest ways we know to pursue a passion project.
- It gets you into mode where you are creating something. Most of us spend a lot of time consuming things, and there is nothing wrong with that to gain inspiration and further our education, but when you shift to a state of creation, it inherently brings you to a place where you are less focused on yourself and more focused on something greater, which is is important for ongoing fulfillment.
- It proves that you have value to add. Obviously, no one will ever know about your service or product if they don’t have a way to find it. So yes, having a place to direct people to or a place for strangers to find you opens the options for ways that you can make you money from the things you love…
But having a website, a storefront, a product, a vision, etc. alone will not!
I think one of the most common misconceptions about making money from your passions is that you simply have to create something, but the truth is that there are about a million other things you have to do in order to sell that thing that you created.
Passion, or loving what you do is certainly very important, but that alone is not enough… It is easy to spend your time doing what you love, but it is not necessarily easy to make money from doing the things you love. If it was easy, every person would be doing it, right?!
You have to build it in order for them to come, but just because you build it does not mean that they will come.
2. Hard Work = Success
Working 16 hours a day will not make you successful. Hours put in certainly helps, and will get you a lot farther than sitting on your couch and complaining about your life. Hard work is important, but once again that alone will not make you a success.
And that’s because what makes businesses successful over the long term is the amount of value that they add to other people’s lives. You can spend a lifetime formulating the best business plan in the world, but if that plan doesn’t somehow help, simplify or add value to someone else’s life, you won’t get very far.
Sounds silly but the the less you focus on making money and the more you focus on how you can add value to other people, the more money you will likely make! There are obviously tactics to help get exposure, etc. but bottom line: people pay for things that are necessary (or they believe to be necessary) and/or things that improve their lives.
Find a way to make other’s lives better and you will be a lot further ahead of the game than all the people focusing on how they can make their own life better.
3. Success = Making Money
How we define success is so important to how successful we feel. I have spent a lot of this article talking about money because that is a lot of people’s idea of success. And it is possible to make money from doing things you love. If you don’t believe that, that’s your first road block. It isn’t necessarily easy, and it may not fit with your specific time line, but it is possible. All you need to do is spend 5 minutes on Etsy to see how many people have turned their unique skills into income streams. But in this day and age, there’s a lot of options out there for consumers, so it will not work if you take a passive approach. Hoping and waiting is not enough.
However, the reality is, that you can do all the tactics, the value add, the marketing, the ads, the lead generating funnels, etc. and you still might not make money! That’s a very real possibility…
Which is why it’s important to take a hard look at how you define success. Is it based on what you feel or what you do? If the only way to achieve success is to make money, you are setting yourself up in a precarious position. Because you don’t have control over what others do, how they choose to spend their money, what happens in the economy, or what new trend may wipe away your whole industry.
And that is where that bike ride story comes in, and why at Live Your Legend, we rarely talk about the outcome, rather we talk about how to find meaning in the process.
One of the few things we do have control over is how we we spend our time which feeds into how we feel. And if you are spending your time in a way that lights you up, there is no possibility of failure, because it was time well spent. If your success is a result of how you feel, then there is success in the act of doing something you love, because you love the process of doing it, right?! To cook a meal because you love the act of cooking, not for how many likes you will get on your Instagram post. Or to create your craft because you get lost in, or gain something from, the process of it.
Don’t get me wrong, I am not saying to go live in a self-sustaining cave and paint all day because you love painting. If that’s your thing, cool. But, that’s not for everyone. I understand that having enough money to meet your basic needs is very important, otherwise what you’ll feel is constant stress and worry, and in my opinion, those aren’t healthy or ‘successful’ feelings to feel all the time either.
But all too often, we get caught up in the how and when and lose sight of the what. If you are doing something you actually love, you love the act of doing it, not only the outcome. You go for the ride for the ride, not for what you will see on the ride. Imagine how many failed bike rides I would have had if they had to result in a wild Zebra sighting to be enjoyable?!
And that’s why the next post is going to talk about the things you can focus on to make the journey enjoyable… But before I sign off this week, there is one more misconception that I think is important to address.
4. Once I’m There, I Will be Set
All too often people believe that happiness or exists when they get ‘there’.
So, let’s say you do build something that you love doing and it provides you an income. Good for you!
Odds are it didn’t happen overnight and it wasn’t the first thing you tried (and if it didn’t work you gave up). Odds are you gained skills in the process of trial and error that will serve you in growing or maintaining that said thing. And… odds are that even once you get there, it will challenge you. There will be times you feel like a failure, like you don’t know what to do next, like it’s not working. And that is why the process is important, because the process of building the house is what prepares you for keeping the house functioning.
Being an entrepreneur or business owner means navigating roadblocks, not stopping at the sight of them. To keep something growing, or even just going, takes time, attention, energy and effort. I know very few things that once built, just sit there and mint money. You need to be present, to listen to your people, to be on top of providing them what they need as their wants, needs and desires change. You need to connect with them and evolve alongside them. And you need to keep showing up even when things don’t work because you are deeply rooted in why you are doing what you are doing, not simply what you are doing.
There will be parts of everything and every place that aren’t totally ideal, but as one of my favorite quotes says:
A happy ending doesn’t come from an unhappy journey… – Abraham Hicks
And it couldn’t be more true. If you don’t have it in you to enjoy the the process of getting ‘there’, its highly unlikely that you will find magical happiness once you get ‘there’. The outcome may enhance your happiness, but it isn’t the solution to it.
So in our next post, we’ll talk about a few ways to enjoy the journey a little more.
Here’s to the ride,
– Chelsea Dinsmore