As someone who works hard at the hustle, you’ve come into contact with the all too common motif, “follow your passion.” We get it, you’re tired, you have talents you’re not wanting to waste slaving over a desk and working for “the man.” This life is tedious and limiting when you have so many other places you’d rather be. Not to mention, so much potential. But according to famous business gurus, “follow your passion” is actually pretty bad advice. Of course, this isn’t to say that you should give up your passions entirely. It’s simply a difference in philosophy.
It can be difficult to buckle down with seemingly no end in sight when your dream career is faroff in some distant horizon. If you’re fresh out of school, you may feel the temptation to be picky. You may have a job offer that has nothing to do with your long term career goals, so you shrug it off and move onto the next. But there’s a fallacy that waiting for your perfect first job will determine your success later on.
In a discussion with Shark Tank investor, Kevin O’Leary, Mike Rowe (Dirty Jobs) gives his two cents when it comes to following your passion. The TV personality states, “don’t follow your passion, follow opportunity. That becomes your passion.” He goes on to say that the key to a successful job or career comes with mastering work that no one else wants to do. This way, you secure your position and your expertise, and open yourself up to more opportunities you may not have predicted.
The truth is, following your passion limits your potential. Of course, it’s good to say “no” to some avenues (and you’ll know the signs of when to avoid an outright bad job), but declining too many offers can easily become a bad habit. If you have the aptitude and the skillset, just about any opportunity you come across can translate into your dream career later on. And if doesn’t, there’s plenty of other options you can create in the meantime.
The Beauty of the Side Hustle
If you’re truly backed into a corner and want to leave your day job early, there’s something you can do. Keep in mind, there are things you’ll need to give up for longer term success. But if you’re disciplined enough, you can turn your side gig into a career while maintaining the benefits of a nine to five. Books like The 4 Hour Work Week exist to empower the everyday person to pursue their dreams. By putting just a few extra hours in during the week for yourself, little by little, your side hustle becomes a door to your dream career.
You’re a talented man with endless potential, so don’t let the weight of a nine to five snuff out that drive. Work on personal development and remain ambitious. At the very least, each opportunity builds new skills and character. Take action, never stop pursuing your goals. See every avenue as a challenge and dominate the hell out of it. One day, you’ll be standing on top of the mountain, thankful that you remained steady while watching your dream career grow. Remember, all good things happen in time and in discipline.
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