What we millennials don’t usually understand is that to achieve a 4-hour work week, where you sleep and still are earning, it takes several years of 100-hour work weeks. We read books which tell us how to “earn fast”, we go through online courses to “get rich quick” and because of that, we’re slowly justifying our way away from hard work.
Those who choose to break the chains of 9-5 job-slavery need to understand that there should be an alternative source of income ready for them before they go into the boss’s cabin and slam the resignation letter on the table.
Even I have a rack full of self-help books giving me hope and promising me that my life would turn around if I followed that advice. But lately, I switched those books for books that clearly describe the process and the planning that is needed to be successful.
Why “Follow Your Passion” Is Bad Advice
Forbes has an entire article about this issue. We’ve all heard people telling us “If you’re not happy in your current job, keep looking for the one that makes you happy. Don’t settle for less.”
But that just keeps creating a sort of professional discontent in our heads which is pretty destructive in nature because it will always keep our motivations low in the current job.
Now you’d say there are several big shots who achieved their dreams by following their passion. People like Steve Jobs and Bill gates are a one-in-a-million case. We need to look at common successes more than the rare cases.
I’m not saying you aren’t or can’t be one-in-a-million. But if you were, you would not start with anything else at all. You’d spend your entire life working on your passion, starting from the very beginning and you’d realize you are also talented in that area.
Even most recent success stories like those of Lilly Singh, Bhuvan Bam, Shivani Singh or Komal Pandey who became social media influencers and YouTubers are also not common. There are a lot of parameters contributing to their success – relevant content, engagement rates, size and outreach, price of production, etc.
What Can You Do Then?
Yes, if you work hard on your niche, you may get the success that the big shots do. But there is a process and it needs to be embraced.
If you understand the parameters of success, you might know which direction to go in. For example, if you want your startup to become famous, your timing should be perfect, demand must exist, and product should create value or solve a problem. Understanding such metrics will help channel your energy.
Instead of blindly running behind passion, it is better to find out how you can make a career out of it. Ask yourself questions like – Am I good at it or am I the best at it? Does it get me money? Is there a market for my passion? Find out from the internet how many people have been successful in that area and dig deep into your research before you decide to chase your dreams.
Without a proper plan, startups with even the best of products will fail and same is the case with any other career path. It is best to map your journey for at least 5 years and then take advice from someone who is already successful in that industry, or someone you consider a mentor.
Let us not glamourize success or successful people more than required. It takes a lot of work to reach a certain height in your professional career and that won’t change no matter how many “get rich quick” books you read.
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