I’m not really a fan of “Follow your dreams and the money will follow” inspirational-quote mentality. For one I think it implies a certain amount of namby-pambyness (just like all inspirational quotes), and two, sometimes people have bloody stupid dreams.
Bloody Stupid Dreams
I myself had a stupid dream about creating a nice little four-person marketing agency in a tiny town and in a country notorious for being expensive to employ people in. When I achieved that dream, it turned out to be more nightmare than dream, and it wasn’t what I thought it would be. Even though you think you’ll love it, you should try and get the full picture from another entrepreneur or someone already doing it, before you rent a place and start trying to make it. On one hand though, if you get a realistic picture of everything it will entail, you might never start the company and I think everyone who is able to handle it should work for themselves. There’s nothing that can replace being your own boss and deciding when and where you work.
No Money, No Honey
Sometimes people have dreams that just aren’t going to make any money. It’s all very well saying you’re going to make a boutique that sells handicrafts, but what kind of handicrafts? Are the products really going to take over a niche-market? Are the products interesting? Are they quality items? If you’re honest with yourself, do you just enjoy making them and you don’t care what others think? If that’s the case then you’re about to have a lot of fun being poor.
My aforementioned advertising agency was luckily taking in enough money to cover expenses, but that was it. It was impossible to get ahead. Once I got ahead there would usually be another big bill lurking around the corner (usually to do with insurance, retirement funds and unemployment benefits for employees). Not only do you have to pay bills, you also have to pay yourself for all the hours you’re putting in and that includes all the hours checking over stock, fixing errors, getting paperwork ready for bookkeeping etc.
More Than Flowers
If you absolutely love plants and growing things and making flower arrangements then why not find a job (or make a job) where you can do that all day. The problem is that you won’t get to do that all day. If you’re working for someone else, you’ll have to do what the boss tells you to do. If you’re working for yourself, you’ll have to manage orders, get deliveries, deal with waste flowers, pay bills, send bills, answer customer questions and give them estimates for work you do.. there’s so much more to it than just doing what you love. You have to try and think realistically about what your limitations are.
I tried to do too much and wear too many hats. I was the project manager, entrepreneur, customer service, technical support, HR.. all on top of doing my main thing which was coding the actual websites and applications. It was way too much and I got further and further away from doing what I love doing, which is coming up with cool ideas for customers and then coding them.
I might just be getting cynical in my old age, but I think you can be passionate about what you do and you should still get paid for it, as long as it’s not a bloody stupid idea 🙂