“If money is the most important thing, you will spend your life wasting your time doing things you don’t like in order to go on living doing things you don’t like doing. If you do what you love you will become a master at it and be able to get a good fee for it. If you are interested in it, someone else will be. It is STUPID to spend your time to do things you don’t like and to teach your children to do the same thing.” – Alan Watts
Granted, I was in my early twenties and had no idea how to even comprehend such a question. Nor did I think that anything I could possibly love could be something I could do all day and get paid for it. How can being creative, helping others and having fun possibly pay the bills?
So like most people, I just started thinking about things that were fun for me. I liked designing living spaces, colors, creating, etc., so I decided to go back to school to get a degree in Interior Design. (I was a recent business school dropout). Looking back now, even though I did get my degree and I did enjoy many elements of that world, I realized it was a quick fix for a very unhappy feeling in my gut. I wanted to be happy. I wanted to help others. I wanted to make a difference for the greater good.
But how was I going to do that?
After many years of simply fulfilling the role that I felt society thought I should be, I realized that I had to start focusing more on the question of what I should be doing with my life. I could not ignore that feeling in my gut. When I became a mother, it was even more important to figure out the answer to this question. If I didn’t stop the train, my girls would just follow in those same footsteps. After all, that is what I was taught and was doing.
My mom was a single mother of three. She worked a government job – that she hated – just to put food on the table and a roof over our head. She did what she had to do. She came from an upbringing that taught her to get a job that paid decent money and to tell your children to do the same. Go for security. There was no way you could make money doing what made you happy. Until she started doing exactly that. She had a gift for knitting, crocheting, and counted cross stitch. But it wasn’t until two years before her death that she started selling those items to earn extra money. It wasn’t until then that she was doing something that made her truly happy. How sad is that?
So I, like her, went for “security”. Doing what I didn’t like – in order to keep doing what I didn’t like.
Until my husband’s business needed more help. We had entered the world of entrepreneurship in 1997 and it really took off in 2002. By 2003, we were both all in. And….
I loved it.
I had finally found what I liked to do and looked forward to doing it every day. Marketing. Sales. Running my own business. Setting my own rules. Working with people that energized and inspired me to do my best work. That is what I loved. Then I found myself in familiar territory.
I wanted to help those same people that hired us in a bigger way.
So I became a business coach and honed my talents in all the other things I enjoyed doing. I could go on and on but the important thing is this:
I am happy.
I love what I do. I look forward to my day. I know I am helping others and at the same time helping myself.
Today, when I see my daughters plotting their futures, I see strong, happy and confident children who know what makes them happy and are figuring out how they can take it into adulthood. After all, that is what they see Mom and Dad doing, so it must be the way it is.
So I ask you … if money were no object, what would you be doing all day? What is your passion? What makes you want to spring out of bed in the morning?
Find it – and live it. The money will follow.