Do What You Love, and the Money Will Follow…Right?

Do What You Love, and the Money Will Follow…Right?

Recently, I was reading a post from an online trainer who coaches authors and other professionals. This trainer discusses the contrast between writing for money and writing for passion. In other words, the age-old conundrum: if you do what you love, will the money follow?

Now, I’ll be honest here – I have recently adopted a real aversion to the use of the word “passion” to describe what motivates one in business. Merriam Webster offers several definitions of passion, including the emotions as distinguished from reason and intense, driving, or overmastering feeling or conviction. In other words, not a whole lotta business sense involved there.

Writing is a business, and it has to be approached as such. Yes, it’s important to care about what you’re doing, and if you’re just chasing money, you probably won’t be happy. The world is filled with sad, lost souls whose main goal in life is the satisfaction of material desires. Writers don’t have to be among them.

But…You Need Some Money, Right?

Well, of course. And here’s where the passion issue really comes into play. If your passion – let’s use a different expression, and just call it what you care about in your work – is literary fiction, you’re probably not going to have that as your primary source of income.

I know this from my own experience, and I had enough business sense to expect it. Even though I invested heavily in quality cover design and experienced editing, I never expected to make millions from my books.

So…I did what I love, and the money followed, right? Sure, I got a little money from book royalties. I still do. But that was never going to be my sole source of income as President & CEO of Sahno Publishing.

Because my business model is that of author, speaker and publisher, I have to be open to other forms of income for the company. And that includes ghostwriting books for entrepreneurs, as well as writing and/or editing articles for a variety of businesses. Lately, it’s also included web copy, and booking speaking engagements.

At best, my “doing what I love” has brought in a small percentage of my income…at worst, I’ve had some bad months. But when I come to the end of my days, I’ll know I did my best to spend at least some of my business life pursuing what I care about the most. And after all, isn’t that what’s really important?

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Getting Back on Track

Getting Back on Track

Last week, Hurricane Irma came barreling toward the eastern seaboard like a runaway freight train. Here in Tampa, the weather reports in advance of the storm were even more melodramatic than usual – “Tampa is poised to take its first direct hit from a major hurricane in 100 years,” etc., etc. – but for once, I really paid attention.

In my 23 years in the Tampa Bay area, I’ve always treated these overblown forecasts with disdain. They go on and on about it, showing all manner of NOAA diagrams, and all I hear is blah blah blah. Because of its geographical location, it would be very difficult for a hurricane to actually hit Tampa directly; it would have to either come up through the Gulf of Mexico and make a sharp eastward turn right by Tampa, or blast through the lower half of the peninsula as a Category Five and still retain its strength after moving substantially overland.

As you can probably tell, I think about this stuff sometimes, and I’ve even prepared a bit over the years. But last week’s panic was like nothing I’d ever seen: supermarket shelves were emptied of staples like bread and water for days on end, and gas stations ran out of gas within an hour or two after receiving a new shipment. It was crazy, and I got caught up in it myself. Just to be on the safe side, my wife and I hightailed it out of town.

Much Ado About Nothing

Of course, I didn’t exactly take several days completely off from working, though I spent much of those days driving. I still posted plenty of social media content, and got through most of my email. But it was like a long holiday weekend, though without any of the fun usually associated with such weekends.

The storm turned out to be a dud in Tampa, of course, which was fortunate for us. We returned home to zero damage, and hadn’t even lost our electricity for long, near as I could tell. Thankful for that indeed.

Once back in town, I was doubly fortunate – although I essentially put my business on hold for several days, I still had a major project whose deadline was rapidly approaching, and I received a couple of new projects that needed to be completed right away. So I hit the ground running, and didn’t really take another breath until this past weekend.

And now I’m getting back on track with my standard schedule in between new projects: ramping up social media efforts back to normal levels, doing marketing outreach, and even getting back to this blog, which was sorely neglected last Monday, when I drove for six or seven hours.

What about you? Do you have trouble getting back on track after scheduled or unscheduled time off? Let me known in the comments below.

money

Do What You Love, and the Money Will Follow…Right?

Recently, I was reading a post from an online trainer who coaches authors and other professionals. This trainer discusses the contrast between writing for money and writing for passion. In other words, the age-old conundrum: if you do what you love, will the money...
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