It has been one of those long days at work where everything is frustrating, and you just want to escape to reinvent your career. After thinking about it, probably too much, and after a couple of wine glasses, you sit down in front of your computer and type “career change” in your favorite search engine. After some little research, you will probably run into this phrase: “Do what you love, and you’ll never work another day of your life”.
I have been there, and a lot of people have been there, probably more than once. The phrase is catchy, and appeals to a lot of dreamers, but not everything is as easy as it sounds.
I don’t mean to rain on anyone’s parade, but a more realistic phrase could be: “If what you love has data, that will drive your decision making, it will be easier to develop a career in something that you enjoy, without starving”.
I know is a little more complicated than the first route, but even dreams need some mission, research, strategy, timelines, budgets, etc.. Procure to transform your life with a little bit of marketing.
Let’s say you have passion for painting birds, and want to start selling your paintings online, let’s say in Etsy. You paint because you love it, and it shouldn’t be a problem. It’s your passion, and you could spend night and day painting birds without complaining, after all, you are doing it out of love, and if you do it out of love, it is not work, right?
Have you considered how many other bird painters are there on Etsy? How about what makes your art different? Is there a target audience that have not been tapped yet? How much paintings of birds do you need to make in order to quit your day job? Add the materials, the shipping, the advertising of the paintings, the marketing strategy to position yourself as a great bird painter. Throw some data around, visualize it, discover new markets by applying the blue ocean strategy, put numbers in graphics and see the big picture. Making the jump into a new career requires investing effort, time, and money. The easy phrases that offer quick solutions belong in self help books, but not in career, business, or marketing textbooks. Do not be blinded by some extraordinary examples, or fake beacons.
The idea is not to discourage anyone, but next time, when you get home after a very frustrating and long day at work, do some research before taking any harsh decision, and paint some birds. You could start today. It is not easy, but once you are painting birds for a living, paying the bills, and not compromising your lifestyle, you too are going to laugh the next time you read: “Do what you love, and you’ll never work another day of your life”. You will know it was hard work, but it is easier to find your way when you add some data into the mix.
STATUS: PAINTING REALITY