An Extremely Real And Personal Take On Making Money Doing What You Love: Fuck Money… Somewhat
This is an extremely real and personal take on that thing many people in this world want: Making money doing what you love!
That’s what we all want right?!
I mean, what’s there to think about?
Imagine being able to wake up everyday, feeling like a bowl of sunshine, knowing that the day ahead is going to be super awesome because you’re going to be making money doing what you love.
And on this day and age, it can be done with the internet. You can supposedly do some shit online and make money with it. It’s the obvious choice! After all, the internet is accessible from just getting to your computer or laptop. You click some shit. You type some shit. And boom! You make money!
Then with that money, you get to do what you also love! I bet they include traveling the world, buying some nice car, helping people and yes, making more money!
Shit! It’s a double-combo win-win! You’re making money doing what you love to do more shit you love and it even includes making money! It’s non-fucking-stop!
Sounds like the dream huh?
It is a fucking dream, so much so it’s almost impossible.
I’ve personally been through that school of thought. I did what it takes to try to live that dream, or rather, skewed idea of reality.
And I am going to take you through my journey now and give you some non-bullshit advice so you can tackle the idea of making money doing what you love on a realistic level that doesn’t make you sound like an annoying, humblebragging douchebag of a man child.
My journey in easy-to-read snippets:
In 2006: My dad died of ALS, that fucked up disease which took Stephen Hawkins. I was only 20 then. This year has nothing to do with me making money doing what I love on a physical level yet, but this is extremely important. Please take note.
2010–2011: I graduated from college. I worked a couple of jobs. I eventually quit. I decided that I wanted to do my own thing. I bought into the whole idea of internet marketing. It felt right since I love to write. I also figured that I could help people with my stories, so I chose the self-improvement niche. What could go wrong since I had good intentions?!
And thus Alden-Tan.com was born on the my birthday in 2011. I was all ready to internetmarket the shit out of the internet so I can eventually make money with my blog while working at home in my underwear.
2011–2017: The years when I was just stressed out as fuck almost everyday as I had to make scary decisions on my own. I don’t want to go into a whole tirade here, but summarize:
- I started out not knowing shit.
- I started to know some shit as I learnt on my own and also… sigh, I feel somewhat ashamed to admit this, paid a bunch of sleazy assholes to coach me.
- I did make money, good money. 2014 felt like a good year. I remember telling myself, “Fuck it!” and just did everything I was taught. I didn’t feel so stressed anymore because money was coming in.
- 2015–2016, I stopped making money because I actively made the decision to throw away my sources of income. Why? Because I hated doing what I learnt. It was all too shady to me, from writing about contrived shit I didn’t care for to promoting affiliate products I knew were crap. I even emailed the guy I paid to coach me that I was done and said that I truly regretted getting to know him, even though he did help make me money before. So yes indeed, I intentionally decided to stop making money. I know, it sounds crazy as fuck.
- From late 2016–2017, I discovered Steemit.
- Today, all I do is write on Steemit and Medium. This is my livelihood today. No, I don’t make much, but I am making money doing what I love, which is to write about anything I want, literally any fucking thing I want.
Now let’s break down this shit even further because I am thinking that you’re thinking about a bunch of things and have a bunch of questions. You ready?
I am just going to lay it out blunt and straight:
“Alden, why did you choose to get rid of your income? You knew how to make money, but you chose not to! It’s your own fault!”
My answer: All I can say is you don’t know what it’s like to be an artist who truly cares about what he creates on an extremely deep level. You also do not know what it’s like to lose someone you grew up with to a deadly, incurable disease. That said, you can’t even begin to comprehend the idea of “Life is too short” and why making money, to become rich at that isn’t the main priority for some of us.
“Okay, I get that you really care about what you do, but come on, you need to compromise to make a living right? It’s business after all!”
“Don’t you think you can lead a happier and stress-free life if you make money so you can give some to your family, make them happy and in turn make yourself happy?”
“And then produce even better work doing what you love?”
“I don’t see why I should listen to your advice Alden. I know of other bloggers who make $100,000 a month and they have a million followers! What do you have to show for it?”
“You must be crazy to live like that!”
“I don’t understand you Alden.”
See above. Not that I care if you do.
My honest advice to people who want to start making money doing what you love:
They don’t teach you this shit in college.
1) Don’t buy stupid courses, seminars or hire an idiotic coach/mentor to teach you how to make money
They’re all mostly lies as they sell you their get-rich-quick schemes. The only person getting rich is them.
2) Read books instead
3) Don’t write about writing
Don’t market about marketing.
Don’t business about business-ing.
Don’t YouTube about YouTubing.
Don’t Podcast about Podcasting.
Don’t webinar about webinars.
Don’t make money doing what you love by telling others how they can be making money doing what you love.
See where I am leading with this?
This is called selling out. This is creating shit you don’t care about which makes you not authentic at all.
This is contrived shit that is recycled everywhere. It may be trendy or popular at any given point, but with so many people doing it, it’s going to be tough to stand out anyway.
4) Create something only [insert your name here] can create
There’s only one of you in this world. Not even your twin sibling can achieve the same title.
Dig deep, find out what you love and then share it with the world in a way only you can.
5) The idea of selling out comes with experience for you to grow into, not from a pre-packaged solution
I may sound contradictory here, but hear me out:
I don’t like selling out in the sense that you start doing shit you don’t believe in just to make money.
I do however, believe that you can learn and grow to like something to achieve results and be fulfilled at the same time.
After all, you’re human. I get it. You have to live. Maybe you need to make money to food on the table for your loved ones, something I don’t even need to do today.
Some people care nothing about doing what they love. They just want to make money to survive. Some people, like me, swing to the other extreme end of the spectrum to fight for what they love and live from that.
It’s your prerogative, and it’s something to grow into. In other words, you find out what works for you by doing the actual work.
You can’t find a pre-packaged solution online or just from hearing it from a friend. E.g. If you’re poor as fuck today and can’t even pay for your next meal, it’d would highly illogical to take advice from a rich person who claims, “Money is not everything.”
You’ve a life to lead and people to care for. You do what it takes then. This will effectively mold you into the person you can be proud to be one day as you constantly (yes, it does not end) work on yourself physically, mentally and spiritually.
And if you get it right, you’ll find that balance.
6) It’s perfectly fine to be employed
No, you don’t need to quit your job or “fire your boss” just to start making money doing what you love.
You can do what you love even if it means having a job.
You can do business while working a job too, part-time or not.
Ignore the hustlers, grinders, self-helpers, gurus or life coaches who pretentiously claim that you should never be employed.
Again, do what it takes and then find out what works for you.
7) You’re going to have go through The Dip and it’s going to feel like shit
I don’t care if you’re doing what you love. Expect to feel disappointed, anger, frustration and tons of failure.
You’re going to have to go through The Dip, as coined by Seth Goin himself. And you’re going to have to make tough decisions from there.
It’s going to be scary, but it’s a necessary evil.
I went through my own dip with Steemit. I wasn’t making much at all at first, like a few cents a day. I stuck through it because I believe in the platform and the way it has changed my life.
8) Try your best to ignore the naysayers and haters
The people who are against you will always be there, whether you like it or not; for whatever stage in life you are in.
You’ll be affected by them now and then, but it’s a learning process for you to grow and become strong so you will make strong decisions on your own one day.
It took me 7 years just to be able to confidently write what I’ve been writing here.
My best advice here is to simply always follow your gut. It rarely ever lies to you. If something or someone makes you feel very skeptical or pretty much just fucked up and uncomfortable inside, then walk away.
Making money doing what you love is a life you create every step of the way, not a business
If it’s a business, then it’s all contrived bullshit the salespeople are trying to sell you only to benefit them.
If you however, approach it as a life you can create, then it’s something you can start on for sure.
You can’t ever be fully prepared though, like a parent who’s not a parent until his firstborn arrives. That is why it’s a lifestyle.
But you work hard anyway. You keep pushing. And even so, that is your choice to do so or not.
I stuck with Steemit because as said, it lets me write about whatever the fuck I want.
“Whatever the fuck I want” are the words that align with my values, beliefs, story and background as an artist. And in case you missed it, this article is for artists, not business people, salesmen or marketers. The advice here may overlap, and I applaud you if you lead a happy, fulfilling life being a business person, but I am honestly trying to help artists here mostly.
That’s why I am still here, unlike the time back in my internet marketing days where I fizzled out despite making good money.
I just didn’t believe in it and it disturbed me to the core. If you don’t believe in it every step of the way, what you think you achieve will eventually disappear. It did for me. I had to make a hard reset this year alone.
Keep that in mind always and remember to reflect and question that thing it is you supposedly love doing.
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