‘I know what I really want to do with my life, but seriously – who would pay me for that?’
I hear this a lot.
There’s a growing number of self-aware individuals who are drawn into the sense of infinite choice in the kind of work they take up, the service they perform for others.
The problem: it doesn’t seem like they can make a living from it.
The story typically revolves around how no company values this kind of work, or how customers don’t understand or aren’t willing to pay for this kind of service.
What a lot of people don’t admit is that they themselves aren’t willing to pay for themselves either.
A programmer I know taught himself to code in his teens. He paid in terms of time and effort in those days, learning everything he could from other people’s codework, watching videos, trying his work out over and over again.
When he graduated from university, he paid in terms of foregone salary by deciding not to get a job, but to set up his own software development company. He also paid time to learn to network, to sell, to build customer relationships, and of course, to produce software for his customers nowadays.
That was a huge cost of time, money and effort… just to earn the right to make kickass software for the people who need them.
A makeup artist I know took time off a full-time job to get makeup training from a top-notch school in another country. She also paid in foregone salary when she quit her job to do freelance work.
She paid friends, models, studios, photographers just to put a portfolio together. She cultivated relationships with people she could collaborate with, to reach as many brides as she could.
She paid years of her life, thousands, thousands of dollars and the effort to constantly put her work out there… just for the opportunity to make young women beautiful on their wedding day.
That’s the cost of doing the work you really want to do.
Would you pay for you?
A lot of people are hoping that someone else will pay for them to do what they love.
Someone else will start the company. Someone else will network and sell. The customers will commit their money first, guarantee they will buy, before I go get trained.
The work I do must pay for my living first before I quit my job.
‘I’ll do this full-time when this passion project earns enough to replace my salary’.
Let others pay first before I pay.
Let others believe in my project first before I believe in it.
A lot of people wouldn’t pay for themselves.
Astrology is a wonderful tool; it shows us what burns within, what we are capable of contributing to the world, what work would make our lives purposeful.
To make it happen in reality though, you must pay.
What is so counterintuitive though, is that all that cost we take on, is for nothing more than to be in a position to give and serve others.
It’s very, very rare to have someone go through all that trouble with the aim of attaining wealth or fame or even self-importance.
So the real question isn’t even ‘Would you pay for you?’
It should be: ‘Would you pay for the right to serve others to the best of your ability?’
How strange it should be that the people who do pay, and who do serve, are among the happiest and most fulfilled people I know.
Worry less about whether others are willing to pay for you to do what you love.
Put your efforts on building something worthwhile for others to pay for.