I sometimes go back and forth between what to do in life: work for the money, or work cuz I’m passionate about it. When times are good, I choose “the passion.” Like, this blog for example :) When times are bad – like, the past few months here, financially-speaking – I ask myself if it’s worth continuing full force on passion projects, or if it’s better/smarter/more “adult-like” to chase the money? After all, I now have a family with baby to take care of.
I had a dream last night that I bit the bullet and took a job working for a friend’s dad’s company in Pittsburgh. I was pretty resigned to the fact I had to take it, especially when I found out midway through that it was just “a favor” ‘cuz I knew the guy’s son, but I was also relieved to have steady income and insurance so I said yes.
I show up on my first day 2 hours late (because in dreams your cell phones and cars never seem to work right, why is that??) and they give me my first assignment: design and print off a brochure for their company, and then promote it on social media. As if anyone wanted to see that online, haha…
So I get to working on it, and a little while later I hand it over to my boss and I’m pretty damn pleased with myself for turning it around so quickly, and so beautifully (I went to college for graphic design in the real world). He takes one look at it, and then sighs…
“Okay, you really have no idea what you’re doing, do you? Is this for kids? Do you even know how to tweet? I’m sorry, but this is clearly not working out. I think it’s best if you take the day off”
What??? Am I getting fired on my FIRST day at the job?? This can’t be happening… I must be dreaming! (I literally thought that IN my dream, haha…). I go in the basement to pick up my belongings since I guess they didn’t want anyone seeing I worked there, and then start wondering what the hell I’m going to tell my wife now. I’ve never been fired before for being *sucky*?? What the frick is going on here???
And then a funny thing happens in my head. I get happy!! I’m like – waaaaaait a second? I have an AWESOME community online!! Full of much more appreciative people who believe in me, and we’re doing big things there! Why the hell did I even take this job?? I’m gonna get back out there and keep hustling. I can do this! I don’t want your crap ass brochure job…. Who freakin’ designs for print, only to turn around and then use it for the WEB??? ;)
I then shot up from bed – as always happens with nightmares – and think to myself: YES! DO IT!! No more job searching/thinking – this is just a phase. Rockstar Finance is going to hit a million views soon so keep going strong! (Rockstar Finance is NOT going to hit a million views soon, fyi, but I guess I was still halfway dreaming ;))
I then think about all the other jobs I’ve taken “just for the money:”
- Selling ringtones when that was all the rage. To kids who probably shouldn’t even have them
- Selling timeshares of camp sites. To people who probably shouldn’t be buying those either
- Cleaning up smashed cars that will only be sold in auction soon and then tore up into more parts (that was actually a fun job though – blaring music and getting wet under the hot summer sun!)
- Washing dishes at a restaurant – another fun job for the same reasons as above, but obviously still for the money.
All jobs I was more than happy to have at the time – and none ever beneath me (taking a note from Ashton Kutcher there) – but still all very much just for the money. I could care less outside of that.
I think the reality of our world is that sometimes we have to do $hit we don’t want to do, and other times we’re fortunate to land something we DO. And in between we have to work as hard as we can regardless of the jobs we hold so we can use all that money to better propel our goals and our lives in the future. Sometimes it’ll be more, and other times less, but as long as we’re constantly *bringing it in* life will generally be okay. Many others have it way worse than us in actuality, and sometimes it’s good to take a step back and understand that.
Blonde and Balanced had a great post about this a while back on how a job is just a job to her. Nothing more, nothing less. She gets her money, and then goes about enjoying her life outside of those 9-5 hours. And I’m beginning to understand that more as time goes by as well. Sure, right now I’m thrilled about doing my thing online, but there’s nothing saying I won’t be doing something purely sucky down the road for whatever reason. And blogging for a living ain’t all peaches and cream either, btw – there’s a lot more to it than people usually think ;)
So I guess that’s the point of all this today. If you’re lucky enough to be working on something you’re passionate about – Congrats! That’s awesome! And if you’re on the other end shoveling $hit to bring home that bacon, that’s *fine* too. You’ll probably move to greener grasses in the future if you keep hustling hard, but either way you’re BRINGING HOME MONEY which you need to survive and accomplish your goals. At the end of the day that’s a pretty important fact.
We’ll see how much longer my streak of not working a “real” job continues on for (it’ll be three years come December!), but regardless I’m incredibly thankful for what I have going on *right here and now.* If I have to take another crap job in Pittsburgh one day, so be it ;)
How many of you are doing our dream job right now? And how many of you care?
PS: I have nothing against Pittsburgh btw, except for maybe the Steelers ;) The one and only time I’ve driven through it I was amazed at how cool it all looked! Bridges and waters and hills – reminded me kinda of Seattle. There’s also some pretty cool people there too, so I definitely have to visit one day.
[Photo cred: Hannaford]
Jay loves talking about money, collecting coins, blasting hip-hop, and hanging out with his three beautiful boys. You can check out all of his online projects at jmoney.biz. Thanks for reading the blog!