I was a victim of this common life advice more than once. But after years of trial and error I noticed a pattern. This advice was completely mistaken and would NEVER lead me to success.
Do what you love and money will come to you!
There are a few variations of this common life advice like “Follow your passion!” or “Love what you do!”. You have probably heard them as well.
The reason why this advice will NEVER make you rich is easy: Nobody cares about your hopes and dreams. People only care about themselves.
When you pick up bread and cake at the bakery, do you actually care if the person selling cake to you loves what they do? I certainly don´t. I care about whether or not the cake tastes great. If the baker hated their job I wouldn´t care. And you would not care, too.
You will only get money if you can deliver value to the customer. If you can do that with your passion – great! Money is coming to you!
But more often than not your passion is useless to other people. You love to draw stick figures, so what? That´s not going to provide value to someone. Money will NOT follow.
Passion buys nothing.
Following your passions is not a good business advice because it puts yourself first, not the customer´s needs. And the customer is the one who pays you. To actually earn a fortune your thinking has to move from self-centered to market-centered.
There is also the reality that your passions will change over time. Sometimes it only takes a few months or weeks to lose interest in a passion you have had for years. And now you are stuck with a job that doesn´t pay your bills and that does not excite you anymore. Your passion becomes a burden.
And the worst thing about this horrible life advice is that even billionaires and other highly successful people are giving it frequently! Steve Jobs has talked about it in public!
But why are people still giving this advice?
Because it sells! Believing in “Follow your passion and money will fall out of the sky and you will never have to worry again while enjoying every single day in your life!” sells books, it sells seminars and online courses.
Everybody wants a quick fix to riches and happiness. So people buy, buy, buy all the false promises and hope that by becoming just another personal trainer they will be wealthy. They followed common advice so they deserve money, right?
Wrong. As long as you don´t provide value, you don´t deserve money. Simple as that.
But what happens to you once you provide something that makes you a ton of money? You start to LOVE it! If I created something that could make a billion people happy I would definitely love it! Even if I found the idea repulsive at first.
Passion and motivation will come to you once you get positive feedback. Not the other way round.
A quick anecdote to think about: Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, the author of the famous Sherlock Holmes novels, HATED writing the novels. But they brought him good money so he continued to write and publish them. The novels made his name immortal.