Can you make money pursuing your passion? I’ve heard all the objections. In fact, I’ve used quite a few of them myself in my time:
“I’m not a pro, I can’t charge for this!”
“I love doing it. I don’t need to make lots of money.”
“Charging for it degrades my work.”
“Who would pay this much?”
Why do we resist earning money with our passion(s) so much? It’s almost like we prefer to stay in dead-end jobs and meaningless drudgery – well, I know not all of us live that kind of life, but look around yourself and you’ll see how many still do.
I believe it’s because we have been so brainwashed into thinking that paid work has to be something we dislike, or at least something we wouldn’t do voluntarily. We’ve come to believe it’s somehow unethical to charge for something we love doing.
I call BS. Doing what lights you up is the reason why you were put on this planet. You are here to radiate joy and love, not to suffer in misery. It follows that it must also be possible to live off whatever you earn with your passion.
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Why not just give your work away?
The marvellous Leonie Dawson once wrote an article in which she told a story of one of her mentors, who taught her about charging for her artwork. The rationale was that there is a balance of energy which needs to be preserved. You create your crafts or art, and provide your services, by using all your heart and love and energy on it. Therefore, when you give it away, there needs to be an equal amount of energy flowing back to you: energy in the shape of money.
Next time you think you should give your stuff away because you had fun creating it, remind yourself of the balance of energy. Life just doesn’t work with energy flowing in one direction only. There needs to be an exchange, giving and receiving, in order to preserve the natural balance.
Charge realistic prices
Think what a craftsman or a plumber charges per hour, and ask yourself whether your service, or your art or craft, is worth so much less? Your time is your most valuable commodity.
For example, when I determine the prices for my Coaching, I don’t just calculate the actual hours of the Coaching sessions with my client, but the many hours preparing and sending emails and materials, as well as the learning and further study I do in order to stay up to date in my field.
If you, for example, create jewellery, think of similar pieces sold in a commercial shop and what they cost. Now consider that those pieces are probably mass produced, whereas your work is likely unique and at the very least, handcrafted – this alone is worth a hefty premium! People expect to pay more for unique pieces, so don’t be afraid to ask for a sum which reflects this.
The nuts and bolts
If you are going to give it a go and try to make money with your passion, be sure to build a strong back end before you give up your daytime job. Most people have zero knowledge of business, and this goes especially for creative types.
A small online business isn’t rocket science, but you still need to learn about costs, turnover, and profit, about marketing and advertising, and how to budget. I highly recommend investing in yourself there; people often think they’ll save money, but in the end they waste so much more by trial and error.
Finally, why do I think this is important? Because it’s my deepest belief that you are on this planet to shine, that you are meant to be joyful and live in bliss. It’s your purpose as a human being. You weren’t born to pay bills or buy a suitably upper-class house or car. You weren’t born to reach life’s “milestones” like marriage, kids, job promotion, and retirement like clockwork if that’s not what lights you up.
I’ll say it again: You were meant to shine. To shine, you need to do what lights you up. By the natural order of the universe, doing this will provide you with all you need to live. The only caveat is that you need to learn how to do this – by charging enough money and learning how to run a business – because we aren’t taught these things in our schools.
Do the work and claim your joy!