“If You Like Sex, Don’t Be A Hooker”: Don’t Turn Your Passion Into Work

Motivational speaker and author, Barbara Sher, uttered this memorable line at one of her seminars in 2010.  If you love something, she said, don’t feel you have to make it into a career in order to legitimize it.  It doesn’t need to make you money in order for it to be a true passion.  The secret to finding this balance, she says, is to find work that’s “good enough”, that won’t sap your energy and allows you to pursue your bliss at least part of the time.

Cal Newport agrees that turning your passion into work isn’t a good idea. Allison Jones of Idealist Careers cites his 99U Vimeo talk in her article. Jones stresses the need for developing marketable skills that center around your area of interest. Newton argues that it’s the development of those skill that can ignite passion, and not the other way around. Newport asks a crucial question: What skills are you willing to work hard to develop?

I was once asked a very pointed question: if you had to play music you hated with people you didn’t care for, would music still be a passion, or would it become work?    Excellent point. In the fullness of time, everything becomes a “job.” But is that a bad thing? Maybe it isn’t, if you’re willing to take the rough with the smooth. This was discussed in a recent post by fellow blogger Cristian Mahai.

I could go on about this, but I’d rather hear from readers out there. Have you tried to make your passion into a profession? If so, what were the results? Do you agree with Cal Newton and Barbara Sher?  Please feel free to post below.