August 6th, 2008
After offering words of encouragement to so many yesterday about the idea of doing what you are passionate about, I received the following diatribe. My comments will follow:
You are right: it is absolutely preferable to do what you love as opposed to be stuck doing something
you don’t, for whatever reasons.
However, reality for many many people means that leaving a job is not an option. The truth is, it takes money to make money, and support also…..at least emotional. Especially emotional if you’re going to play Russian roulette with your finances and perhaps
your family’s well-being.
Not everyone has a business background, or idea, or skills that are marketable in a free-lance market. Not everyone can just start a business or come up with a product idea to sell to the world.
So it’s just a bit condescending to make it sound so simple…….because there are many, many things that go into making a life that will support striking out on one’s own and taking the kinds of risks you talk about.
Some of them are very real obstacles to that kind of a work life, and it is not very compassionate I feel to present it like it’s a “no-brainer”, as if people working haven’t come up with that thought themselves.
Also, some things don’t make money, or acquiring the skills needed is not a possibility. I don’t think it’s so simple, or everyone would be doing it.
Thanks for your enthusiasm, but it would be nice to hear you acknowledge that not everyone is a twenty-something without responsabilities and commitments.
MJF: Hello L. Thanks for your email. I have a couple questions. What are YOU so afraid of. Are you afraid of doing what you love and are passionate about – and not succeeding. Or are you merely concerned about everyone else getting hurt.
You say I lack compassion and that I’m condescending. You are right. I lack compassion for those who don’t believe in themselves, for those who make excuses, for those who refuse to see that anything you want to do in life can be studied, learned and applied – if you want it badly enough.
I make everything appear so simple because it IS once you eliminate all the limiting ideas and concepts that are holding you back. The toughest thing is not lack of money or lack of skills or lack of emotional support. The toughest thing will always be the battle you have within your own mind.
The world is filled with example after example of people who started with nothing but an idea and a dream – yet they found a way to succeed.
I did not begin with a big bag of dough. In fact, I was beyond broke.
In addition to that I lacked the know-how and skills necessary to do the things I loved. But guess what. I got the know-how and the skills. I studied. I cracked books. I learned.
And I made many mistakes.
Yet, at no time did I ever feel, nor did my wife feel, that I was playing Russian Roulette. Funny how you equate doing what you love with death.
I have mentored and coached a lot of people. Only once did I advise someone to quit his job. And the only reason he was advised to do so was because he was financially in a good position to begin with.
13 months ago a man who was making 95K per year, with a wife and three children, asked me if he should quit his job and go free lance. In response I said, “Which idea gives you more energy, staying with what you’re doing or breaking off on your own.”
That was all I said. He decided to quit his job – and after talking to him a few minutes ago, and reading what you wrote, I asked him, “Are you better off today than you were 13 months ago.”
“No doubt about it,” he said. “I wouldn’t go back to my old job no matter how much they paid me. It has NOT been easy, but it has been well worth it. I have a freedom I have never experienced before.”
Yes, there are skills needed. I’ve never said you didn’t need any.
Yes, it takes time to learn and adjust to a new way of thinking – but it can be done.
Yes, some ideas don’t make money. So what. Move to the next one that does.
And NO, I have not advised anyone in my emails to just quit your job. Many of my students still have
their regular job and earn a lot of extra on the side. Others are making a gradual transition OUT of their current job – as their income rises in the new career.
As for being condescending – I am guilty of looking AT others and seeing the good in them; in seeing the forest and the tree; of comparing where they are to where I used to be and where many of my
other students used to be.
In no way have I ever said you should shirk your responsibilities as a parent; nor have I ever said
that you’ll live a mistake-free life if you follow what I teach.
Perhaps you are the one who is looking down on others, telling them ‘you can’t’ while I’m looking
at all those who CAN.
I guess my viewpoint is sort of like Tough Love – or a bit like Ruthless Compassion. Yet, it is based
on taking a lot of people who were once scared of stepping forward into a new world – but did so
anyway, and NOW they are all the better for doing so. And so is the world.
Wish you well,
P.S. Read more on what it takes to succeed in my new book, 101 Ways to Magnetize Money.
P.P.S. If you are a CAN DO person who is ready to rise above fear and self-doubt, then consider going to my 4-Hour Work day Seminar – wherein I teach with with Ruthless Compassion and Passion – wherein you learn what it really takes to become a successful human being in today’s world.