Not everyone's passion leads directly to profit. You may be passionate about painting, horses or newspaper journalism, but it can be difficult to make a living in these fields. (I know a bit about that last one.) "Do what you love, and the money will follow" can be misleading advice. Sometimes, you do what you love, and tumbleweeds roll through your bank account.
Does that mean you should scrap your passion altogether and settle for a life of punching the clock for a job you hate? Absolutely not! You just need to get a little creative. Here's how:
Don't Get Tunnel Vision
The trouble with "following your passion" is it's a very narrow way to look at your career options. If you rule out everything except for your singular passion, things will look pretty bleak it that passion doesn't pan out. But we humans are a lot more complex than that, and our career choices are, too.
Sure, you may be head-over-heels in love with painting. But is painting the only thing that brings you joy? Chances are you have other interests, and once you start thinking about them, new paths can open up to you.
Maybe you also enjoy being around people and making a difference -- could you become an art therapy director for a hospital or medical center? Maybe you love children -- could you become an art teacher or work as an arts and crafts coordinator for a day camp? Or maybe you have interests that are unrelated to your main passion. You might adore animals and realize you can take a job working for a doggie day care while pursuing your painting in your off-hours.
Consider all your interests, and you'll find you've got a lot more options than you originally thought.
Look for Related Fields
Take a look at the underlying qualities of your passion and consider more in-demand fields that share those same qualities. If you haven't been able to make a way for yourself in newspaper journalism, your writing skills could be put to use online in a field like copy writing or blogging. These are rapidly growing areas with a ton of potential for growth.
Or maybe what excites you about journalism is the ability to talk to people and dig deep to uncover a story. These interests could translate to everything from running a podcast to helping people identify their hidden desires as a business coach. Think outside the box you've placed yourself in and look for other ways you can apply the skills and interests that make you love your passion.
Let Your Passion Find You
Passion doesn't always precede action. Sometimes, you don't follow your muse straight into a career path -- you follow a career path, and it winds up leading you to your muse.
Paula Pant ditched her 9-to-5 job in 2008. She's traveled to 30 countries, owns six rental units and runs a business from her laptop. Her blog, Afford Anything, is a gathering spot for rebels who refuse to say, "I can't afford it." Visit Afford Anything to learn how to shatter limits, build wealth and live life on your own terms.