Getting Paid to Do What You Love? It’s Not Just for Superstars

It's not only the rich and famous that get to do work they love. You don't have to be a superstar to get paid for the things you enjoy doing.“Do what you love and the money will follow.”

How many times have you heard advice like that? Do you think it’s true?

People have a tendency to hear that saying and think “But no one would ever pay me to do the things I love.”

What do you enjoy?

I suppose it depends in part on what you love to do, but I’d like to point out that there are people who get paid to: ski, wave at cars, juggle, talk, do Google searches, dance, eat pizza, sell, paint, write blog posts, take things apart (and put them back together again), knock down buildings, plant flowers, make breakfast, type, say hello, etc.

Those are just things I can think of off the top of my head — I’m sure there are some more unusual occupations out there too. So chances are someone will pay you to do the things you enjoy.

It’s a matter of figuring out what you enjoy doing, and how you could get paid for doing it. Usually that involves some trial and error, brainstorming, a bunch of hard work, and some sacrifices.

Give it some thought

For example, maybe you love to make and eat spaghetti — so much so that you make it every week and your son gets sick of it. You’d love to make your living doing that. But you bring home a steady paycheck from your job, and have a bunch of expenses.

So the doubts set in. You’re not sure if you can support your life on platefuls of spaghetti. Do people even like your spaghetti? No one has ever said it was particularly good. Most restaurants fail. Who knows what kind of permits would be involved? Where would you get the money? Also you hate spending more than 20 minutes at a time in the kitchen. Making a living from spaghetti is a dumb idea. No one would ever pay you to do that.

Well, stop! Stop with the doubts and reasons why not, and start with the possibilities and the reasons why. I guarantee you there are people out there making a living from spaghetti. You could be one too if that’s what your passion is.

Push aside the doubts

If you really really love to do something, so much so that you are doing it right now even though you aren’t yet getting paid, you can make it pay somehow.

Back to spaghetti. Maybe you could show beginners how to boil water and make spaghetti, becoming a YouTube star who gets your own TV show. Maybe you could take folks on Italian restaurant tours. Maybe you could write the definitive book on growing spaghetti trees and harvesting meatballs. No idea is too silly to consider.

Entertain all ideas

Usually, there are many more possibilities than most people consider. Oftentimes people dismiss the idea that they could do things that they love, simply because they don’t think they could paid to do (or wouldn’t want to do) the very first thing that pops into their head in relation to that.

For example, if you love to ski but know you could never be an Olympic skier, you might just relegate skiing to the occasional weekend. But you might be perfectly qualified to be a ski coach, or to write a web site about the best ski resorts (while visiting each of them), etc.

When you are willing to entertain all ideas, and then work hard and consistently at implementing the most likely ones, you will find a gem.

So do what you love and the money will follow. (Work will follow too, but that’s part of the fun.)