Seriously, I cant remember the number of times I have been told, Ann, follow your passion. Do what you love and money will eventually come We hear many motivational speakers telling us, When you do what you love, you will never feel like you are working but then, how realistic are all these?
When I was still in law school, a friend once asked me if I would practice law at the end of my service year, maybe work in a law firm and my answer was, I really want to be a filmmaker and so Id rather work in a production company or be a freelance filmmaker because filmmaking cant just be treated as a part time stuff. I want to give it my all.
He laughed and replied, Ann, I swear, you will end up being one broke ass girl. Dont let your law degree be a waste, get a job and let filmmaking be your side gig until you are financially buoyant enough to do it full time.
“But, I wouldnt be happy working in a law firm; boredom would kill me there, you know that already.. I grumbled.
“Oh, well, but at least it would help you pay your bills, he replied and one year later I am seriously considering his advice because the sad truth is, making cool cash while following ones passion and dreams can be damn tough and frustrating. That is the sole reason why we have so many Starving artists around.
There are people out there with incredible talents badass writers, filmmakers, amazing singers, talented actors and actresses who are following their dreams wholeheartedly yet are struggling to survive each day because getting constant jobs not just takes talent but a whole lot of luck and persistence.
On the long run, reality knocks us off our feet and we discover that sometimes talent isnt enough to make a living doing what we love. So we find ourselves taking meaningless jobs just so we can eat and pay the bills.
But does that mean we should give up on our dreams?
Take up the 9-5 job that will help you pay your bills but make your passion your side gig something you do by the side.
Thats exactly what I do during the weekdays, I am a lawyer and some weekends, I am a filmmaker; its either I am on the lookout for film festivals to attend or I am shooting a short film with my crew or I am on a friends movie set learning. If I am not doing any of these, I am on YouTube watching videos on how to be a better filmmaker.
I always tell my friends, Each day, make sure you do something that brings you closer to your dreams. Sharpen your talent as often as you can because the truth is, no matter how passionate we are about something, we have to be really good at it to make a living out of it. It takes training and experience. Aside that, we are competing against thousands of people who are also in our chosen field. So, each day, strive to be better at what you love doing.
And dont allow fear of failure hold you down from following your passion. My best friend is a badass writer. There is something about her writings that I love the way she describes her characters. So, whenever I read any of her works and advice her to submit it for a competition, she was always like, What if I dont win?
And I would be like, So? If you dont win the competition, will you die? Submit it joor, if they pick you, fine. If not, then keep working to get better. Simple!
There are thousands of people out there who had rough starts following their passions but time and perseverance got them exactly where they wanted and theyve lived to tell their tales of success.
For those of us who have tried and failed many times, the philosophy that we can do what we love and the money will come sounds like bullshit to us. But does that mean we should give up on our dreams?
The truth is that we all have unique gifts and life is too short not to do those things that feed our soul. To all dreamers out there pursing their passions, I wish you the very best. And if you are yet to take a step, its never too late to pursue your dreams. I want you to start down after reading this. Start with what you have; where you are and what you can afford. I dont know about you but my passions make me excited about life.
You can make it. The money may not come now but certainly it will. We will all blow las las. One day, our baby steps will pay off.