I was slapped in the face recently by a quote I heard from Mel Robbins . "Nothing sucks the passion out of a hobby faster than the pressure to make money at it."
That shook me. As far as hobbies go, I have really only ever had one into which I have poured any significant amount of passion…music. I began learning saxophone at 12 years old, and I quickly became obsessed with it. So much so that any extra time I had outside of school or family obligations began to become filled with learning and growing on the instrument. Years passed, and at some point as I eventually became overwhelmed with keeping up with both a full-time job as a supervisor at Starbucks and full time student finishing my Bachelors Degree I realized…"Hey, I bet I could make some money with this thing".
Eventually, the more money I made, the more I wanted to shift my attention toward the pursuit of a music career. I even had some success at times, but never enough to allow me to quit working full-time during the day. So, I worked harder. Eventually I was earning a respectable income performing 8-10 times a month, but then I realized…I wasn't happy. I had molded myself as a musician to conform to the demands of the market. I was playing music I didn't care to play in venues that I didn't much care to play in. I was making money as a musician, but my enthusiasm declined. I had been putting much pressure on myself to make money as a musician that I didn't have the same passion for it that I once did.
The realization was so perplexing that it almost made me question who I was, what my purpose was. I thought my purpose was to be a musician, but now I wasn't sure. The good news…What I didn't realize was that my pursuit of being a professional musician actually took me down a path that eventually resulted in my discovering what my true purpose is; leadership and coaching.
I was chasing being a musician, but through that pursuit as well as the various jobs I had along the way I was learning how to work hard, how to sell, how to market, how to be a part of and lead a teams, how to build successful businesses, relationships, and teams from the ground up. Ultimately, all of the experiences I had along the way resulted in my being successful in my current positions today. I had many jobs throughout those years, but I finally discovered what my career should be.
What's the takeaway? Have you been pursuing something so hard for so long that you find it difficult to care that much about it anymore? Maybe, just maybe…that is not your purpose. Rather, maybe it is the vehicle that was meant to teach and grow you so you would be better prepared for what your real purpose has been all along.
Don't get frustrated. Instead, step back and look at the whole picture and where the journey has taken you. You might be surprised at what you find.