Follow your Dreams but Know the Cost

There is a price to pay for everything in life. Success has a price tag. Living paycheque to pay cheque is taxing. Creativity has a cost. Overall your dreams come at a price.

What price are you willing to pay to follow your creative dreams? What price are you willing to pay to not follow your dreams?

These questions have been mulling around in my mind over the past few months since the company I work for is re-locating to another city. This means that I will be made redundant from a job that I don’t even love. If I choose to move with the company, I will be up-rooting my life and giving up a relationship for a job that I don’t even love.

 

The below quote sums up my current situation:

My father could have been a great comedian but he didn’t believe that that was possible for him, and so he made a conservative choice.

Instead, he got a safe job as an accountant and when I was 12 years old he was let go from that safe job, and our family had to do whatever we could to survive.

I leaned many great lessons from my father, not the least of which, was that you can fail at what you don’t want so you might as well take a chance on doing what you love – Jim Carrey

It’s easy to lose sight of your dreams and passion when you’re thinking of how to pay the bills or trying to build an emergency fund in the event you lose your job. It’s easy to put aside your passion for a pay cheque at the end of the month for spreadsheet services rendered. It’s easy to put dreams aside out of convenience.

When we look at the big picture, we must determine if we are willing to pay the price to follow our desires. Does you passion have the potential to pay the bills or afford you the life you want? Or is your passion better as a hobby that is paid for by a 9-5 job?

Letting the universe know what you want and working towards it without worrying about how it comes to pass. Your job is not to figure out how it will happen for you but to open the door. It doesn’t matter if you miss a cue because another door will open.

Take a chance on faith. Not hope. Hope is the beggar of faith. Hope walks through the fire and faith leaps over it – Jim Carrey

I’ve found myself avoiding catchups as I know friends will ask why I’m not sewing or pursuing my passion anymore. I even take longer to reply to messages out of embarrassment for not living up to my own and others expectations. This redundancy is really a blessing in disguise to start to listen to my inner voice and let it tell me what I can become if I choose to follow it.

My world view is limited to my own experience therefore my fear is based on my exposure to only failed or poor designers and not open to what the world can teach me and the success of other designers. It’s time to stop thinking about what other designers have not being able to achieve in Sydney and focus on working towards a goal and not worrying about where I end up. Time to listen to that inner voice.

 

I’ve come to realise that I can pursue a career AND passion at the same time. The startup industry (which I started my career in) glorifies quitting corporate jobs and leading a bohemian lifestyle, working for free and depending on other’s money to fund their ideas.

It may work for some but I’ve realised it doesn’t work for me. I still need to pay the bills and put food on the table. I can’t afford to work for free – my business needs to be a business with recurring revenue not donations. Everyone tells you to follow your passion, but no one tells you that money is a measure of value created for another person.

Pursuing a dream that makes money means being flexible and open minded to how it serves other’s needs. This may mean compromising on what how it is executed; a business that fills my creative needs but also commercial enough that there is a market demand. In other words, pursuing a business in design needs to remove my ego from it and replace it with a business focus on what others want.

 

In a world that requires us to earn money to survive, a way to build a life’s work is by offering your skills and talents to earn money doing what you love-that is, to create a business outside of the traditional corporate environment which fills a market need and make that your vocation.

 

xx Miss Piggy

 

 

Cover Illustration by Kelly Smith

 

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4 Comments Add yours

  1. Miss Piggy says:

    Thanks youmeanme. I did exactly the same thing – I had a static idea of what my business should be and look like and then became stuck because I had no idea where the demand would come from. Eventually it fizzled out because I was inflexible with the execution. I would like to think that our creative outlets still are achievable and financially viable however I think it’s more realistic to be open minded to over creative avenues. If you’re happy and find success in other ways that’s all that matters in the end.

    I plan to blog about all my progress so will keep you posted 🙂

  2. youmeanme says:

    I love the quotes!
    I’m with you, I realized early on I needed security. I found that following my creative dreams the way I had planned just didn’t work for me. So I gave them up, sort of.

    I’m sure past me would be a bit dissapointed but I’m happy. I have reimagined my creative outlets. I have been able to successfully feed my soul and my physical self.

    I have other friends who have balanced better than I and didn’t give up one or the other. Instead they compromised in other areas to have their own businesses.

    Best of luck with your decision.

  3. Miss Piggy says:

    Hi turnipsforbreakfast! Thanks for the comment! I agree and it’s a dilemma which I still have. Will the passion still be there if it doesn’t work out? Will I still enjoy the creativity of it doesn’t pay or will I be resentful or regretful? For me I’ve realised that I can’t be ‘all in’ I.e quit my job and throw myself in on a whim. I need that 9-5 as my financial backup or plan B. What do you think from your experience? Do you feel you made the right choice?

  4. Having made that switch – give up on money (mostly) for the sake of dreams, I’m being faced with all sorts of interesting dilemmas. Are some dreams better staying as dreams? If Jim Carrey’s dad had gone for the comedian thing, maybe he would’ve discovered he couldn’t cut it after all, and then what? The main thing is to leave a way out, wherever you go in life.

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