Do what you love and the money will follow?” 

I don’t even know where to start.  This phrase morphed as if it were a part of the game where one person gives a specific message to another and by the time it is repeated to a few people, the message has completely changed. The phrase is: Do what you love and you’ll never work a day in your life.” Philosophically, the money will follow and you’ll never work a day in your life are two different concepts. I wonder how many people have used “the money will follow” to push themselves into a career choice to only find themselves struggling and waiting with the expectation that eventually the money will follow.

I attended a conference this week with people from around the world. The introductions during one of the breakout sessions were amazing. There was a competitive body builder, a deejay,  musicians, painters, photographers, ultra marathoners and on and on. You could feel the enthusiasm and passion as they described this “other thing” they did in addition to their technology driven day jobs. During the week, I spoke with many of them and there was a common theme.  These “other things,” these hobbies, provide a balance, sanity and fresh perspectives for day jobs. Did anyone mention abandoning the day job? No. The unspoken reality is money. Some had done these “other things” as a primary source of income earlier,  others were family focused at this time in their lives, and in general, we’re a fortunate lot, our day jobs are really interesting.

Ultimately, it’s about choice. There is fiscal responsibility and doing what we love. For each of us, that balance is different and shifts over time. What works for one may not work for another. However, if you can find yourself smiling at times during the day, maybe, just maybe you’ve found that balance. You’re doing some things you love and happiness follows, and that’s what matters most.