Pursuing Your Passions vs. Creating Value

Simple living for me means working a 9 to 5 as little as possible. I don’t need a big house, a brand new car, or the biggest TV on the block (I don’t actually own a TV). I’m like so many others who have started this path and read the inspiring blogs and thought about “pursuing your passions”. But what does that mean for me?

I think pursuing your passions is a noble idea and I want everyone to do it in some form, if it’s at all possible. It just seems like so many people take that to mean “become an artist“. Now, I love that idea, but I am a practical man, Midwesterner that I am, and I can’t see anyone paying me for my doodles anytime soon (if you can, more power to you).

I think “pursuing passions” for me means “what can I do that provides value for others?” That’s the real question you should be asking. Not, “what would someone pay me for?” Providing value for someone by being myself is more rewarding than most anything else. Reading some of the kind comments on the blog and knowing there are others on the same path and that may find the ideas I’ve written about here valuable as a force for change in their lives keeps me going. So thanks for reading!

But I haven’t found a way out of the 9 to 5 cycle. Sometimes it seems like it’s just impossible. I’ve played with various web projects, but none were paying and I’ve made far less money on the internet than the internet has made from me. But the internet is the most powerful tool modern society has ever created and can also be part of the transition to living life outside the 9 to 5 and being location independent.

Reading blogs like smartpassiveincome.com (great ideas) has got me thinking about projects I’ve always wanted to do. I’m no WordPress guru and I don’t have “web developer” on my business cards, mostly because I don’t have any business cards, but I know a thing or two about blogs. I’m not getting JamesAltucher.com (personal hero) traffic or anything, but I’m improving. I know I have a book in me and that’s something I will have to put more work into.

I’m lucky enough to be in a relationship with an amazing, supportive, creative woman who corners the market in her own niche online (romance comics). We take turns inspiring each other when the energy starts to ebb and the grind of cubicle life starts to eat away at our confidence and aspirations. Being around those who understand and support your ideas which don’t conform to “normal life” is key.

I hope you have at least one person in your life who you can talk to about your crazy idea to not live in a giant house and work from home or on-the-road or online and for yourself and not somebody else who is in charge of you because they got their first. And if you think you don’t know anybody like that in your life, you’re on this blog, so you know me.

Tell me about your ideas and plans to just live simple for once, to get out of the rat race, to stop living up to the expectations of people you can never live up to. You can do this.

2 Responses to “Pursuing Your Passions vs. Creating Value

  • This is great Jim! I was just at a writing workshop here in the Ozarks where we discussed this very thing. What does it mean to be a writer? Do you have to be published? If so, why? And many of the folks in the room felt that simply by writing they were pursuing their passion. Their writing didn't have to create income, they were happy with it being read by family and friends. But for me, I need the life of a writer. I think this sounds a bit selfish to some people, but I need to have that flexibility. One way we aim to do that is by living debt free. The 9 to 5 thing has also prevented me from traveling to visit people who are important to me (like you two!) and I didn't realize that until I was unemployed for a year. This road is the one less traveled and the path you take is different from the one I will take, which is different from Randi's. In order to pursue this path, we have to be brave enough on a daily basis to believe we can do it, that we aren't crazy. In the beginning of my journey I just had Justin who believed we could do it. At this point I am lucky enough to also have friends and family who believe we can do it too! The more you write this blog, the more we all see that we are not alone!!!

  • Yes. You should write a book. I love your writing style and will definitely buy it when you do.

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