When I tell others I’ve gone part-time to pursue my passions, I get one of two responses. Either I hear something along the lines of “Wow, that’s wonderful! The only way to succeed with something like this is to jump in.” Or I hear “You’re kidding, right? That’s crazy. I mean, all the best for you, but seriously, have you thought this out?”
No, I’m not kidding, but I have thought this out. In fact, it has been something my family and I have been considering for years. We kept hoping it would just work itself out, that maybe we’d be handed a golden ticket that provided for us. Maybe we could find a way to make money and follow our passions. We’ve learned however that there is no magic key. Money and passions do not come together, at least not initially. And so, we made the insane choice: we gave up financial security for the unknown.
Over the years, when I brought up this idea with others, one line I heard multiple times was “I wish I could do that. I wish I could quit my job and do what actually interests me, but I’ve got to do this and do that.” Sure, we all have responsibilities we have to care for. The question is, what is necessary? Many of the people I’ve talked with are burdened with bills for new cars, electronics, and a constant stream of entertainment. If that is your passion, those things are fine; but what I most often observed were people using these as a medication of sorts, masking their depression because they’re not doing what they want to do. I can understand that. When I’m down for whatever reason, I don’t write or do something else productive, I play computer games or watch old episodes of The Outer Limits. It’s natural, I think, to want to take your mind off what’s bothering you, but doing so constantly cannot be good for any one of us. Eventually, we have to choose what we love or risk losing it.
My family and I made the leap. We weren’t going anywhere anyway. Sure there was the steady paycheck, but at the rate I was going, I was always going to be making a below average wage. I don’t want to be below average. I wanted to be a writer. My wife wanted to pursue her interests in business. My kids wanted their parents. And so, we’ve made it happen. And so far, we’re not making any less than I was working full-time. No, we don’t have the security of knowing they’ll be enough money next month to pay all our utilities, but we’re secure in knowing that we are happier than we’ve been in years. It wouldn’t be called a leap of faith, after all, if there wasn’t an element of faith involved.
So my advice is find a way to do what you want. It may not come overnight. It may not look exactly how you want it to. But taking those necessary steps toward something that matters to you can make all the difference.