Every so often I’ll receive a request to take “party photographs.” You know – Tupac/Rolls Royce/Mansion air brushed background type photos. I’ll very politely decline the offer. I don’t decline because I’m booked or because I think I’m “too good” for that type of photography. Trust me; I know several photographers who make 2 or 3 thousand shooting events like that. I turn those gigs down because I’m not passionate about that form of photography and I look at it as more of a “hustle” than an “art form.”
Over the years I’ve been offered and have turned down a wide assortment of “hustle opportunities.” There was one dude who wanted me to be a bail bondsman. There were offers to sell bogus healthcare supplements, coupon books, pharmaceuticals, weed, etc….
But I learned when I was 23 – I wasn’t really a hustler- I just knew how to hustle the things I’m passionate about. This made my short “career” working at Enterprise-Rent-A-Care a little rough. It was a very high stress, high octane sales environment. A real “sink or swim” type of place where you had to grind every day. But to me – it was just a job! Lol, either way; a year and a half was all I could take. My passion was too wrapped around writing and photography to try and share it with rental cars! Lol
When I used to host/throw Spoken Word Poetry Shows – the goal was never to see big profits; but just to throw the dopest show possible! Sometimes this meant taking a loss and other times it meant breaking even. Even now, I’m a much better photographer than businessman. Even though I understand that the business side it just as important – I’m wayyyyyy more passionate about being behind the lens of a camera and communicating with my client and going over marketing budgets and sending payment request.
Point here is that following your passion may not make you rich. You may have to get a job to finance your passion. There may be money in your passion; but it may take years to get to it. Your passion may not be able to support the life you want to live. It’s about doing what makes you happy, doing what fulfills you the most, and learning what you can live without. I have 4 children and a wife – I “have” to make money. My passion has to make my money. This is part of the reason why I had to focus more on photography than writing (but that’s for another blog post).
But one thing I can’t do – and that’s pick up a random “hustle” and try to turn it into a passion. I’m sure if I tried to open a cleaners it would fail because I could care less about “opening a cleaners.” I know a guy that makes a killing shining shoes. He loves it, doesn’t take days off, and relishes ever opportunity he gets to make the leather look new again on a pair of Florsheims or Kenneth Cole’s. Sounds weird but that’s his passion.
Your job is to find yours and don’t worry about if it makes money or not.
Love your life.