Good is not great. And even if one is great at something doesn’t mean it has to be pursued as a career. Not every homemaker has a pie business. And even if one is really great at something doesn’t mean success is inevitable either. There is too much competition, too much noise; more often than not, someone else willing to work a little harder at it, and want it a little more, truth be told. This is now the real formula to success.
When I was younger and considering what it was I wanted to do with my life, I perceived every personal interest as an opportunity to make money. I was outsourcing a service. Because I was really good at giving massages, I went to school to learn the trade and worked in a salon or did chair massage at various corporate events and businesses. Soon tired of it, and segued into nutrition and weight training, thus I found myself going into people’s homes and teaching workout sessions, cleaning out and restocking pantries, helping people with their diets. This healthier eating became alternative baking. Seeing the enjoyment on people’s faces and tasting these delicious surprises, I started a dessert business. This really evolved on its own, initially by word of mouth and then through the website(s). And it was years into it when I realized I wasn’t really into it at all. I was just outsourcing another service. I never had a definitive plan for it, never pictured opening a bakery. It dawned on me, just because I was good at baking, it didn’t mean I needed to have a dessert business. I began to dread it. It’s been a few years since then and I rarely-to-never bake anymore. My taste buds lend towards salt and spice; I just don’t crave sweet.
But yesterday I tucked into a piece of chocolate cake out of the freezer and with some long forgotten almond milk ice cream. It was pretty perfect, I won’t lie. I tasted the value in it, I remembered why I made and sold things like this, how talented I am at hiding the health in the sweet treat. This gluten free, vegan cake iss concealing pureed beets and oat flour mainly. I couldn’t even tell. Sometimes i wonder if I’ll ever come back to it.
Now we are in an era way past the industrial revolution. Being a skilled laborer is not a requirement for success in the western world. Those factory jobs have long been mechanized and all of them outsourced to the robots fairly soon. The flip side of the coin is, those people whom are willing to hone in on the craftsmanship of one item are very much in demand. You can have a stationary business or a ‘made in the USA’ leather belts business. Any little thing, when done exceptionally well and personalized, despite the noise and mass commercialization of everything else, is absolutely bound to succeed. Now, because the old labor jobs have disappeared, more and more people are trying their hand at making extra money on these gifts and skills. This is Etsy, in a nutshell. And you don’t even need the money to give it a stab, you just have to prove you are willing to work hard enough to make it work. That’s why there is Kickstarter. People have entire businesses around writing book reviews or hotel reviews or following fashion trends. It’s pretty damn exciting that we are all abundant in options. Where one opportunity has been removed, the get up and go to a factory job, a limitless number of opportunities to make some income has replaced it.
But just because you may be good at something doesn’t mean you have to pursue it as a career. Yes it’s an option, or a side job, or a fun hobby…I think the business aspect of our passions diminishes a lot of the joy.
And with my music, creating songs: I think I want to be lost in the joy of it, free to engage in the dancing, share the singing, and express the lyrics. I can’t say that I have any desire to be on a road trip bus tour with my music ‘career’; not at all honestly. But I can’t just leave it be, I just don’t have a definitive plan either.