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January 13, 2020

The fallacy behind "do what you love, the money will follow"


It's exactly the same error in reasoning that leads to people anointing stock pickers who made the right call as great investors, when in fact anytime you lump enough people together, someone will get lucky and be right.

Lots of people — I'd dare to say millions — do what they love, but little in the way of money follows.

Instead, for the great majority there's frustration, anger, and penury, with love ultimately abandoned in favor of something that guarantees a regular paycheck.

A few people do get lucky.

Most of those just smile at their lucky fortune, like individuals who find they've got a winning lottery ticket.

But every single one of those who got lucky were indistinguishable at the get-go from far more exactly like them who crashed and burned.

For every successful artist, actor, or musician, there are a thousand equally talented but unlucky ones.

Save your money.

January 13, 2020 at 12:01 PM | Permalink


Better advice, find a job that you like doing that other people do not. Because the less people willing to do a job, and the less people are willing to do that job with pleasure, the more you'll make doing something that you like doing.

Posted by: Rocketboy | Jan 14, 2020 12:48:28 AM

Should have said "First, do no harm" as one of my favorite sa's has in his signature "Primum non nocere".

Posted by: Greg | Jan 13, 2020 9:33:06 PM

When I was in my junior year of college with most of a biology degree completed, I decided I didn't have the grades for med school nor did I want to do research. After swearing off computers in my freshman year, I embraced it. 40 years later, I'm a database administrator working on things that were only theoretical at the time.

The first system I used professionally in 82 was room sized and had 4k of memory, yet could run time sharing and light pen terminals, it ran an entire hospital!

I didn't want to be in a profession that had to work evenings and weekends and for the most part I did, until I stopped being a consultant. Now I'm on call half the year. Good doctors, DBAs and systems administrators go by the same mantra, "Do no harm".

As it relates to your post, I find the job very challenging. The money did follow, but you have to stick your neck out and change jobs when you are undervalued. It really helps to pick a winner, which I did with Oracle.

Posted by: Greg | Jan 13, 2020 9:26:21 PM

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