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Do What You Love and the Money Will Follow

Everyone has heard the “Do what you love and the money will follow” quote, but if it is true, then why do so many people clearly do what they don’t love?

More importantly, is there any truth to “Do what you love and the money will follow?”

There are many examples I can think of where doing what you love won’t necessarily be followed by money, but when you consider the motive behind this phrase, it might be truer than you think. I believe most people live by a different philosophy: “Do what you money and the love will follow.

Does Pursuing Money Make You Happy

A good way to better understand this quote is to look at similar concept. The motive behind “Do what you love and the money will follow” is to eventually attain money, but enjoying the process of it. Can money buy happiness?

Lately, my wife and I have been watching the Andy Griffith show on Netflix, here’s my tweet about it:

While learning more about the show, I found out Don Knotts admitted he “deeply regretted”  leaving the Andy Griffith Show to pursue a career in film.

This was a financially motivated decision which made sense perfectly on paper and to any financial planner. The problem is accounting does a poor job when trying to balance money and the value of life experiences.

This didn’t just happen in the 1960s either, there are plenty of examples in the news everyday of people regretting financially motivated decisions. What about a less extreme example?

Does Earning a Living Make You Happy?

A less extreme example is working an ordinary job to earn enough money to potentially do things you love. I would say this is the road the majority take. The last time I polled people on an elevator on a Monday, they were all wishing it were Friday. That doesn’t sound like a winner either.

There are the lucky few I sometimes meet who are overjoyed with the work they do, but most people are just “happy to have a job.” While I can certainly agree having a job right now is positive, that sentiment doesn’t exude “happiness” and it barely shows contentment.

According to a Princeton University study, people experienced increased happiness with more income up to $75,000 per year. After that, there were no additional gains in happiness.

The Money Won’t Follow, But Who Cares?

Assuming you can make enough to pay for your physical needs, then doing what you love is no longer an end of life goal, but something you do everyday. At that point, the importance of money following isn’t as important as it once was. After all, money is just a tool to live. Most people try to stock up on lots of it to eventually do what they love.

“Do what you love and the money will follow” is just the inverse of the philosophy most people live by today: “Do what you money and the love will follow.” Plenty of families have fallen apart due to a drive to make more money. The people doing it had the absolute best intentions. They wanted to provide security, stability and lavish gifts, but ended up regretting how things were prioritized.

Don Knotts deeply regretted his decision to work on movies rather than on a television show with his best friend.  The decision made financial sense at the time, but cost him much more later in lost experiences. Unfortunately for him, all the money in the world couldn’t buy back the experiences he missed out on doing the show with his friend.

This is why I’m such a huge proponent for entrepreneurship, I believe entrepreneurship is the embodiment of someone boldly doing what they love. Do what you love and the money may not necessarily follow, but it will matter less anyways.

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