How to Make a Living Doing What You Love

Rick SteinThis week my clients have made the distinction between running a business and “just” making a living doing what you love. This is an important distinction. Not everyone is driven to create, set up and manage a real-world business. It can feel onerous as I know only too well having been there and done that several times.

I also know what the traps can be of creating a living doing what you love, but let’s not go there yet. Firstly, let’s just imagine that it is possible. And it is possible, yes. Easy, even.

I was inspired in this thinking by watching a programme on BBC2 this week called A Cook Abroad. Episode 5 features chef Rick Stein in Australia. The two best bits happened after he flew on to Tasmania and met a really top-notch Japanese sushi chef who only opens his restaurant twice a week for lunch and takes the remaining five days off to have a life also doing what he loves. He loves his work very much too. He has an integrated love life, as it were.

And the abalone fisherman who only takes his boat out fishing commercially for 100 days a year, such is the value of his catch.

Now if those two guys are not making a living doing what they love, they I don’t know anyone who is.

Let’s examine what they’ve got right.

If you only take your boat out, figuratively speaking, 100 days a year then you need to have a valuable highly-prized catch… or very low overheads and an inexpensive simple life, which you may have for all I know. Frankly, that in itself is highly desirable to me and I spend a good quantity of my time thinking about simplifying my life still further. As I teach in Rich Dad’s Cashflow 101 game, the lower your overheads the lower your target to get out of the rat race and into a life of freedom where you spend your time doing only what you love.

The sushi chef’s overheads were clearly low, but his margins on his delicious looking food must also be sufficient for him to pay his bills in just two days a week. Imagine! Time for us to stop being workaholics and working 40 hours a week because we can. Time to put our prices up, or work differently or reconfigure our overheads, so that we too can work less and have more of a life.

Do you have ideas around how to make a living doing just what you love? I’d love to hear how you plan to do that, or how you are doing that. I’m not about to run away to sea or dramatically improve my knife skills, but I think there are things we can all do to move further in that direction.

Some people just have this right naturally. The rest of us have to model examples such as these and adapt our way of making a living to better fit our desire to have a wonderful life too. Inspiration is everywhere I look right now. How fabulous is that?

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