At Millionaire Foundry we often challenge what we call common wisdom, which are sound bites of financial advice some often hear, accept, and then repeat as truth.
Common wisdom is not all bad and may be well-meaning, but its danger is that it can steer us in the wrong direction, often when it really counts. The results can be disastrous.
One piece of common wisdom career advice that deserves a major challenge is to always Follow Your Passion.
This advice has been repeated so often that its accepted as fact.
And like many pieces of common wisdom, it does contain some truth.
After all, it makes sense that combining work with what really professionally excites us has more potential for success than building our career around something we despise.
But this career advice can be painfully misleading because it misses the principle that we are only rewarded to the degree we leverage our skills to create value for others, and they in turn are willing to compensate us.
We explain the power of this important compensation-for-value principle in Maximize the Value of You.
If your desire is to build wealth, once you’ve identified your career passion, you have to take the second mandatory step of determining the marketplace for the value you’ll create from your focused passion.
A world-class poet may bring joy to millions with engaging poems.
But few poets are financially rewarded for that joy they create because their marketplace – their readers – aren’t willing to provide much monetary compensation for a poet’s output.
Thus a top poet, following their passion by honing their craft for decades, and despite delighting millions with their life’s work, may suffer a starvation-level income.
We can debate whether this is fair, but it doesn’t really matter, because those who make up any marketplace speak very clearly with their wallets.
In this example, consumers are simply unwilling to part with something of value (money) to reward the poet for the value created from their skills, experience and hard work.
If the poet is not interested in monetary compensation, but instead derives their rewards from the joy they create for their audience, then the lack of income doesn’t matter.
But if the poet needs to make a living, or has the desire to build significant wealth from their poetry, they may consider using their talent in a way that can serve a different marketplace that’s willing to compensate them for their efforts.
If your desire is to monetize your passion through your career, you must determine how the value you plan to create will serve an unmet need that others are willing and able to pay for.
If your marketplace is a consumer, then you need to think about how you will eliminate their problems, entertain them, or improve their lives in some way.
After all, those are the primary reasons people spend their hard-earned cash.
And if the unmet need for your product or service is not strong enough, or your marketplace doesn’t put a high enough value on your output, you will likely be disappointed by the financial rewards you receive.
The great news is that the online world makes it easier than ever to understand what your marketplace is willing to pay for the value you create.
If you are creating a product or service for a consumer or business, it’s easy to determine what your potential customers are currently paying for similar solutions.
It’s essential you understand the compensation your marketplace is willing to pay for the value you desire to create for them.
Once you do, you will at least have realistic assumptions regarding how you’ll likely be rewarded.
Even if the news is bad, you at least recognize what you’re getting into before you dedicate your time, which is your life’s currency, to your passion.
And there may even be ways to redirect your passion in order to realize your wealth goals.
For instance, that poet may have writing skills that can create brilliant copy for an advertising agency that pays well.
Or maybe the poet is also a great songwriter, who can author a mega hit, and collect royalties for decades to come.
Or perhaps the poet has other skills that can be used to generate their desired income, and they can create poetry as a hobby or side hustle, without regard for monetary compensation.
Next is to go to work on increasing the right type of value to create, so that you can get more of the financial rewards you desire.
If you’re working for an employer, you need to understand how your contributions add value to their product or service, and then increase the quantity and quality of your output that generates that value.
If you can direct your value creation efforts to significantly increase your employer’s profits, your income will either immediately or eventually rise.
If you’re producing a product or service that a consumer or business will buy from you, figure out how you can solve their problem better, quicker, and/or for a lower price than they currently pay.
Do that reliably and consistently, and your success in the marketplace is all but guaranteed.
It’s really that simple.
And it solves the fatal flaw in the ‘Follow Your Passion’ common wisdom.
So let’s retool this common wisdom career advice into real, actionable wisdom.
Follow your passion by leveraging your skills to create value for a marketplace that’s willing to reward you, to the degree you receive the compensation you desire.
This alignment between skills, passion, and marketplace unleashes your passion’s power to create gigantic results and reap the rewards.
We at Millionaire Foundry believe the secrets to lasting wealth accumulation are revealed by challenging and rewriting many pieces of common wisdom.
After all, if common wisdom worked so well, everyone who wanted to be rich would be.
But they’re not.
Learn the truth about building wealth at Millionaire Foundry, from A First Generation Millionaire.
Wealth is Freedom!
A First Generation Millionaire