Can I Make Money at it?

A few weeks ago I journeyed back to my old high school to speak to the sophomores about health and nutrition. While I was there, I ran into my former art teacher whose class I had loved in high school. Of all the classes I have taken in my life, his was probably the most inspiring and life-changing for me, so I was excited to get to catch up with him for a minute.

True be told, he seems pretty burnt out. He’d been teaching the same curriculum for probably decades and was now feeling pulled to work on his own art instead of teaching it. During our conversation, he indicated that there was never enough time to work on painting because he was so exhausted from teaching. He said, “Just because I want to paint for a living doesn’t mean there’s a way to make money at it.”

I’m sure for him it did seem impossible. He has a young kid, a wife, a mortgage and probably tons of other responsibilities, just like so many of us. Just because he wants to paint full-time doesn’t necessarily mean there’s a way for him to do it and pay all his bills at the same time.

BUT…I disagree. (You probably already knew that if you’ve been reading this blog). I believe that if you have the longing in you to do something—that deep down desire inside your gut that won’t go away no matter how many years you try to suppress it—then you are meant to do it AND that there is a way to do it. That doesn’t mean that the path you should take is always obvious, but it’s there.

According to Wallace Wattles who wrote The Science of Getting Rich, “All that is possible to anyone is possible to me.”

That means if someone else is doing painting full-time, you can too. If someone is making money through a music career, you can too. If there are people out there who are living their dreams and making a good income while doing it, YOU CAN TOO. No exceptions. No excuses.

What if no one is making money doing what you want to do? Well, there’s still a way to do it. Look a Steve Jobs. He didn’t let anyone tell him what could or couldn’t be done. All it takes is a good idea (or talent) and the passion inside of you to bring that idea into reality.

Start saying this to yourself every day: ALL THAT IS POSSIBLE TO ANYONE IS POSSIBLE TO ME.

Make this your daily mantra. You deserve to live the life that you want (whatever that looks like for you) and make plenty of money at the same time. Throughout the next few weeks, focus on being open to opportunity. Be open to change. Read this blog. Put together a mastermind or support group. Do what you need to do to start living the life of your dreams.


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Nick - 6 years ago

Cool post Laurel!

I have been in the same boat as him and i know the feeling. When you love to do something for the LOVE of it, and then their is the REALITY of the situation-you still have bills to pay! I am curious if your former teacher has an ‘all or nothing’ mentality when it comes to making a living. Meaning-I wonder if he allowed himself to ‘inch into the gray’ a little bit, if he would find more space to do what he loves. Make the means the end so to speak. Maybe he could find a job that allowed him to work less(and maybe get paid less), but allowed him to invest more in his painting career? Or-what if he discovered or articulated a new set of skills that empowered him to take the pressure off his painting(instead of torturing himself teaching something he would rather be DOING), and freed up his energy toward considering painting as a potential money-maker. It sounds like he is stuck in a mindset that prevents him from seeing opportunity. So, I wonder if he just got a ‘sliver’ of some of that freedom, some of that ‘all that is possible to anyone is possible to me’, and took a step toward it (maybe not a big leap-at first) if he would feel more hopeful? Would love to hear your thoughts on ‘all or nothing’ vs. gradually easing into something-and the different personalities that gravitate toward different approaches. Good stuff!


    Laurel Staples - 6 years ago

    Thanks Nick for your thoughts! You have some really good points and suggestions that I didn’t hit on. I think my former teacher is “stuck” in a certain “all or nothing” mindset. The fact that he’s been at that high school for 20+ years would suggest that. Of course, there’s nothing wrong with having a job for so long, unless you’re frustrated and burnt out like he is. Personally, I don’t think everyone is meant to be an entrepreneur or work for themselves. It’s not an easy life and probably doesn’t appeal to most of the population. BUT…I think each and every one of us should pursue what we love in one form or another. For instance, if this teacher loves to paint, he needs to find more time to paint (even if it’s just on the side)…perhaps using one of the suggestions you made. Especially with art, sometimes it’s more enjoyable when you don’t have to worry about making money with it.

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