What if Your Purpose Does Not Pay the Bills

I fervently believe the surest path to a self-reliant life is to work your purpose—your reason for being here. You are the happiest and most fulfilled when you are working your purpose. That drives you to excel, which assures your self-reliance. But what if working your purpose does not pay the bills. Isn’t that a contradiction? How can your purpose make you self-reliant when it does not even pay the rent?

In my estimation, for most people, their purpose, when done in isolation, will not pay their bills. Certainly not at the start. That is because what people value and what the market values are rarely the same.

Suppose you view your purpose as being the best parent you can be. That is great, but it is not likely that anyone will pay your for that, unless. Unless you also happen to enjoy being a “parent” to other people’s children. Now you might consider opening a daycare facility. In simplified terms, the daycare facility is the intersection between your purpose and the free market. What fulfills you and what will pay you.

Unfortunately, the intersection between your purpose and what the market will pay for is rarely easily identifiable. And while your ultimate goal should be to find that intersection, for some people who will either never happen or it will take a while. So, what do you do in the meantime?

Suppose, like many people, you are gainfully employed at a good job which just so happens to not be your purpose. How do you incorporate your purpose into your life without quitting your job? Until you find the intersection, you really only have one choice: get a second job.

However, in this circumstance, your second job is your purpose. You keep your day job and work your purpose nights and weekends. And if you are unwilling to work your “second” job nights and weekends, I seriously doubt it is your purpose. Your purpose, after all, is something you feel so compelled to do you look forward to doing it in your spare time.

So, how does taking on your purpose as a second job make you more self-reliant? It does so by putting your first job into perspective. It may never fulfill you, but that job provides sustenance for your purpose. Ask any starving movie actor why they tend bar. So they can audition during the day.

Your day job is not a waste of time. It is merely an obligation along your journey, the same way that raising your children, if you have them, is an obligation along your journey. You will have many obligations during the course of your life, but that should not dissuade you from seeking out and fulfilling your purpose. And if you are fortunate enough to discover your purpose, and you stay with it long enough, you just might run smack dab into the middle of that beautiful intersection where purpose meets pay.