Do What You Love and
Get Paid Very Well for It

This morning I came across an email from AWAI Member Bev Grey …

“I just wanted you to know that I took your resume program last fall and opened my own resume business. My office is in my home. Although it’s taking longer than I had expected to build up my client base, I love writing resumes, and my resumes are getting great results!

“Thank you for your great resume program and for getting me started in a field that I love!”

Bev’s last line stopped me. A field that I love.

Earlier in the day, I had read a rant online from someone who felt it was preposterous that we should want to get paid to do what we love, because we do that stuff anyways.

I posted a response on her blog: “But if you can get paid to do what you love … why the heck wouldn’t you?”

Now, I don’t know about you and your situation, but personally, I have to work. I’m not independently wealthy, and I need a good job to feed my traveling habit.

Sure, I could become a freelance copywriter or a web-marketing consultant, and one day I may decide to do that.

But right now, I absolutely love what I do. And I get paid for it!

Every day, I get to help people achieve their goal of living life on their own terms. For some it’s being able to retire. For others it’s spending more time with their families. And then there are the people who want to be able to live anywhere in the world they please, and not be tied to one place because of the job market.

But no matter what their reason, I get to hear their stories and know that, along with the rest of the AWAI team, I’ve made a difference in their lives.

I love what I do. And you can, too! You just have to figure out what that is, if you haven’t already …

For years, a colleague of mine, Gary Scott, feared deep down inside that what he truly wanted – freedom, financial security, work that he loved, fun, prestige, and the ability to work anywhere he wanted – was impossible. Yet his wife, Merri, and he became multi-millionaires within 10 years of starting their self-publishing business. Today, they have more cars than they can drive, five homes and numerous cabins in North Carolina, Ecuador, and Florida. They have no mortgage, not a penny of debt, and plenty of money in the bank.

But more important than the money, Gary says, is that he enjoys the bliss of each and every day, doing what he loves and hoping he can do it forever.

Lori Haller has been a successful freelance graphic designer for over 20 years. She’s worked with some of the biggest names in the business, including National Geographic, Boardroom, Hyatt and Forbes, and most recently designed the direct-marketing campaign of Oprah’s third (and latest) book!

She’s a free spirit and loves the freedom that comes with her career. She works only with the clients she wants to work with and is in control of her schedule. She wakes up when she’s ready to … comes and goes as she pleases … and takes vacations when the mood strikes. Complete freedom. And she loves what she does.

And, of course, there’s one of my favorite examples, Paul Hollingshead. It wasn’t long ago that he was struggling to earn a living … jumping from one job he hated to another he hated more … never making more than $30,000. (In his last job, he was making only $6.50 and hour – $13,520 a year – stocking cans in a grocery store!)

Now he “works” a few hours a day writing one, maybe two, letters a month. He moved his family to a little historic town in the Vermont countryside, and writes from a little cottage steps from his house, where he’s surrounded by peace and quiet. For a break, he’ll walk over to the old Inn across the street for lunch … grab a coffee at the local market … or take a walk up Pinnacle Hill behind his house.

And yes … he absolutely loves his j-o-b!

And it’s different for everyone. AWAI Member Eileen Coale told me:

“My goal when I set out 7 years ago was to build a flexible, enjoyable, profitable copywriting business that would integrate well with my life as a busy mom of four. Today, I work about 30 hours a week and earn a good income doing so. And of course, I love my work. Most of my work is in the natural health field, but I also do some financial writing, plus an occasional project for other industries. I write copy for websites, ads, sell sheets, postcards, newsletters, package and label copy, and brochures.”

Donna Doyle loves working as a desktop marketer because every project is new and different. If she doesn’t like a client, she doesn’t have to work with them anymore. She can do as much of the actual work herself as she cares to, or she can hire qualified experts to help her (and make nice commissions, too).

Bottom line: It’s ok to do what you love, and get paid very well for it.

Ignore the naysayers and go after what you want. It’s the only way it will happen for you.

The Professional Writers’ Alliance

The Professional Writers’ Alliance

At last, a professional organization that caters to the needs of direct-response industry writers. Find out how membership can change the course of your career. Learn More »

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Published: March 31, 2009

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