Balancing Passion With A 9 To 5: What Do I Do?
This is such a touchy subject. Reality is reality. Our own individual circumstances are a result of every decision we've made in the past. Technically speaking, "now" is all we know. The future will become inevitably what we do "now". So how can we gain a sense of control to produce the best outcome for our future?
Balancing passion with the realities of life is a struggle (I believe) every human being deals with. So many unanswered questions. So many internal battles to be fought. Some we win. Some we lose. Sometimes we don't even step onto the battlefield. Sometimes we struggle to even find where the battle is happening. Oh, life. Why must you be so complicated? After all, there are more grains of sand on the Earth than there are galaxies in the universe. And even more cells in the human brain, all firing away in directions and patterns that our own brains can't even comprehend.
I can only speak on this subject based on my own personal experiences, and those I've observed.
Let's cut right to the chase.
Want to know what the big secret is to following your true passion (whether it be producing music, painting, designing, dancing, singing, rapping)?
Are you ready for the answer?
Here we go..
*Cue dramatic portamento string*
You've got to "become the passion".
Yes, become the very thing you're passionate about. Every aspect of your life must become that very thing. Most of the hours of your day must be spent on doing the passion. Most (preferably all) of the people you know must be passionate about your passion too (whether they do it professionally, are aspiring to do it, are successful at doing it, or just love talking about it). When you eat breakfast, you're thinking about your passion. When you go to the grocery store, your passion influences what you purchase. When you take your kids to soccer practice, you're somehow incorporating your passion into that experience (Wait. What? How? Soccer and FL Studio don't mix!). Most of the money you earn should be spent on.. *cue drum roll*. You guessed it! Your passion.
So. Wait. How do I become my passion if I work at a 9 to 5 job that I hate. I have a mortgage. I have kids. I have to provide for my family. I have to get out of mom's basement because I turn 25 next month and I told her I'd be out of here by then!
The fact of the matter is this: You have 2 choices.
Keep the 9 to 5 and spend whatever extra time I have to pursuing my passion.
Go ALL THE WAY IN THE DIRECTION OF MY PASSION.
Well, life is complicated like I said.
Keeping the 9 to 5 would be the responsible adult thing to do. This means that you are pursuing your passion PART-TIME. That means your results in favor of your passion will be "part-time" results. Kinda, almost there. Kinda, almost getting along. Kinda, almost seeing some results, but not quite manifesting as quickly as you would like. You're also experiencing "part-time" euphoria and joy (not saying other things in life don't bring you joy, we're just speaking from the perspective of your actual passion). Everything seems to be very half-way. It's going to take you twice (if not, more) as long to get to where you want to be because you're moving at a snails pace.
So, if I GO ALL THE WAY in the direction of my passion, you're telling me to quit my job, abandon that nice chunk of money I get every 1st & 15th, and just go based on my own faith that everything will be ok?
But on one condition.
Be prepared to face the initial hardships and have the discipline & faith to keep going.
Know that you've got to be REALLY GOOD at your passion if you want to succeed. Getting good takes TIME.
A lot of it.
And never, ever stop.
I lived in mom's basement until I was 26 years old. That was tough. Not only on my parents & family, but sometimes on myself. No money. No Job. Yes, I did have the comfort/luxury of living rent-free with, like, hardly any responsibilities. I'm humbled for that. But what I did have, I lacked in basically everything else. No resources. No knowledge. No money. No mentors. No schools. No Soundcloud or Youtube. No social media crap. Just me, my keyboard, my records and my ideas.
What kept me going was my excitement, energy, faith & discipline to create music all day, every day.
And that's exactly what I did. I started getting pretty good. My first beats were terrible. They sounded like J Dilla knock offs. But because I was spending so much time creating beats, I was getting better. And better. And better still.
It led to me getting into the ears of 1 person. And then 5 people. And then 20 people. And then 200 people. And then 3 out of those 200 people just so happened to be in the industry. And then those connections turned into opportunity. Then, opportunity became reality.
All of the people I met were in the industry. They were writers. Producers of music. Rappers. Singers. A&R's. Managers. Blog writers. Musicians.
I started to go to more events. I met more people. When I wasn't going to events or networking on the internet, I was in front of that keyboard. Making music. Creating music.
I did this long enough to the point where I had a realization.
I've become my passion. I've officially become a music producer. It's all I did, from the moment I woke up, to the moment I went to bed. All of the people I knew, were also in the music industry. A lot of these people become my friends. When I talk to relatives, music is all I talk about. When I drove in my car, I played my own beats. I'd listen to music and dissect the hell out of it (I still do that to this day). What little money I started to earn, I spent on investing back into my passion.
Today, I still feel like that same kid.
I live it.
I breathe it.
The people I'm surrounded by every day. They do it too.
It's become who I am.
It lives in my bones.
I am a music producer.
I am an entrepreneur.
And I will continue to be for as long as I'm passionate about it.