Stable cash flow comes from stable work. If you want money, you have to do something that makes money.
Much of what we want to do for a living doesn’t always produce money. We can experience pleasure, pleasure, fulfillment and entertainment, but it may not make money. Often times a lot of what we love in life usually costs us money and usually a lot of money.
You may love to play golf and even aspire to take a professional round. You could spend most of your life and tens of thousands of dollars on green fees, memberships, lessons, travel and more without ever making a dime playing golf.
You can love movies, theater, and plays and spend years in drama schools and Hollywood and never get a job that makes money. This story is true for those who dream of becoming great in music. I have spoken to many singers in Nashville, Tennessee who have spent years singing for tips and often for free. They pursued their dream relentlessly and some were left homeless because while they pursued their dream the dollars could not support them.
Writers have spent their lives trying to write a great book that someone would notice. Painters often paint their entire lives without much fanfare or little sales. Artists and artists from all walks of life know that the road to success is filled with disappointment, constant rejection, little or no support, and poverty.
I was a weird guy in high school aspiring to be a full time minister. Sixteen was a strange time in life to start shying away from my electric guitar, losing my passion for basketball, and aspiring to be a minister. It didn’t do much for my love life either. My dad thought I was crazy but never said much. He once said, “Why can’t you find a good job and preach nearby? I thought it was a crazy idea because I knew too many ministers who had full-time careers and seemed to be doing well. So I went to school until I was 29 to be a full-time pastor. The post-graduate degrees that I took full-time for seven years were enough time for medical school, law school or whatever, but I pursued my calling and followed my heart.
I do not regret having pursued my dream. I had about 35 years of average salary as a minister and sometimes did better than average. However, my father had respectable advice as parents usually do. Today I give the same advice. Follow your dream, but you need a sawmill next door for stable cash flow. The church has changed. Many churches are small and cannot afford a full time minister. Unfortunately, often ministers and congregations cannot survive in harmony for more than a few years, making life very unstable.
When I say “you need a sawmill next door” I mean you need something in your life that you can count on. You need a plumber’s license, teaching certificate, carpentry skills, or some kind of money making business. Why? You can’t always rely on what you love to do to generate income. It might be what you love to do and you can be great at what you do, but often times you can’t count on it financially.
Find a job that people must have or want badly. If you are in a job that someone must have, there will be financial rewards. If they really want you to have a gift, there will be financial rewards. If they want it and need it, you’re both golden. It might not be your passion, but you will usually earn enough money with your “sawmill” to be able to sing, dance, paint, entertain, write, play or even preach alongside. When you do what you love to do without the constant pressure of needing money, you are free to do it in a fun way without the stress of wondering where your next meal will come from.