Following Your Passion Is Not Just Luck

Following Your Passion Is Not Just Luck

Photo via Flickr by DannonL

Although the title of this post is Following Your Passion Is Not Just Luck, I do feel incredibly lucky that I am able to have my own business and do what I want.

Self-employment has been amazing for me so far, and I can’t believe that I had any doubts last year of what having my own business would be like for me.

I worked hard to get to where I am. I was working and going to school around 16 hours a day, 5 to seven days a week, for over five years. I believe that how hard I worked in the past 5 years led to where I am today.

And, I’m still working hard. Thankfully, I’m not still putting in 16 hour days 5 to 7 days a week, but I am still working hard. I have been better at utilizing my time and being more efficient, which has been good for me (and probably those around me as well because I’m sure I’m not as cranky).

Here is what I think it takes to become successful and do what you want.

You will need a plan.

Someone recently told me that it’s not your passion if you have to plan it out. They believed that if it were your passion, then you wouldn’t have to do anything that you didn’t really want to do. They believed that you could just do what you want, carry on life the way that you want, and everything would just come to you.

That really didn’t make any sense to me.

In order to get what you want, you will have to do things that may not be fun. One of those things is to make plans/goals in order to reach your dream job.

There are several questions that you will probably want to ask yourself:

  • So, what is it that you love to do?
  • What are your goals?
  • Do you see yourself doing this forever, or at least a long time?
  • Can you actually make money doing what you want to do? Can you survive off of that income?
  • How can you start out with your passion? How long will it take?


You will want to create a realistic plan of when and how you can follow your passion. You might not be able to get your dream job right away, and it may take some time. However, you can make a good plan with actionable steps in order to reach your dream job.


You might not have fun.

Doing what you want might mean that you need to make sacrifices.

There were many times when I had to lose out on sleep (I think a good night was 5 to 6 hours, normal was three to four in a night).

I used to wake up for work around 6 a.m., work until around 5:15 p.m., start classes at 5:30 p.m. and not get home until 10:30 p.m. Many people do the same thing and have KIDS so that they can reach their dreams. Seriously, I don’t know how some people fit everything into their day.

You just have to think about your end goal and what you are working towards.


You will have to take a leap of faith.

The scariest thing about following your passion is actually making the leap to follow your passion.

You will be nervous. You will be scared.

I don’t think I’ve ever heard of someone who wasn’t scared to follow their passion. It’s only normal. However, if you are following a realistic plan and are working hard, then following your passion should be attainable.


Do you think being able to follow your passion is just luck? 

What tips do you have for someone who is wanting to follow their passion?



  1. says

    I think that through hard work and dedication to our passion we create our own luck.

    As you say it’s important to have a plan, it’s difficult to get anywhere without one. People who believe that following a passion doesn’t entail planning have probably never tried following their passions, instead they let them remain dreams or fantasies.

    Very little worth having or doing in life comes without a bit of hard work and planning, luck comes after that.

  2. says

    I think ‘luck’ or random chance influences everything, kind of the right place right time sort of thing. With that being said, for the most part pursuing your passion and being able to do it as a full-time income and/or even just to make money off of it takes planning and hard work. As you described, it may mean sacrificing sleep and other things. In fact, you are almost guaranteed to need to sacrifice things if you plan on turning your hobbies/passions into income.

  3. says

    What the heck was that person thinking? Anytime you watch documentaries/read memoirs about uber-successful people who followed their passions be it acting, singing, business etc, every last one of them had to put in insane hours, do menial jobs at some point and certainly perform tasks he or she didn’t want to. I’m very much in awe of your motivation and it seems you have earned everything that’s come to you. I get why you feel lucky, but truly it appears you worked your tail off to get there!
    Broke Millennial recently posted..How I (Financially) Handle a Long Distance RelationshipMy Profile

  4. says

    Very inspiring, the work you put in. And I agree that all that hard work is absolutely necessary to realizing your passion. On a side note, I am not sure everyone HAS a passion (in the professional sense). I don’t mean for that to be a downer – in fact quite the opposite. I know some sad/depressed people who spend a lot of time and energy trying to find what job will inspire them and fulfill them in this crazy, almost magical way and they feel “less than” the longer they go without finding it.

    Anyway, I do think both you and I are very lucky for having found a passion.
    Dave @ The New York Budget recently posted..Cheap Eats: Great Tacos, But More Than I Wanted To PayMy Profile

    • says

      I agree – I don’t think everyone has a passion as well. Many are completely fine with going to work and treating it as such – just work. There is nothing wrong with that.

  5. says

    Yeah that doesn’t make any sense to me either. It seems to me that you are more likely to achieve your goals if you plan, and if it’s your passion then good for you and all the better! How are you ever going to arrive at your chosen destination (in this case, being able to do what you are passionate about) if you don’t make a plan?
    Dee @ Color Me Frugal recently posted..Screw the Math- I Am Getting Out of Debt!My Profile

  6. says

    “it’s not your passion if you have to plan it out. ” That’s the silliest thing I’ve ever heard, Michelle. This person obviously knows very little about how to achieve goals and dreams, while you, on the other hand, have proven success. Like Dave Ramsey says to those nay-saying his program, “I like the way I’ve paid off my debt better than the way you haven’t paid off yours”.

    • says

      I hate to say it, but the person who said it is not very successful. No, they are not a complete loser, but they could be working harder. They wait for handouts and truly believe what they said.

  7. says

    I think it’s important to have a strong “why” before you strike out on your own. In other words, have a goal that is so powerful that is continues to drive you even when you’re dead tired or just sick of the grind. With any endeavor, there’s always ups and downs, so you need to have a powerful desire driving you when you’re in the down periods. This desire should be more than just “making money”.

  8. says

    I don’t like to use the word luck. Instead, I would say “being in the right place at the right time”. And I do think that has some to do with it. But obviously planning and hard work play as big of a role.

    Congrats on your success. I hope to get there in time as well!

  9. says

    I was recently at a presentation at work where someone from our industry came in and talked to our students. The speaker said something that resonated with me and really fits for this topic. A student asked him if he attributed any of his success to luck or just serendipitous meetings with people. He said,

    “I do not believe in luck and I do not believe in talent.”

    It was like a mini mind explosion for me. I sat in the back and out loud said, “whoa”. It is so true though. It took him so much time and hard work and passion to get where he was. He talked about how good work takes practice which builds skill not talent. It was a great presentation.

  10. says

    Great post! “You might not have fun.” That really stood out to me because I think a lot of times people forget that owning a business and being self-employed can be tedious, hard, boring, annoying, and all the things a full time job can be.

    You definitely didn’t luck into your success and you’ve worked crazy hard for it. You deserve it!

  11. says

    I think what you said about ‘can you actually make money doing what you want to do?’ is key. My passion is handmade crafts. Can I make enough money to live on by selling my work? Nope because I’m not that good and I have a niche market. Can I make enough money by blogging about what I do and creating tutorials for beginners? Quite possibly. Now I just need a plan!
    Hayley @ A Disease Called Debt recently posted..The emotional stages of debt: DenialMy Profile

  12. says

    When you work for yourself you can work any hours you want. Any 18 hours of the day that you want!

    Working for yourself is challenging and stressful. But it is worth it for some people.

  13. says

    I think there’s a little bit of luck in following your passion and having it all work out to be a sustainable career. But more than luck it takes a ton of hard work. I think if you’re willing to work hard enough (and smart) enough you can make it work. My passion is pets, so at some point in the near future I hope to be able to quit my job and work with pets in some capacity (how exactly, I’m not sure yet, but it’s something I think about a lot).


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