Profit or Passion: My Own Story
Wednesday, September 2, 2015 - Author: Warren W.
Some of the best years of my career where spent making the least amount of money. Some people think that money is all they need to be happy, but I disagree. The key to being happy is doing what you love. Let me share my story with you and you can then decide for yourself.
Back in early 1999 I was intrigued by graphics and web design work. Now I am no artist but I really did not need to be; the Internet is ripe with photos. I loved the idea of creating web pages that were organized, efficient and attractive. So I taught myself HTML, the language of the Internet and created my first website. It was horrible but I learned a lot of things. Most importantly, I loved doing it. After a few months I had created five or six sites and was improving my skills with each one. I discovered new codes and programs to make difficult tasks easier.
It was in early 2000 when I told my wife that I wanted to start my own business doing web design and 'Online Options' was born. After placing some advertisement online and getting hardly any response I bought some radio airtime. That worked much better and I even did a Sunday morning call in show about web design for a few months on a local news-talk station. I created my first professional website in March of 2000 and charged $200 for it. Based on the time it took I made the vast sum of five dollars an hour.
By the end of 2000 I had been paid to create about a dozen additional sites and knew I was on my way so I left my full time job as a Computer Trainer to be my own boss. My wife was less than pleased. For the next three years my income fell from over $45k a year to under $18k and I was as happy as I ever had been.
Screen shot of the original Far Reaching Ministries website
Over the course of those years I created about 90 websites. While many were paid jobs there were also free sites I did for churches and charities. In fact, one of my first sites is still active 15 years later although it has been revised many times: "www.frmusa.org"
So why did I bother to share this with you?
Simply because I want you to know that I have walked in these shoes. I have given up money, position and all the things that come with them for passion. The one question I get asked most often is, "Was it worth it?"
The answer is a resounding YES!
Those three years were amazing and neither before nor since have I loved my job more. Now don't get me wrong; I still do what I enjoy but Online Options was the catalyst for change in my life. It was the first time that I made the hard choice of doing what I loved over making money, having health insurance or paid vacation days. And it was a hard decision for both my wife and me. But in the end it was completely worth it. Getting up each day happy and looking forward to your job is priceless. No amount of money or benefits can come close to it.
Now why is this important?
Most of us spend close to a third of our adulthood working. That is a huge part of our lives to be unsatisfied in. It will affect all the other areas of your life as well. Show me a person who is always happy and I bet you find someone who loves his or her job. It impacts your family, friends and everyone within your circle of influence. The joy carries over into your hobbies, social events and religious activities. It is the gateway to a peace-filled life.
I have written before about meditation and how significant it is; I truly believe it's one of the best tools to relieve stress. When you start from a position of happiness however, you dramatically improve on an already great activity. And frankly, isn't that everyone's goal? To live a life of peace, joy and happiness even when outside circumstances bring us stress and turmoil. Doing a job that you truly love can go a long way towards that goal.
Well that is my tale and I thank you for reading it. I do hope you take a step of faith and try it. Find your passion and run with it, even if it has a cost. Trust me, it will be worth it in the end.