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"Do What You Love"
Old 04-21-2008, 09:24 AM   #1
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"Do What You Love"

So after over 18 months of FIRE, it happened: someone acted like it was crazy to have retired at 52 and was incredulous that we are hoping to never work again. (He is retired, but is about ten years older and is trying to write a book and self-publish it.) And he suggested that we "should do what (we) love and get paid for it."

Hello? Has this guy not heard about how bad the economy is doing? What are the chances that someone would pay us to do what we love? Last I checked, no one is going to pay me to read, watch movies, exercise, and play on line! I do like to cook, but that doesn't mean I am qualified to be a chef. And would I still enjoy these activities if they were part of a job, with all that this entails? I love playing with animals, so I guess that could translate to being an attendant at a kennel or doggy day care center, but would it be fun doing it day in and day out on a fixed schedule? And reporting to a boss?

Years ago there were books like "Do What You Love and the Money Will Follow." But how realistic is that, really? How many people start businesses doing what they love....and they fail/don't make any money? I guess this guy is all hyped up now with the excitement of writing a book and dreams of substantial sales, but let's see what he says down the road when he sees how few sales he makes, self publishing the book (it's about how to save money). I've written eleven books that were published by regular publishers and I know how little money most authors make!

I don't know---just rubbed me the wrong way on so many levels---this guy acting like we couldn't have a happy, meaningful life without working, then acting like it would be so easy to get paid for something we love to do...and his dispensing advice as if he was some great sage who ahd it all figured it!

Does anyone get why this bugged me?
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Old 04-21-2008, 09:26 AM   #2
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Does anyone get why this bugged me?
You means besides the fact that this guy was a clueless ass?
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Old 04-21-2008, 09:31 AM   #3
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Does anyone get why this bugged me?
Of course. Unsolicited advice from a know-it-all phoney baloney jerk!

Next question!

Ha
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Old 04-21-2008, 09:33 AM   #4
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You means besides the fact that this guy was a clueless ass?
Exactly!

Tangomonster, you have freed yourself from the slavery/bondage of work, and can do whatever you please. You don't HAVE to be paid to do what you want to do. The clueless one implies and assumes that you do, and doesn't recognize your achievement which might be considered to be somewhat insulting. That could be a second reason why this bugged you.
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Old 04-21-2008, 09:56 AM   #5
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Does anyone get why this bugged me?
Sure, lots of us that RE'd are a little sensitive as to how others perceive that move. Zillions of posts on the subject right here on this forum. Obviously, you're a little sensitive too.

While your sensitivity may never lessen, mine did. Had dinner with two grad school buddies last week. One retired from a DP career with a MegaCorp and now is a paid business manager for his church. Will probably do that into his late 60's. The other got downsized from his MegaCorp but then hired back part time as a contractor to do special projects. Both could easily (very easily, lotsa $$$ and LBYM personalities) afford to not work. Both gave me a load of good natured crap about how they couldn't "just stay at home" and that sort of thing. They're right. They couldn't. It just wouldn't fit with their personalities and I deeply respect them for understanding that about themselves. I gave them my point of view, as it pertains to me and my life - certainly NOT trying to tell them my way should be their way, and didn't really expect or want to win them over. And they pretty much knew they weren't going to change my mind.

People are different and as you develop confidence that the way you're leading your life is best for you, it will become easier to appreciate that the way others lead their own lives is up to them.

This is not a popular view on this board where a lot of cheerleading and efforts to obtain consensual validation of our chosen life style (RE) is the norm. But to the extent you are able to feel confident in your own choices and appreciate that others will make different choices, you'll be able to have these kind of interactions without feeling bugged.
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Old 04-21-2008, 10:08 AM   #6
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But to the extent you are able to feel confident in your own choices and appreciate that others will make different choices, you'll be able to have these kind of interactions without feeling bugged.
I think you have achieved satori.

Ha
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Old 04-21-2008, 10:11 AM   #7
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I recently came to realize that I am a driven person, in many ways. Always thought of myself as lazy, but the speed and ferocity with which I started hitting the gym (total shock t o me that I would/could do so). So I looked at the last decade of my life and realized that I have been ambitiously running hell-for-leather for some time now. When I get to escape velocity as far as money goes, I suspect I will have to put some work into downshifting to ER.

The CEO of one of the stocks I have a position in serves as a cautionary example to me. Guy had a high end law degree and went on to found a company, take it public and grow it at a tremendous pace. He is described by everything I read as a tremendously hard worker, routinely putting in 18 to 20 hour days. He finally sold this company at a very fat premium and banked at least tens of millions for himself (due to his large equity stake). He then spent a year or two travelling, skiing, etc. But he couldn't make the shift or maybe never even really tried. Apparently called up some of his old backers, raised a chunk of money for the new venture, and started down the same path. Wonder where it will end, but I have to believe that nobody can keep that pace up forever.
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Old 04-21-2008, 10:33 AM   #8
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Have an old friend who retired and thought he would write a fantastic book what with his father being a famous author and all. Couldn't get anything published. Self-published. Didn't make any money. And he just loved what he was doing.
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Old 04-21-2008, 10:38 AM   #9
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Have an old friend who retired and thought he would write a fantastic book what with his father being a famous author and all. Couldn't get anything published. Self-published. Didn't make any money. And he just loved what he was doing.
My Dad often said- the best way to go broke is to do something that a whole lot of people really like to do. The best way to make money is to do the opposite- like clean boilers. Or get behind a union shield or equivlent.

Ha
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Old 04-21-2008, 11:16 AM   #10
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"Do What You Love and the Money Will Follow."

To me, that's about step 2 of a 100 step process. Sure, if you have a passion for something you might be able to make money at it, but, translating your passion to income is the hard part. Marketing, business plans, accounting, etc. are probably a far cry from your passion. I'm starting to hate that word.

-CC
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Old 04-21-2008, 11:28 AM   #11
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I recently came to realize that I am a driven person, in many ways. Always thought of myself as lazy, but the speed and ferocity with which I started hitting the gym (total shock t o me that I would/could do so). So I looked at the last decade of my life and realized that I have been ambitiously running hell-for-leather for some time now. When I get to escape velocity as far as money goes, I suspect I will have to put some work into downshifting to ER.

....
Although I'm incapable of procrastination, I wouldn't call myself driven , but your point about working on downshifting is exactly what I am struggling with right now. I figure I'm about 4-1/2 months away from retiring and I can't get myself to eat slower; maybe I'll take another class in Mindfulness Meditation. Sometimes I put a yellow sticker on my calendar, "PYS" for pace yourself.
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Old 04-21-2008, 11:39 AM   #12
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I recently came to realize that I am a driven person, in many ways.
Ya think?

If you'll indulge me for a bit, a short story about a guy that shouldn't ever retire.

I still keep my PGA golf card active, and give lessons reluctently as a favor to a friend of mine that is the head pro at a course near my area.

A couple of months ago, he asked me for a favor, that he was too booked up to take care of. A friend of his had sold a company in the Silicone Valley, and had moved up to the North State to retire and kick back. (He was a young guy, and least by my standards). Early 50,s.

In any case, after 3 lessons, and a complete lack of concentration on his part for the matter at hand, it was apparant to me that did not have a "Snowballs chance in Hell" of improving. Wasting both of our time.

We had a beer after last lesson, and he asked me whether he had a chance to improve. (I liked the guy, so it was a tough one).

"Well, beings we've been talking for an hour or so, and you've shown more interest in talking about your old company, and not a question about your last lesson, probably not". He laughed and agreed with me. (End of lessons.)

A couple of days ago, I got a message on my machine from him. He wants me to take him out "Fly-Fishing". Still mulling that one over, and
trying to figure a diplomatic way to bow out.

He'll be back in the saddle again (probably before a year or so).

Early retirement, or retirement in general is an art form that escapes most folks. Viva La Difference.
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Old 04-21-2008, 12:39 PM   #13
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I like being retired because I can do what I like and don't have to worry about how I can afford it. When I was working I always found too many things I didn't like, but I never saw an alternative that I really though I would love. I envy those lucky few who stumble into a career they absolutely love - those people who say they can't wait for Monday morning to get back to work. To me that isn't work, it is being paid to play. But I have only met a very few people who are like that and none of them "followed their passion" or planned things at all -- the perfect job just fell in their bag so to speak. On the other hand, I have met a lot of people who followed their passion and got nowhere - singers, artists and actors are a great case in point. Sports are even more common passions that often don't translate well into work. I met many a diver, windsurfer, ski bum, etc., who worked in the field assuming they would love the work since they loved the play. But for the most part work is work, and play is play. Many of them end up with a plain old job that doesn't pay well. Better to go for a job that pays well and has as many positive aspects as you can put together.
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Old 04-21-2008, 01:31 PM   #14
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My Dad often said- the best way to go broke is to do something that a whole lot of people really like to do. The best way to make money is to do the opposite- like clean boilers. Or get behind a union shield or equivlent.

Ha
I can't find a link to the article, but I read a piece from a prominent career advisor which counseled the same thing. The jobs a lot of people really want (park ranger, journalist, etc) pay very little due to simple supply and demand. The same is true when selecting an industry to work in: being a manager in a janitorial supply company isn't very glamorous, but the work is likely top be far steadier than in a glitzy company in a trendy business sector.
Have your fun outside your job. Make that, not work, the fun part of your life.
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Old 04-21-2008, 01:33 PM   #15
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If it was fun, they wouldn't call it "work"...
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Old 04-21-2008, 01:38 PM   #16
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I can't find a link to the article, but I read a piece from a prominent career advisor which counseled the same thing. The jobs a lot of people really want (park ranger, journalist, etc) pay very little due to simple supply and demand. The same is true when selecting an industry to work in: being a manager in a janitorial supply company isn't very glamorous, but the work is likely top be far steadier than in a glitzy company in a trendy business sector.
Have your fun outside your job. Make that, not work, the fun part of your life.
An old newspaper article sticks in my mind: A women with a master's degree in English was never happy in jobs until she became a night janitor in office buildings. She said it was the only job she ever had where she could think.
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Old 04-21-2008, 04:11 PM   #17
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My Dad often said- the best way to go broke is to do something that a whole lot of people really like to do. The best way to make money is to do the opposite- like clean boilers. Or get behind a union shield or equivlent.

Ha
The way my Dad put it - "There are only two kinds of jobs in the world. Those that other people can't do, or won't do". Admittedly mine was lots of both.
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Old 04-21-2008, 04:40 PM   #18
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I recently came to realize that I am a driven person, in many ways. Always thought of myself as lazy, but the speed and ferocity with which I started hitting the gym (total shock t o me that I would/could do so). So I looked at the last decade of my life and realized that I have been ambitiously running hell-for-leather for some time now. When I get to escape velocity as far as money goes, I suspect I will have to put some work into downshifting to ER.

The CEO of one of the stocks I have a position in serves as a cautionary example to me. Guy had a high end law degree and went on to found a company, take it public and grow it at a tremendous pace. He is described by everything I read as a tremendously hard worker, routinely putting in 18 to 20 hour days. He finally sold this company at a very fat premium and banked at least tens of millions for himself (due to his large equity stake). He then spent a year or two travelling, skiing, etc. But he couldn't make the shift or maybe never even really tried. Apparently called up some of his old backers, raised a chunk of money for the new venture, and started down the same path. Wonder where it will end, but I have to believe that nobody can keep that pace up forever.
Granted that answering to the board can feel like a rectal exam as described to me by my current CEO who had a venture back company, but I find that it's easier when you're the one dictating the pace rather than the one being dictated to. The long hours, coffee at 8 PM, and one fire drill after another is still not good for you, but that one aspect of being in charge of the whole show does give one the sense of being in command -- until the heart attack.
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Old 04-21-2008, 08:31 PM   #19
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So after over 18 months of FIRE, it happened: someone acted like it was crazy to have retired at 52 and was incredulous that we are hoping to never work again. (He is retired, but is about ten years older and is trying to write a book and self-publish it.) And he suggested that we "should do what (we) love and get paid for it."
Tell him, "I love managing my portfolio a few hours every year, and it pays me enough to live on."
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Old 04-21-2008, 09:16 PM   #20
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"Do What You Love and the Money Will Follow"
I probably would have answered something along the lines of "being retired is what I love, and the money is following..."
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