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Making money doing what you love = Early Retirement?
Old 04-20-2012, 03:39 PM   #1
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Making money doing what you love = Early Retirement?

I was debating where to put this and was going to put it in the Young Dreamers forum but thought middle aged people could benefit from it and the topic is too soon for life after FIRE forum also.

What if our paradigm of early retirement is all wrong? I say that because I was reading Steve Jobs speech Text of Steve Jobs' Commencement address (2005)

and he stressed the importance of finding and doing what you love. I would imagine he would keep doing what he's doing for the rest of his life so in a way, he was already retired early on.

So I googled how to find what you love to do and found this
How to Find What You Love to Do » The Definitive Self Improvement Blog - BrianKim.net

And I have some ideas I want to pursue that can make me money AND ideas that I would already be doing in early retirement!

I know this way might not be 100% retirement but it could offer a great preview right?

What do you guys think?

If you find what you love to do and do it and make money, can't you have the best of both worlds? Have the early retirement experience early on and save for retirement at the same time?

Just thinking out loud here.

Anybody currently doing something like that? Would love to hear some experiences.
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Old 04-20-2012, 04:18 PM   #2
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What do you guys think?
I'm an admitted cynic when it comes to all this self-help/think and grow rich/make money doing nothing what you love/blow smoke up your skirt crap, but you asked what we think, so here goes - it's a bunch of bullpuckey.
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Old 04-20-2012, 04:23 PM   #3
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Some people keep a part time job in retirement, either because they love it or because it helps make ends meet, or both. We sometimes call that ESR "Early Semi-Retirement". At least one of our mods, and many others, have chosen this path, particularly at the beginning of retirement.

Now that I am retired, I wonder how they ever found the time for it. I'm so busy having fun, and doing what I want to do, that I could never fit something like that into my busy days or nights. It would be like working, not like retirement for me. But that's just me.

I am not doing nearly as much as I envisioned for my retirement, back when I was working. That's OK, because luckily it seems I am the only judge of whether or not I am doing this right. The way things are going feels right to me.
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Old 04-20-2012, 04:59 PM   #4
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" I would imagine he would keep doing what he's doing for the rest of his life so in a way, he was already retired early on."

My wife is like that, she found a field that she basically would "die" without, and I doubt she will ever conventionally retire.[but no worries, I will] She makes respectable $, but she would continue at half that I am sure.
It's one of those "do what you love and the money follows" deals. Thin on the ground, I admit.
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Old 04-20-2012, 05:16 PM   #5
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It's better to make money doing something you like, rather than something you don't like. You'll be happier, and you'll probably do better at it, leading to more success.

Now, what if you can make a lot more money doing something you don't like, enabling you to retire early and do things you like without concern for money? Few situations are black and white, so there's often some degree of compromise you may have to make regarding enjoying work or making money.

A danger of converting a hobby into a business is that you might find the business aspect of it ruins the hobby.

No personal experience here. I had a good paying job that I liked well enough, and couldn't figure out how to make money from any of my hobbies without turning them into to too much work of the type I didn't want.
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Old 04-20-2012, 05:37 PM   #6
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I'm an admitted cynic when it comes to all this self-help/think and grow rich/make money doing nothing what you love/blow smoke up your skirt crap, but you asked what we think, so here goes - it's a bunch of bullpuckey.
Come on, don't hold back. Tell us what you really think.
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Old 04-20-2012, 05:40 PM   #7
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I still work part time because I love my job and I ache less after work than after working around home. And my hobby/interest in maps/technology merges well at work to the point where a colleague and I have created an application that has piqued the interest of a global GPS mapping/navigation provider. We're meeting next week. Maybe it will be more fun than spending the day at home.
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Old 04-20-2012, 05:44 PM   #8
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DW loves her work. Really, really loves it. But some of the people she works with are ruining it for her. So making money doing what you love is only part of the equation.
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Old 04-20-2012, 05:50 PM   #9
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If you find what you love to do and do it and make money, can't you have the best of both worlds? Have the early retirement experience early on and save for retirement at the same time?

Just thinking out loud here.

Anybody currently doing something like that? Would love to hear some experiences.
Well, I think finding something you really enjoy and being able to make enough money to live on it is not common. Usually the things you have to do to make money become the reason you no longer enjoy what you are doing. If you only need a little money from your venture and never really depend on it, maybe.

I think "the retirement experience" is not about the things you do with your time, it is about not having the burden and responsibility of work. That you can't have while you still work.

If you can get a job you really like, make enough money to live and save and still have lots of time free to do things, go for it, no matter what it' called.
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Old 04-20-2012, 05:53 PM   #10
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I'd jump at an encore career if I could find something that made me want to "jump out of bed in the morning" like my first career did many years ago. This time, I wouldn't be much concerned about how much I got paid which opens more options. I envy those few people who actually love their work, a recent example Mike Wallace who kept going long after FI because he loved his job. And Steve Jobs worked until he was physically unable to continue, without regrets by all indications. I know people like this, who are not famous or rich as well.

That said, I'm not actively looking yet. And I don't question those who are determined to stay retired for the duration...
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Old 04-20-2012, 06:09 PM   #11
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DW loves her work. Really, really loves it. But some of the people she works with are ruining it for her. So making money doing what you love is only part of the equation.
I think this is quite often true, has been in my life anyway. And the individuals ruining the deal can come from many different directions: Couple times the "ruiner" has been my direct boss, once it was an individual who was actually below my level in the organization, but was master of covert harassment of coworkers (later I learned that he is mentally ill and often does not take his medication). Another thing that has contributed is the company limitations to hire proper staffing, which has caused me to work up to 100 hour weeks at the edge of burnout.

Come to think of it I could even say that I have loved the work part of every job I have had over the last 25 years after finishing my degree. I only ended up hating work because of lousy megacorps or nasty people.
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Old 04-20-2012, 06:12 PM   #12
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I like doing nothing, and it doesn't seem to pay very well.
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Old 04-20-2012, 06:15 PM   #13
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This is certainly possible, but there's a spectrum. For example, at one end is Ronstar, who calls it part-time w*rk. At the other end is someone like me. I basically developed one of my hobbies to the point that it not only paid for itself but contributed some extra income. I still do a wee bit of consulting, but I keep it to an absolute minimum, just enough that I can say my hobby is still paying for itself.
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Old 04-20-2012, 06:24 PM   #14
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My take? If you are one of the 1%ers (no, not the super-wealthy) -- among the ranks of those who truly love their work and can do it more or less on their own terms -- then yes, making a living by doing "work" you love can feel like retirement.

It's never going to be a reality for "the 99%", though. The overwhelming majority of folks are never going to realistically be in a position to love their work in this way. Those who do, who can do it largely on their own terms and who would keep doing it even if they didn't need ANY income from it, are among the most blessed people I can imagine.
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Old 04-20-2012, 06:48 PM   #15
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I won't post any of the links I just Googled, but the percent of folks who love their jobs is much higher than 1%, and the percent satisfied is much, much higher. OTOH the percent dissatisfied/unhappy/hate their jobs has grown to 70-80%. While people who love their work are a definite minority, I've never worked anywhere where 99% were unhappy, who has really?

And several articles noted that bosses and coworkers were the more likely source if dissatisfaction than the work itself, as an earlier poster noted. No surprise...
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Old 04-20-2012, 06:50 PM   #16
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My take? If you are one of the 1%ers (no, not the super-wealthy) -- among the ranks of those who truly love their work and can do it more or less on their own terms -- then yes, making a living by doing "work" you love can feel like retirement.

It's never going to be a reality for "the 99%", though. The overwhelming majority of folks are never going to realistically be in a position to love their work in this way. Those who do, who can do it largely on their own terms and who would keep doing it even if they didn't need ANY income from it, are among the most blessed people I can imagine.
+1

There are a large number of people out there who don't understand the 1/99 odds. They spend their lives chasing the perfect job/idea, believing the Brian Kim's of the world (see OP's link), thinking all they need is to "learn how to maximize the enormous potential that lies in your mind and body" to find that dream career and become financially set for life.

Those folks never ER...
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Old 04-20-2012, 07:41 PM   #17
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At the other end is someone like me. I basically developed one of my hobbies to the point that it not only paid for itself but contributed some extra income. I still do a wee bit of consulting, but I keep it to an absolute minimum, just enough that I can say my hobby is still paying for itself.

I did the same thing .I retired after forty years in Nursing and started a hobby of selling on Ebay . My hobby is always interesting and enjoyable and profitable and best of all I can do it in my pj's .
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Old 04-20-2012, 09:08 PM   #18
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Sounds like bullshit to me. I am a highly analytical person and I am damned good at what I do. I have found my way into a number of suitable jobs, but what always ruins it is either horrifically high stress levels or layers of bureacracy so thick I could not cut it with a chainsaw before it suffocated me. Now I am just dying to get out of a cube before I am too old to do so.
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Old 04-20-2012, 11:03 PM   #19
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For the majority of my working life, I made money doing what I really, really wanted to do. I was aware that I was having the time of my life - probably a good 10 years of it felt like I was living in a dream.

Others would tell me that I had a cushy job. I did work quite long hours and was very dedicated, but because I loved it, putting in all the time and effort didn't seem hard. There were a (very) few stressful times, but the passion I had got me through them easily. Even though I was part of a hierarchy, I was pretty much left to my own devices. It was heaven.

So yes, I believe it is possible to make money doing what you love, but I wouldn't put your life on-hold while trying to make it happen, just in case it doesn't happen to you. It's very important that you work to pay the bills and put something in savings. If you can find a way to do it that you absolutely love, that is the icing on the cake (or the cherry in the Martini, or whatever the saying is.)

If you can't do something for work that you love, then make sure you do it in your time off. Life's too short for it all to be drudgery

On the other hand, if I'd paid a little more attention when in University and actually used my Electronics degree for a career, I'd probably have made a lot more money
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Old 04-20-2012, 11:19 PM   #20
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If you had asked me most years before I turned 55, I would have told you that I was getting paid to play. I found the work challenging and rewarding and had good relationships with my superiors, peers, and subordinates. I enjoy solving problems and my job exposed me to lots of interesting ones. There was just enough challenge to keep the work interesting, I had access to resources to solve the problems I was given, and I could do this while still working a reasonable number of hours and having a home life.

Then it all changed with the 2008 downturn. A lot of people were laid off and the rest of us had to pick up their work at the same time that we had the fear that we would be next. The stress levels went way up, people got less enjoyable to work with, and the problems all became ones that I didn't have the resources or authority to solve. Either they didn't have solutions or the solutions were so intertwined with the politics in the executive office that I couldn't influence the outcome. I pulled the plug and retired as soon as the finances became right.

Since then, I've checked back in every few months with my co-workers and it seems to have settled down a little bit. But I'm glad I'm no longer there. The job had become a mix of boredom, frustration and panic. The things I could do to make a difference were so simple that they bored me. The interesting things were outside my scope of control.

I've found I can get the same satisfaction that I used to have working by volunteering at some local museums that need help that matches my skill set. I expect I'll get bored in 3-5 years when I learn all I can and start repeating myself. When that happens, I'll move on and find something else.

The great thing about retirement, is that if you don't like what you are doing, there aren't any constraints that force you to keep doing it. There are a lot of opportunities out there. If you make the effort to look for them, you'll find something that excites you.
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