Should I pursue my passion or money?

Many young people approach me from time to time asking me which one they should go for; their passion or money?

On the surface it appears like a very simple question with straightforward answer. But as a practising street entrepreneur who has seen both sides of the coin I can tell you for free that it is a tough call.

But let me start by explaining this.

Chukwuma Soludo is a Professor of Economics, the former number one banker in Nigeria and today, the governor of Anambra State. But guess what? His son is into music, dressing like one rascal of a guy out there. But that is what gives him joy and it is fine.

Femi Otedola is one of the leading billionaire entrepreneurs in Nigeria. His daughter is a DJ – that is where she finds happiness. Will she ever make enough money to become a billionaire from such a venture? It is immaterial, the father already did all that. In fact, the father just bought her a $5m house as a gift for her 30th birthday.

I heard that Deborah Eneche is going about (wearing her long boots) as one Gospel artist – I don’t know if she is really as good as Sinach or she is just catching cruise there. Whichever, it doesn’t matter much – that is her passion.

Leo Stan Ekeh, the billionaire founder of Zinox Group must be very happy to see his son choose to be an entrepreneur like himself. Yes, Prince Nnamdi Ekeh founded Yudala at age 23. But it is the 400 million naira a month by his father that is sustaining the business and not his entrepreneurial ingenuity. But watching the guy dress to office daily I can see he is living a dream.

Now, what is common among all the names I mentioned above?

Their fathers have all paid the price for them. The last thing in their mind is how to make money. They are are doing whatever they are doing out of their love for it.

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So Should You Chase Your Passion or Money?

No, the question should actually be ‘who is your father?’ Has your father paid the price for you?

Now, look at it this way, when your father has made all the money there is to make in this world you can comfortably chase after your passion – who cares if it makes sense or not.

But you see some of us that nobody knows our father, we must be intentional about making money.
Forget passion for now. You heard me well, I said you should forget passion FOR NOW. Passion does not pay anyone’s bills, money does.

‘Chase’ after opportunities with all the energy of your youth. And where there is opportunity there is money. Read that again.

If you see opportunity where they are packing refuse go there. If you see opportunity in cryptocurrencies go there. Peradventure you see opportunity in web development go there. If the opportunities are in journalism don’t hesitate to go there. Some persons have found opportunities in sports, farming, politics and different other areas of life, so be open to all.

If it is legitimate, and has the potential for giving you money to pay your bill and build wealth, try and bridle that passion of yours for now.

What you want is to make money solving societal problems, so never mind if your mind is telling you that it is not your passion.

When you make enough money from what you are doing, you can now use it to fund your passion. This is because passion without money will lead you to frustration.

In fact, if your passion don’t fill your pocket, then it is not passionate enough.

The Bitter Truth is This…

Some of us went to the University to study medicine or engineering not because we like it that much but because we believe it is a more likely path to wealth.

Some of us are doing this entrepreneurship of a thing today not because we are enjoying it so much but because we want to make money.

I give you an example, when I started HTS Shuttle Services I didn’t do it because I love to be a transporter. No. I did because I saw a great opportunity in the transport sector and no one else seemed to be seeing it then.

I give you another. Nnamdi Ezeigbo wanted to work in one of the oil companies. For two years he chased after that. Well, he couldn’t get it. So after 2 years of hunger and being unemployed he decided to seek another pathway – the pathway of entrepreneurship. Today, he tells anyone who cares to listen that unemployment (and not passion) chased him into entrepreneurship.

So before you choose passion over money ask yourself if your father is Otedola, Soludo or Paul Eneche. If they are not, then use your head.

The Challenge Before You

Now, the challenge before you is this, if you can’t go after your passion because your father did not pay the price, will you pay the price for your own children?

Someone said that if you were not born into wealth then wealth must be born out of you.

It is not your fault if you were born into poverty, but it is your fault if your children inherit poverty.
Your children should have better options than you had because you paved the way.

So when next that you are faced with this question of passion or money, just look at your background. Then look at the opportunities around you and ask yourself what would you want your children to inherit? Sincere and honest answers to these questions should be a good guide in deciding which one to go after.

My Verdict

Passion is costly. And for every passion you indulge in, someone somewhere has to pay for it.

Money allows one to pursue other things (including passion).

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