Choosing Money or Choosing Your Dream

There's always a battle between the two. So what should you do?

Choosing Money or Choosing Your Dream
Photo by Erik Mclean / Unsplash

When I was growing up, my entire world was transformed by the magic of comic books. Marvel Comics, Mad Magazine, and Cracked Magazine blew open the doors of creativity for my life and my future.

Every day I spent countless hours copying the work of these incredible artists, hoping one day my destiny of working for the iconic Stan Lee would be fulfilled. Cartooning was in my blood. I was created to be an illustrator and was damn good at it.

Unfortunately my hopes and dreams never came true.

Chasing money instead of the dream.

Despite my insane love and passion for drawing cartoons, someone convinced me to focus my attention on computers. Desktop publishing was taking off and graphic design was the where the “big money” would be at. So I traded my childhood dream for a potential payoff.

While I’ve made a great living as a designer and had incredible opportunities to work for famous brands, there has always been a feeling of regret for my decision.

Don’t get me wrong, being able to provide for one’s self or family is important, and there’s no badge of honor in being the starving artist. Following your passion doesn’t always pay off (most of the time it doesn’t). So making money with your talents is crucial to survival.

But there’s something about giving up what you love for the pursuit of money that never feels right.

The pain of regret is more costly.

Choosing the right path is a difficult decision because the wrong choice can be detrimental to your happiness or bank account. You could fail BIG TIME.

Yet there’s always the possibility things will not work out no matter what choice you make. There are no guarantees in life or business. What is certain is you can always make more money, but you can never make more time. Our adventure on this planet will only last for so long so we must make the most of every opportunity.

Perhaps I would’ve never made it as a professional illustrator or cartoonist, but I’ll never know because I never tried. This has been a painful lesson in life.

I will say the regret of never attempting your dream hurts more than the potential failures that could’ve come from doing it.

So do you choose between money or your dreams? Maybe it can be both.

Making money while following your dream.

There are many creative people who followed their passions and make an amazing living from it. They wake up every day being able to do what they love. Unfortunately there are many more who will never get to experience this freedom.

The reality is the life of an artist often requires doing work we have no interest in.

Sometimes we must do what pays the bills … and there’s nothing wrong with that. Being able to use your talents to make money is a good thing!

What truly matters is that you never give up on your passion.

Find a way to make it happen.

And I’ll be honest. I'm still fighting this problem too.

There are days spent doing shit I absolutely hate but it provides me the financial ability to travel full-time while seeing the world. Plus I can still write (my new love) and pursue my other dreams as time allows.

I might not ever replace my entire income with the stuff I want to do most, but I still get to play in the sandbox.

red and blue robot toy
Photo by Mateusz Wacławek / Unsplash

So never give up!

Whatever your situation, my encouragement to you is never give up on your dream.

If you gotta work a job you hate to get to the place you love, keep moving forward. Just don’t live with the regrets of giving up on it.

Stay in the fight no matter what.