Choose Passion or Money?

“Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.”

Passion or money? Do we have to choose one over the other? Often that is a question we tell ourselves.
Can’t I do something I enjoy, and still get paid for it? To do a startup, or to find a “proper” job? (Gee!) I had many doubts before I dived into doing a startup, mostly about myself.

“I can’t do this because.. I have no money.. I have no time.. I don’t have enough experience yet… I have no resources. “Actually, don’t they just sound like excuses? The real reason is that we just don’t want it as badly enough. If we have the heart to do it, we will find a way to do it. I wake up excited for breakfast every morning. I’m definitely passionate about food.

An ex-employer once compared my energy level with an intern, saying that I didn’t seem as “enthusiastic” as he was. It is not a valid comparison if you ask me – I can tell you I was really excited about my first permanent job in fact – there was nothing much for me to be passionate about (I was editing pictures of electronic components…) but I stayed in the job for nearly 2 years nevertheless. The problem wasn’t really with the job scope, it was with the boss. It wasn’t long before I felt so jaded and decided I wanted to do my own thing. since I had no money, I had practically nothing to lose…

So being a naive person, I didn’t know what I was going to embark on, I started Dealzilla with the very talented Daniel Hum, (now CTO of Burpple) because it solved a personal problem that I had. There were 70 deal sites in Singapore and I couldn’t stand the thought of missing out on a good deal. We worked on it together for 8 months before we decided it was time to move on. There was some revenue but not financially sustainable to pay both of us.

Through the project, I found out that I was very entertained by the fact that a simple idea in my head, could be turned into a sketch on paper and then a concept and finally created in reality. That’s when I learned that creation is my passion. Even if there is no money.

How do you tell if someone works for passion?

  • They don’t have to work and look forward to Pay Day. Money is not the only reason why they are doing work.
  • They don’t have Monday Blues. In fact, they might have come up with a great idea over the weekend and can’t wait to implement it. They simply enjoy what they do

And till today, despite knowing that successful businessmen will disagree with me…. I believe that if you believe in passion, put your heart and soul into your work, the money will come. I am still an artist at heart.

Of course, please practise some responsibility and find the income to pay your bills on time lah.

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