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Modern Entrepreneur Series: Part 1

By: Dan Reidmiller

Welcome to a new perspective on passion, money and the grey area where they overlap. Read on if you want to find out how to bring that grey area into focus and live there.

The Intro

In 2009, when the economy all but collapsed, millions of Americans were faced with tough decisions. College-aged young people were competing for entry level jobs with seasoned vets, men and women with 20+ years of experience who were willing to work for nickels. Still, even many of those experienced workers couldn't find jobs.

"What are we going to do?" many thought. 

Well, those people who couldn't find jobs found something better, something that benefits all of us. They found out that if you absolutely can't find a job, you can just change your definition of a "job" to be whatever you're currently doing.

Problem solved. Now, in 2012, we are seeing a revolution that redefines what constitutes a "job."

Passion & Money

As the smartest, most adaptable (and therefore, most successful) members of the unemployed masses found out, a job doesn't have to be a place where an employer and employee trade a paycheck for 8 hours spent doing something you don't care about.

Without access to traditional jobs, many people finally had a reason to truthfully answer the age-old high school guidance counselor question, "What would you do if you didn't have to work at all?" 

The Secret

So, without much money, these people spent the only thing they had left - time, and plenty of it.

They spent time doing what they love. Some went fishing. Others took up photography. Still others spent time writing. Regardless of exactly what the hobby was, they all spent time exploring, creating and enjoying.

And then one day, out of the blue, many of these hobbyists discovered a little secret.

They discovered that people are willing to pay you to do what you love.  They found out that if you love something and are pretty good at it, then others will accept you as an "expert" at it. And when people pay you for your hobby, you become more than a hobbyist and more, even, than someone working a "job." 

You become a modern entrepreneur.

The Modern Entrepreneur

The "modern entrepreneur" is a term I'm using to describe people who maybe didn't go to business school and who definitely don't just do something because it will make money, but rather they do it because it's what they'd be doing if they took money completely out of the equation. 

Over the course of this series, I'm going to highlight exactly how you can pursue your passion in order to sustain yourself financially. 

No, you might not get rich. You might not even make a whole lot of money. But so what? What if you only made enough to scrape by? 

Ask yourself this question:

​Would you rather scrape by financially, or "scrape by" in terms of emotional currency? In other words, is money, beyond just what you need to get by, really worth sacrificing your happiness by working a job you don't care about or even despise? 

Answer that question. Answer it alone, quietly to yourself when you're laying in bed tonight. Be honest with yourself, because the only person who can judge what's in your mind and your heart is you.

Answer that question and if your answer is "No, more money is NOT worth less happiness" then come back next week and find out how you can take actionable steps toward making a change in your life, your level of happiness and your occupation.

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As Seen On ABC's Shark Tank, HGTV House Hounters, TLC's Hoarding: Buried Alive, The Oprah Winfrey Show, Bravo's The Millionaire Matchmaker, and AMC's The Pitch