Everybody wants to earn money doing what they love. Whether it be making art, creating smartphone applications, playing video games, or writing novels, a lot of people start out dreaming up careers around hobbies that give them a sense of fulfillment.
There are considerations you have to make to determine whether this is a feasible option for your future. Profiting from activities you're passionate about is different from doing them simply because they make you happy. The sooner you determine whether your career and your passion should be the same or best kept separate, the better you'll be able to plan for your future.
Your Level of Mastery
Mastery is integral if you are to profit from any skill. If you're considering becoming a professional pianist with annual recitals in your hometown of Colorado, you have to identify the steps you'll take to get there. Signing up for beginner piano lessons is your top priority, and then you have to figure out how long it would take for you to progress. The financial investment you'll make is also among your top concerns because this is one of the many professions that require formal education to truly excel in.
Perhaps it's not piano concertos you see in your future but managing your own music studio. The level of mastery you need won't be the same as that of a professional pianist, but you'll also need to learn how to manage this kind of business. This makes a bachelor's degree in business courses a fitting choice. Your goal then becomes to achieve a certain level of mastery in playing the piano and running a business.
Your Desired Lifestyle
Do your research on how much money the people in your desired profession make. The influential ones that bag six figures might be your role models, but it's better to stay on the safe side and assume a more practical role in your industry.
When you have an idea of how much the average artist, IT specialist, or author makes, you'll be able to see whether that'll be enough to support your ideal lifestyle. If it doesn't, then perhaps you should invest in another profession with a higher earning capacity. Consider pursuing a more financially stable job before slowly making a side hustle of your passions. Following the earlier example, you can take a job in the corporate world and offer piano lessons on the weekend to children in your neighborhood to start.
The more realistic your plans are, the more likely you'll be able to turn your aspiration into reality.
Your Innate Gifts
You can be passionate about something and not be gifted in it. Some examples of this are people who are passionate about music, books, dance, and cooking. Just because you feel strongly about them doesn't mean you excel in them. At the same time, just because you don't excel in them doesn't mean that you can't turn them into a career. Simply becoming aware if you're gifted in the same things you're passionate about will help you make feasible projections about the profession you should pursue in the future.
Maybe your innate gift is in managing a business and not in playing the piano. It could also be the other way around. You could be an especially gifted pianist with no administrative skills to run a music studio. It's also possible that playing the piano will continue to be just a hobby. There's nothing wrong with that because it's there to make you happy.
Simply recognizing your gifts, passions, strengths, and weaknesses can fast-track your progress in the right career.
Take your time
Reflecting on all these in one sitting won't be enough to make the best choices for your future. Take your time exploring the different ways you can make money doing what you're passionate about and exert effort into recognizing your innate gifts. These two can be completely different things, but you can still maximize both to land the career of your dreams and live the life you want.