Steady cash flow comes from steady work. If you want money you have to do something that produces money.
Much of what we want to do in life does not always produce cash. We may experience fun, enjoyment, fulfillment and entertainment but it may not render dollars. Often, much of what we enjoy in life typically costs us money and usually a lot of money.
You may love to play golf and even aspire to make a professional tour. You could spend most of your life and tens of thousands of dollars on green fees, memberships, lessons, travel and more and still never make a dime from playing golf.
You may love movies, theatre and plays and spend years in drama schools and Hollywood and never get a job that pays any money. This story is true for those who dream of making it big in music. I’ve talked to numbers of singers in Nashville who have spent years singing for tips and often for free. They pursued their dream relentlessly and some ended up homeless because while they pursued their dream, dollars were not coming in to support them.
Writers have spent their lives trying to write one great book that someone would notice. Painters often paint their entire lives without much fanfare or few sales. Would be entertainers and artsy folks from all walks of life know that the road to success is filled with disappointments, constant rejection, little to no support and poverty.
I was a weird guy in high school as I aspired to be a full-time minister. Sixteen years old was an odd time in life to start shunning my electric guitar, lose my passion for basketball and aspire to be a minister. It also didn’t do a lot for my dating life either. My dad thought I was crazy but never said a whole lot. Once he did say, “Why don’t you get a good job and preach on the side?” I thought that was a crazy idea because I knew of too many ministers who had full time careers and seemed to do okay. Thus, I went to school until I was 29 years old to be a full-time minister. The post college degrees that I attended full-time for seven years were enough time for medical school, Law school or whatever but I pursued my calling and followed my heart.
I don’t regret pursuing my dream. I had about 35 years of being an average wage earner as a minister and sometimes did better than average. However, my dad had respectable advice as parent’s usually do. Today I give the same advice. Follow your dream but you need a sawmill on the side for stable cash flow. Church has changed. Many churches are small and can’t afford a full-time minister. Sadly, often ministers and congregations can’t survive in harmony for more than a couple of years so this makes for a very unstable life.
When I say, “you need a sawmill on the side,” I mean you need something in your life you can count on. You need a plumber’s license, a teaching certificate, carpentry skills or a business of some kind that renders dollars. Why? You can’t always depend on what you love doing to produce income. It may be what you love to do and you may be terrific at what you do but often you can’t count on it financially.
Find a work that people must have or want very badly. If you are in a work that someone must have then there will be financial rewards. If they want very badly want you have to offer there will be financial rewards. If they want and need it both you are golden. It may not be your passion but you will generally make enough money from your “sawmill” so you can sing, dance, paint, entertain, write, act or even preach on the side. When you do what you love to do without the constant pressure of needing money then you are free to do it enjoyably without the stress of wondering from where your next meal will come.
Dr. Glenn Mollette is an author and his column is published weekly in over 600 publications in all 50 states.