A few weeks ago, classical musician Joshua Bell played at a Metro station in DC. Years ago, he played anonymously and the Washington Post writer Gene Weingarten wrote an essay on the experience. A few days ago, singer Erica Badu sang in Times Square. She made $3.60. Both of these experiences got me thinking about doing what you love.
In 1993, I was 16 and took the Strong Interest Test in high school. The result? The first career that popped up for me was Author. Scanning down the paper, I read that my salary would be $16,000. I had no idea what that would be in real world money, but I did know that was low. My classmates had careers like lawyer, or accountant. Their salaries started at $50K. Still, I stared at the paper and thought, Well it’s a start.
Since that moment, I view, any salary I get that is over $16K is a win. I don’t earn any money from my writing and don’t expect to ever get rich. (Unless I get very lucky.) Money will come in time. For now, I’m more focused on building a body of work and getting better at my craft. I’m working anonymously (without the famous reveal of course).
Just out on the corner of the internet, doing my thing.
When you do what you love, there is still hard work. You work and give so much of your time, attention and yes, sanity. Some will think you are crazy, standing out on the corner singing for three bucks. While Erica did this as a stunt, there are plenty of us who are doing for real.
Sing on I say. Not because you want the money, or the attention. You simply want to do this. Everything else is a win.