Wednesday, July 23, 2008

This is a hustle -- straight up

When the neuroscientist gave up his good salary for early retirement, he told his wife he wanted to be a nature photographer. And so he did. In 2003, sales peaked at more than $1,000.

A special-ed teacher hung up his cleats and started making decorative mobiles. Sales, around $4,000.

The Mystery Woman traded days as a media specialist (that’s library lady to you), for the enjoyment of making educational DVDs. Gross sales, $2,000.

When I started this blog, I secretly dreamed of making more money than Matthew Drudge and Adriana Huffington combined. Ad sales so far, $0. Goose egg.

Full disclosure: I have made thirty bucks as a columnist for a syndicate serving senior newspapers.

The point? Money, albeit welcome, is not the prime motivation.

I can’t speak for others, but I put in a couple hours daily to write this blog for several reasons. For one, I hope it entertains you. For another, I love writing.

Plus, one day it dawned on me – it’s “the doing” that is important. The fun of finding the nuggets of trivia keeps my head in the game. The discipline of hitting a deadline nearly every day gives extra flavor to the morning. Hitting the send button completes something nice. And, if you are keeping count, today’s post is #300.

It helps to have a hustle.

5 comments:

The South Plainsman said...

Me, I created a blog mainly because you did. I never really had a thought that anyone but friends would read it, and so far that has been the case. LOL

But I still have to write the darn thing with the view that anyone might read it, so I have to maintain a tight discipline over how I say things, and of course, am quite hamstrung by the political correctness that pervades our otherwise free society. Frankly, that takes a lot of the fun out of it. It's not that I want to be offensive, but often a decent discussion of some topics requires straight talk.

As for deadlines, well, I have never written well on deadline, with the possible exception of the Bar Exam. And deadlines have been the bane of my professional existence. So now that I am retired, I avoid them like the plague.

The result of this all is that I don't write very often.

Jeff Hebert said...

Congratulations on "300" George, I sure hope you're having enough fun to tack a zero on the end of it and get to 3000.

Ken Martin said...

George you've hit on a topic that's probably universal. Money drives some people, of course, but for many of us, particularly at middle age and beyond, we're looking for something that excites us and money is a secondary motivation.

I'm a good example of the phenomena, I think. I served more than twenty years in the US Marine Corps, retired as a major, a financial accounting officer. Having been a high-school dropout I had gotten a smattering of college credits in night courses, but knew I needed more education to find my niche after retiring. I'd had it with bean-counting and though I could've made a bundle by getting a degree in accounting and a CPA, I instead chose to pursue my interest in writing. I took a bachelor's in humanities after three and a half years at the University of Texas and have spent the last thirty years as a journalist. When we put out the September edition of The Good Life magazine that'll mark our eleventh anniversary and issue No. 132.

As I often say, I'm infinitely downwardly mobile, but I've never regretted the decision to get into a line of work that gives me day-to-day pleasure. You hit it exactly when you said the reward is in the doing, not the financial carrot.

Congratulations on No. 300 George, and keep 'em coming!

Anonymous said...

Ditto -- keep 'em coming, George. You've got a real talent and passion, two qualities that are often non-existent in some of today's so-called journalists. Like my brother, let's make sure we tag that zero on the end for 3,000.

Denise

George Phenix said...

Thanks for your support. But I'll never make it to 3,000 because I don't have that much to say.

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