It's incredibly misleading when people say to young entrepreneurs, "Do what you love and the money will follow." I don't think that's true at all. Yes, I do what I love and yes, the money has followed, but not because of doing what I love.
I provide the same product today as I did five years ago, however the money only "followed" when I started doing specific things that I simply didn't know to do five years ago.
There are many variables that affect the outcome of following your dream. It's pretty much guaranteed that things are going to get tough at times and you need to be okay dealing with it. You're going to have to LOVE what you're doing so much that you accept the major challenges that come with it. I'm not just talking about the typical day-to-day stresses, but the real issues that make you question whether or not this is right for you.
I've done things in the past that I loved doing, but later realized I only loved doing them under certain conditions. I loved these activities, but not the life I had to live in order to be able to continue doing them. (e.g. acting & ceramics)
The fact that I didn't want to continue down that path doesn't mean I'm a quitter, it means I'm a chooser. I exercise the right to choose what I want to do during my lifetime.
Trying a variety of activities in order to find one that resonates with you is a great way to figure out what you want to do as a career and, equally important, what you DON'T want as a career.
Once you figure out what you love doing so much that you can't imagine doing something else, you're only at Step One. Simply doing what you love won't guarantee financial success. That can certainly be the outcome, but it's not automatic.
As a byproduct of creating a successful engagement ring business while simultaneously raising twin toddlers, it has led to other jewelers (male and female) wanting to know my "secret." They want to know how they can be more of a present parent while still running a million dollar business (I am with my kids each weekday from 6:00 a.m.-11:30 a.m. and 6:00 p.m.-8:00 p.m. with very few exceptions. They have one 40 minute nap in the morning, during which I respond to client emails.)
When one of my coaching clients asks about this business model, the list of what I do to make it financially successful is substantial. I no longer "sell a product." I sell an experience that just so happens to come with a product. And yes, this works quite well. If you watch the television show, "How It's Made" on the Science channel, you'll know that the manufactured product starts very specifically with Step A and finishes with Step Z. That product goes through the same process every time in order to get a consistent end result.
In my case, the end result is a happy client who wants to write a raving review about their new custom engagement ring. The customer lifecycle starts with a potential client and ends with a happy client. Every step in between that cycle is choreographed in order to produce the correct result. And the proof is a 5-star rating across all online review sites. Now this may seem ironic considering that my product is custom made and each one is completely unique, but the important point in this case is that the client lifecycle is the firm process, not the actual product. This is assuming your product or delivered service is amazing, of course.
Doing what you love won't automatically lead to financial success, but strategically creating a system to make your business equation be "Steps A to Z = $$$" might just be the first move to making that happen.