Tell Them What They Want to Hear

The secret ingredient is hard work. (Excerpt from Have Fun, Get Paid: How to Make a Living With Your Creativity)

Truth is rarely a welcome guest. We love to hold onto our unrealistic dreams because on the off chance that they actually come true, we get something for nothing: Weight loss without lifestyle change. Fame and fortune without hard work. When you tell people that the real world doesn’t work this way, they’ll usually ignore you and go read another numbered-list article on how to get what they want without putting forth any effort.

When I first got the idea for this book, I had mixed emotions about it. The title conveys exactly what I wanted to say. However, down in the basement, my inner demons gleefully poured another batch of martinis when I realized that I was also telling people exactly what they wanted to hear. Have Fun. Get Paid. Make a living with your creativity. Yep, that’s exactly the sort of thing that tends to be followed by a numbered list of empty promises.

However, there’s an extra ingredient in all that I’ve said. You can absolutely have fun and make a living doing the things that you love. I’ve been doing it all my life, and I’ve known countless others who have done the same. However, you have to work at it, and you have to work hard.

That one little addendum is what separates the success stories from the wannabes: hard work. It’s the differentiating factor that matters far more than raw talent or good looks. If I leave out the part about the effort required on your part, I’m just cheating you, offering no more than empty platitudes that tell you what you want to hear.

I like helping people, particularly my fellow creative creatures. I can’t accomplish that by pandering to the something-for-nothing crowd. This sort of reader will never succeed no matter how many get-rich quick articles she consumes because she’s unwilling to employ the magic ingredient of hard work.

The fact that you’re still reading even after I’ve told you that success requires tremendous effort on your part means you’re serious and looking at your world realistically. This gives you a tremendous advantage not just in your field but in all aspects of your life.

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