This is a delicate matter that brings to mind the cliché “One man’s trash is another one’s treasure.” No one can predict with 100% accuracy what will be interesting and important to millions of people 5 years from now (or even five weeks from now). For example, the first time I saw someone snowboarding 25 years ago I thought it was a silly fad that would never catch on. Now, of course, there are numerous snowboarding gurus who make seven figures peddling their craft. (And let’s not even discuss my initial thoughts about Twitter!)
Still, at some point, you really have to figure out if what you do is ever going to lead to a true self-sustaining career, or will it forever be just a hobby—and there’s nothing wrong with having hobbies.
If your niche is some aspect of music or singing, then you already know that the music or singing isn’t BS because thousands of people have made fortunes from singing, and millions of people have made a living through music over the years. So the questions then become 1. Are you talented enough with your singing? And 2. Have you picked a niche that has wide enough appeal? You might have a great voice, but if you decide to become the world’s greatest musical recording artist of Amish folk songs, it may be that you audience isn’t large enough to ever buy more than a few dozen copies of your work (or they don’t have an electrical devices to play your music.)
“Real” is a subjective thing. Prince Charles interest in architecture is very real to him, even though he doesn’t make a living from it. I can’t tell you how to define what is real and meaningful to you, but I urge you to define it for yourself sooner rather than later. “Real” may mean you are a respected elder and teacher on ethics to all 25 children in your tiny village—that’s admirable. But that is a very different goal from trying to become a “lifestyle” coach/guru while living in New York City and trying to support a family off of your guru earnings.
At some point, you must come up with quantifiable goals with a specific and concrete timetable. That doesn’t mean you have to give up if you aren’t making a million dollars a year in year three, even though that was in your original business plan. At some point though, you must either conclude that you have become successful in a successful niche, or you must change or recalibrate until you can find a new niche. Or you may need to conclude you’re a chasing a dream that is BS and it’s time to try something completely new. There is no shame in shifting directions in your quest to become a guru or simply shifting your ambitions altogether in focusing n having a nice job and fun hobbies but not one where you are attempting guru status.
Don’t let other people tell you what is BS and what isn’t, but make sure you have a clear idea in your own mind exactly what is BS and what isn’t.
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