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Why I chose passion over paycheck!

We understand money makes the world go around, but passion is what moves our spirit. Without passion and purpose, we are just moving to the beat of others’ dreams. Of course, we can work a high paying job, 50 to 60 hours a week and do what we are asked, but are we really fulfilling the call that is on our lives?

Each and everyday, many people reach a crossroad where they must decide between pursuing a paycheck or following their dreams. Trust me I know. When I left my post with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) as a criminal investigator and was presented with an opportunity to follow my dreams as a professor at a small university, there were many thoughts going through my head.

I thought to myself, was I crazy? Isn’t this a good job? Hey – I got to carry a gun, was paid good money, and guaranteed to retire in 20 years! But my passion to educate and write burned so silently inside of me; and because of that passion, I just could not say “no.” Six years later, I never once regretted my decision.

And I am not alone, there are so many people who are taking the risk to pursue passion over paychecks. Thomas Dye, a makeup artist, decided to leave his high-paying accounting job to pursue his dreams of becoming an international makeup artist. His passion has afforded him the opportunity to travel to several countries and to paint the beautiful faces of Kim Whitley, Lala Hathaway and Vickie Winans just to name a few.

“I have to admit, in the beginning, it was a huge sacrifice,” says Dye. “You may find yourself choosing between your wants and needs, but in the end you have true happiness, which money cannot buy.”

Don’t Quit Your Day Job…At Least Not So Soon I would caution anyone who wishes to pursue their passion to avoid quitting your day job right away. If you are in over your head with bills, first take the time to eliminate unnecessary expenses and get your financial house in order. Create a financial plan that can bring about a smooth transition.  Also, consider working your “passion” on the side – after hours or on the weekends until your passion is fully developed to create a steady stream of income.  More importantly, create a vision where you want to be!

Don’t Get Me Wrong…Passion Brings About a Paycheck If you take the appropriate steps, take your time, your passion can result in profit! In an effort to pursue his dreams as an attorney, James Washington quit a high-paying job and stepped out on faith. At the end, he graduated in the top 1 percent of his class.  “Making the decision to leave my job was one of the hardest decisions of my life. While attending Loyola University New Orleans- College of Law, the initial drop in income was difficult to bear, but I had a plan and a goal, and it has all paid off.” Today, he works as a tax attorney and is realizing his dreams.

It’s time for you to decide! Will you follow a paycheck or fulfill your passion?

Remember Your Choice, Your Future!

Kemberley Washington is a certified public accountant and a business professor at Dillard University. Follow her on Twitter or subscribe to her blog at

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