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I coined a new type of Fire. I thought of it when I was writing my post regarding the definition of financial independence. I realized that a lot of us are pursuing fire for one main reason – and that’s so we have the free time to pursue our passions. Enter Passion Fire.
What is Passion Fire?
No, it’s not pursuing independence with a fiery passion. But hey, that’s cool too! Passion Fire is having the wealth and financial stability to quit your traditional job and pursue making money from your passions. You’d still be working for a living, but it would be on projects that you want to work on, whether that be for yourself or for someone else.
Some people may pursue passion fire so that they can create art, write, start their own farm, or even create a woodworking business. Others may pursue it so they can be zookeepers, caretakers, or park rangers (don’t even get me started on how sad it is that these professions don’t pay enough for people to live comfortably). Passion fire is all about being financially solvent enough to find your own path, even if it’s not the traditional one.
Passion Fire vs Barista Fire
Do you think my shiny new type of fire has a few similarities with Barista fire? Both include working to produce an income so I guess you wouldn’t be truly financially independent in either scenario. But there is one key difference. Barista fire gets its name from being a barista at a coffee shop. It’s an idealized version of that low-stress part-time job that puts some spending money in your pocket (I really don’t know why they call it barista fire…being a barista does not sound like a low-stress job to me!).
Passion fire isn’t about working part-time for extra spending money or working a low-stress job. Some of our passions can be extremely stressful! We do them out of love, rather than out of obligation. I think that being a wildlife biologist could be incredibly stressful, but it’s been my dream job since I was a teenager. However, I decided against it because I sold out. I didn’t want to have to live on thirty to forty thousand dollars per year for my entire life. I opted out of being a teacher for the exact same reason. But these are things that I can definitely go back and pursue once I reach financial independence.
Are You Ready to Passion Fire?
The next question is: are you ready to passion fire? That answer is different for everyone. There are tons of factors that you need to take into account before deciding whether you are ready or not.
What Are Your Passions?
The first thing you need to decide is – what is your passion? What did you want to be when you were a little kid? Once you figure this out, you can figure out how much you could potentially make from it and how much you need to have saved prior to pursuing it.
I wanted to be an archaeologist when I was little (Indiana Jones for the win!). As I got older, into my teenage years, my passion changed to biology. But now that I’m out of school and have time to really discover myself, I realize that little kid Melanie was much closer to one of my greatest passions: Anthropology. I’d love to go back to school and study anthropology, and I’d love to turn that into an academic career of studying folklore across cultures and finding ways to relate the varying stories to the basics of the human condition.
Find Ways to Make Money from Your Passions
The next step is to find ways to make money from the things that you are passionate about. I’ve combined my love of writing and my love of personal finance to create this blog. It hasn’t made any money yet, but I know that if I continue to work hard on it, it eventually will. And as a bonus, I love doing it!
There are tons of ways to make money from your passions (or hobbies). You can sell homemade or handcrafted items on Etsy. If you love animals, you can start a pet sitting and dog walking service. If you love graphic design, you can design and sell items with print on demand. You can also pursue an academic degree and a career in teaching or academia if you are passionate about history or humanities, and you can pursue research if you are passionate about science. The possibilities are endless.
How Much Money Will Pursuing your Passion Cost?
Here is the rub about pursuing your passions: it can be expensive. I’m not pursuing an academic career in anthropology at this point in my life because getting an advanced degree is freaking expensive! It is one of my Fire goals though, so I’m including the cost in my Fire number. Some of your passions may be equally expensive. Any advanced degree or certification is going to be costly, so make sure you include this in your passion fire number.
On the plus side, some passions are much, much cheaper. You can start a blog for as little as four bucks a month! You can start designing T-shirts with Canva free or get better graphics with Design Wizard for a low cost. There are tons of things you can create for just the cost of supplies.
How Long Will It Take you to Start Making Money off of your Passions?
This one is different for different passions as well. If your passion is taking you back to college, you probably have a better chance of making good money fairly quickly. But if your passion is writing or creating something to sell, it could potentially take years. I’ve been blogging about finance for a year and a half, and it hasn’t made me any money yet. It takes a lot of people over two years to start making any real income off of it. And let’s be real, some people start blogs and quit within six months without ever making any money. Pursuing your passions doesn’t necessarily mean you will make money, that’s important to consider.
How Much Money Will You Need to Passion Fire?
After you answer all of these questions, you can determine how much money you need to Passion Fire. Will it take five years to build your passion into an income-producing machine? Then you will need enough money to replace at least five years of your income (or start working on it before you passion fire!). Do you need to go back to school? Then you will need the money to pay for it (unless you want to take out more loans, which I don’t advise!).
If your passion is something that you have the training and education for, but just doesn’t pay well, you just need enough money to achieve your financial goals. For example, I could easily go be a wildlife biologist without any further training or education. I need about a year to get all my debt paid off, but since I’m mortgage-free now, I’d definitely be able to pay all my bills on the smaller salary that a wildlife biologist position offers. But if I chose to travel the world and try to make money blogging, I’ll need a lot more money! The amount of money you need is directly related to the answers to all those other questions.
Is Passion Fire the Fire For You?
We are all pursuing financial independence for different reasons. Some of us don’t want to work, and there’s nothing wrong with that. But my reason for financial independence is to pursue my passions, which do require some work and can make me some money. That’s why passion fire is the fire for me, and why it’s already catching on! Is it the fire for you?
Melanie launched Partners in Fire in 2017 to document her quest for financial independence with a mix of finance, fun, and solving the world’s problems. She’s self educated in personal finance and passionate about fighting systematic problems that prevent others from achieving their own financial goals. She also loves travel, anthropology, gaming and her cats.