RVE 212: How to find balance between work you love and work that pays ($$$)

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This podcast isn’t an interview like normal.

At the beginning of the year, we got a voicemail from a listener asking for advice.

How do you balance between doing the work you love and the work that pays? 

Turns out Heath and I have VERY different approaches.

Before we get into the podcast, I want to share some of the links and resources we mention since they are BIGGIES:


A major thank you to our first “unsponsored sponsor” for today’s episode: Naptime Empires. (And extra thanks because I am indeed writing this during naptime!)


Kaitlin loves creating custom artwork, primarily watercolors. But she’s looking for other more passive ways to make money, like through Etsy printables or publishing a journal on KDP. Where should she focus her time? On the artwork she loves, or the more-passive ideas of digital products?

Alyssa’s Answer:

When we first started picking up freelance clients, they had my full attention. Blogging was my hobby, something I hoped would make money to finally be considered a side hustle, but clients put food on the table. Every day, I did my work for clients first.

Heath did not share my approach.

He was allllllll about his blog. He was GOING TO make money with it eventually, so it needed his full attention now. (You can probably tell that most of our arguments in business come from our different styles.)

I always say pay the bills first, focus on the stuff you love second.

For example, Heath and I always wanted to try Youtube. It looked so fun and we did videos for years for clients, so we knew we had the technical skills. But between clients, planning events, and writing, I didn’t have time for it. That stuff is what allowed us to pay off our debt and keep traveling.

So I published my book. Something passive and fully automated. Once that was bringing a few thousand dollars a month, I ended my contracts with clients. My time freed up instantly.

And I knew it was time to go all-in on Youtube (which we did in New Zealand! It was a blast!).

Do what’s best for your family and your future by padding the bank account first so that you can relentlessly pursue what you love without the added pressure of it needing to make you money.

Heath’s Answer:

It’s all about the runway.

You’ve heard Heath talk about this on the podcast before—financial and emotionally runway.

You have two major risks when starting a new venture:

  1. You run out of money
  2. You run out of passion.

You’re either broke or you burnout.

But by figuring out your runway—how much time you have before you go broke or how long you want to pursue something before you give up—you can make a plan for pursuing what you love. (Yes it involves math, sorry!) Runway gives you a soft deadline of when you need to have something profitable. And it gives you an out if you want to pursue something else.

While Heath and I have largely different approaches to finding this balance, it’s something that is a constant back and forth for both of us. Hope you enjoy today’s episode!

If you’re looking for creative ways to make money on the road like Kelsey, check out our free ebook:

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