We asked some folks we admire to share one piece of conventional advice they disagree with.

Lori Thompson | Longarm Quilter and Quilt Artist

I have heard often if you do what you love the money will come. I agree and disagree with this. I agree it’s important to do what you love. But I disagree that the money will just “come.” There’s a lot of hustle needed to make that happen. And more importantly, I think you have to find a viable market that will pay you for what you love to do. If there’s not a market to support this, you could really struggle. I learned this first-hand over the last 10 years as I’ve worked on my creative business. I explored many different ideas and tried many of my business. I started out selling handmade items at craft fairs and teaching at local shops and enjoyed modest success. There was a market for these goods and services, but it wasn’t enough for me to quit my day job. Next I started writing and selling craft patterns online. This worked better as I still get a nice small sideline income from patterns I wrote 10 years ago. Read more>>

Chris Tyrrell | Owner, Chris’ Garage Doors

“Find a job you love and you will never work a day in your life” Do not get me wrong, I am not discouraging people from wanting to work a job they love, I am trying to discourage the notion that you will never do work in that job. Even the best jobs require work and that is not a bad thing! Humans are designed for work and we should lean into that. Another reason I do not particularly enjoy this advice is that it really diminishes the value of difficult jobs. There are people who spend their entire career working a job that they may or may not “love”, but that does not mean that they cannot find purpose and value in working that job. Your purpose could be working to provide for your family, or earning a higher salary so you can give to your community. I think the moral of the story is that it takes intentionality to make any job worth working. Read more>>

Matty Esswein | Tattooer and Friend

10,000 hours of dedication will make you an expert or great at something. No. I disagree. 10,000 hours will make you BETTER at something but great? that goal post just keeps moving. Also, 10,000 hours doesn’t make you an expert. It gives you just enough information to get into trouble. I mean, I’ve been a human (I think) 24 hours a day for over 30 years and I’m still trying to calibrate this clumsy meat suit I’m tethered to. Read more>>

Christa Jimenez | Blogger and Store Owner – Pura Vida Moms

I do not operate from a fear-based mentality. I think traditional marketing and messaging around buying are based on fears- fear of being left out, fear of being left behind, fear of not having enough, fear of not knowing enough. I don’t buy it. I constantly tell myself over and over to take the big risk, that I AM enough and that I have enough to realize my potential and my dreams. This carries over to my business for sure- I run a pretty minimalist business that doesn’t rely on fancy tools or monthly subscriptions to do all the things. I don’t buy a lot of courses or monthly memberships. I really try to keep out all the noise and listen to my heart and trust my own judgment when making decisions about expansion. That mentality has carried over to my life as well- I am constantly getting “stuff” out of my house so that I can focus on experiences and enjoying time with the people I love as opposed to managing stuff. It helps me keep in check what I am buying and where I am spending my time- is it what I really want to do, or am I making the decision because I feel like I should or I’m afraid of the consequences if I don’t?. Read more>>

Theresa Haberkorn | Artist and Printmaker

I attended a workshop a few years ago with a group of artist friends taught by a CU business professor that had talked about how all businesses or products fill a need. It wasn’t that we disagreed, but we had a hard time as artists getting our heads around what kind of need our art can fill besides as my husband jokingly calls it, “an empty walls solutions provider”. Since then, I’ve thought a lot about this and came to realize, especially over the last year, how art really does fill a need besides decorating blank walls. It can give hope, inspiration, change, and so much more. During the pandemic my collectors have written me to let me know how much my work means to them, and how it makes them smile to see it every day in their homes. It was also interesting to see how low artists were placed on the list of essential workers, but the images and murals we’ve all seen on social media in the last year is how we’ll remember this time. Read more>>

Keiran Bissell | FT Social Worker and PT Therapist

“Look on the bright side” or something similar. Some situations are difficult. They bring up grief, sadness, loss, vulnerability, insecurity, anxiety, the list goes on. These emotions belong just as much as happiness, joy, delight, etc. Feeling them more deeply, rather than quickly turning difficulty into a positive, can be as much of a reminder of our humanity as feeling into ‘the bright side.’ Read more>>

Emma Sartwell | Somatic Psychotherapist

“Go to school for the job you want.” This conventional piece of advice doesn’t sit well with me . . . I think life unfolds better if we take it one step at a time and invest ourselves fully into each of those steps. Not acting in preparation for something else, not asking what we’ll get out of it–but merely life for its own sake, studying for its own sake, learning for its own sake. Joseph Campbell tells us that the hero’s journey unfolds when we “follow our bliss.” I think this is a more sustainable, interesting, and aligned mode of living than seeing life experiences as preparation for something in the future. This isn’t to say we should live hedonistically; it’s just to say, if you’re thinking about school, as an example, the questions could be: What lights you up? What sounds enjoyable to study? rather than: What will you do with this degree? What career path does it set you up for? In my own life, I wanted to study Buddhism–I got a Master’s Degree in Buddhist and interfaith chaplaincy from Naropa University, with no idea what I would use it for. Read more>>