"The only way to do great work is to to love what you do." Steve Jobs.
Recently, I caught the awards fever. I have spent a good deal of the last 9 days applying online for awards in categories like most helpful blog (Tech for Good) to INK Fellowship and Bloomberg Media Initiative Africa Scholarship (majorly to get 6 months free access to the Bloomberg Terminal).
My main motivation was that I am as good as the guys who get some of these awards, and that if I apply for many some will be successful. Sounds reasonable and worth it to get $25,000 grant for a few hours work of putting together my business idea and explaining how it would meet an existing profitable need.
Unfortunately, it hasn't been a good experience for me. I felt like I was wasting every minute I spent filling those applications. In a way deeper than I can explain, I felt unproductive in using my time for such purposes. And again, as Steve Jobs said, if you are not happy with what you are doing for too many days in a row, then you need to make a change.
So I am making a change. Once I finish the two essays for the Bloomberg Media Initiative Africa application, I am pulling the plug on applying for awards. Somehow I don't enjoy them or feel they give me what I can't get myself.
I looked at my most proud and productive work, and they are the things I did out of pure passion. The online video course I have now sold to over 170 people across 28 countries was a project I did in 2014 that nobody knew why I was spending so much time and effort training over 500 people for free and without a plan yet of monetizing it. The book I have on Amazon, was purely written out of passion. I gave the first copies away until I figured out how to publish it on Amazon. Even this Data Analysis consulting career I now have began as a free help I offered colleagues at work and friends. It took me a long time to think I could charge for it.
Everything I did purely out of passion, I did very well. Even this blog is a fruit of my passion to write daily. In any way I have been outstanding, it is purely because I was driven by passion. And it's now time to learn from my old self. No more doing what I don't have the smallest passion for except it's extremely necessary. Luckily, I already have a strong passion for more than enough things. I hope to finish my novel this year and will benefit from the time gulped up in applying for awards.