A great post by Paul Jarvis on paying your dues:
Doing what you love isn’t good enough. It’s not even close to being a recipe for success. You have to do what you are really fucking good at, know it inside and out, and have worked at it for a long time. Going freelance right out of school or right after you learn a new skill can be both a comedy of errors and extremely egotistical (and you’re smarter than that).
Past having the necessary stone-cold expertise dialled in, business is relationships. These relationships take time to cultivate (a lot of time). Your business will come from people you know and people they know, so if those connections aren’t there, the business you need to survive won’t be there either.
Running a business is also an incredible risk. Most of them fail and fail quickly. Even the ones that were started by extremely passionate people.
My advice is always the same—pay your fucking dues first. And in a world of positivity, encouraging Rumi quotes and the mentality “if you’ve got passion, your business will succeed”, I sound like a meanie and total buzzkill.
These thoughts echo what Cal Newport spoke at WDS on building a remarkable career.