Why 'Follow Your Bliss' is Terrible Advice
Mar 17, 2015
Over the last few decades, it's become gospel that in order to have a fulfilling life you must have a career doing exactly what you love to do more than anything else in the world. In other words, the secret to happiness is to "follow your bliss."
Nely Galan disagrees. As the first Latina president of a U.S. television network (Telemundo), Coca-Cola Advisory Board member, and one-time Celebrity Apprentice contestant, Galan knows a thing or two about success. And it kills her that so many talented people sabotage their careers by only accepting work that makes them rapturously joyful at all times.
"We've all been ruined by the concept of 'follow your bliss'" says Galan, "It's a first-world concern. Instead, follow your expertise."
As the child of Cuban immigrants who fled to the States after losing everything they owned, Galan grew up viewing entrepreneurship as a means to survive, rebuild, and thrive. In her own work, Galan soon observed that if she identified and built a career around a specific area of expertise that she could corner, she would come out on top. In her case, that area of expertise was the Latino market.
It's worth nothing that Galan's dismissal of the "follow your bliss" approach doesn't mean she thinks people should dislike their work. Quite the opposite. She believes that if you focus on expertise, mastery, and the needs of the market first, joy will follow. Fortunately, so will money.
This is precisely what has led Galan to the latest chapter in her story. Armed with the freedom she has secured through countless business successes, she has started a new business called Adelante.
Adelante is a grassroots movement that empowers Latinas financially and entrepreneurially in the U.S. It is structured as a series of national empowerment conferences and a parallel digital community engineered to inspire Latinas to take action. Created in partnership with The Coca-Cola Co., the venture encourages Latinas to play a leading role in American society in order to provide their children with the future they deserve.
Nely Galan sees her new company as a culmination of her life's work, in that it gives Latinas tools and guidance that weren't available to women like her mother and grandmother. And the opportunity to make this happen wouldn't have been available to Galan if she had not focused on cash flow first by building her expertise rather than chasing after bliss too soon.