Sometimes when I ask my clients “If money weren’t an issue, what would you do with your time?” Many don’t know or they think they might just sit on the beach all day long. These might be the first things that come to mind, but I’m pretty sure if they were to stop and think neither of those answers would be their ‘real’ ones.
If you didn’t need to earn your living and support yourself and perhaps a family, what would you want to do with the rest of your life? Is there anything you are doing right now that absorbs your attention to the point of losing track of time, maybe you even forget to stop and eat.
We all have the potential to feel that engaged and excited about something and it is my belief that we are happiest when we are devoting our time doing that thing. And I further believe that you can make a living and support your family while doing it!
I’m not suggesting you quit your job, but I am suggesting you can begin to lay the groundwork to make that a reality sooner rather than later. (If you know me, you know that I’m not a big fan of the “I’ll get to do what I really want when I retire.” plan.)
Are you clear what you’re passionate about? If you’re not, think about what you loved doing between the ages of 9-11? Studies show that your childhood interests and talents hold clues to what would give your life its greatest sense of meaning and satisfaction today.
Do you remember dreams and ambitions that you set aside because either you thought, or someone told you: “you couldn’t make a living doing that”? Fill in the blank: I feel strong and purposeful when I_____________________________________________________.
There are so many possibilities for finding meaningful, satisfying and lucrative work, but we often don’t see them because we have been conditioned to believe that life is made up of doing a lot of things we don’t want to do and working for money is right at the top of that list. You want to stop worrying about practical and think more creatively.
I recently read Gary Vaynerchuk’s book Crush It! Here’s Gary’s test for determining if you can “monetize” your passion. It’s essentially one question: Can you think of at least fifty blog topics that you’re excited to write about it? He feels that number of posts is the minimum you’ll need to give yourself enough time to get a feel for the situation.
He goes on to say that if you have identified your true passion, you’ll find five hundred things to say about it. And people will want to hear and eventually pay to hear what you have to say about it.
Vaynerchuk asserts that when you are doing what you truly love, even the smallest niche (he points to a woman who blogs about knitting and sells hand-dyed yarn) can sustain a nice forty-to-seventy-five thousand dollar-a-year business. Since that is what most of us make at jobs we hate, that sounds like a pretty good promise. Not to mention the money you save on wardrobe, commuting, meals out, coffee and all the other perks you give yourself just to get through the week!
Napoleon Hill, author of the classic Think and Grow Rich, suggests the following:
1. Have a definite purpose, backed by a definite desire.
2. Create a definite plan expressed by definite action.
3. If you experience any negative or discouraging messages from others, try to understand that your desire is creating some discomfort for them probably because they wish they were acting as boldly on their desires and do not take it personally.
4. Have a friendly alliance with one or more persons who will encourage you to follow through with both plan and purpose.
What do you love to do? What would fuel your passion and flame your fire every single day? What would you do if you could even if no one paid you to do it? Tap into that and you’ll be able to love what you do and really crush it! I highly recommend the book – it’s easy to read, super accessible and will get you on the road to doing what you love.