1 Passion to Profit Myth You Need to Hear Today
OK, I’m a bit obsessed with living my passions. Every day when I wake up I automatically think...Hmmm, how can I create a perfect storm of pleasure today? How many of my passions can I swirl into my day? I would never consider “waiting until the end of the work day” or for weekends or God forbid...a vacation to do what I most enjoy and love.
For the last 20 years, I’ve planned my work weeks by the weather forecast. Some people find that fascinating. Others find it annoying.
Let me be clear. I didn’t’ get lucky and make a bunch of money and THEN start living my passions. I started where I was. And I also intentionally designed my life and work so I could live what I love full out.
I live my passions daily. I may not hit every single one of my passions each day, but there is a strong swirl going on in every day. And all my passions make it in over the course of the full week. I can’t imagine living any other way.
My passion list includes:
Biking (mountain and road)
Running (mostly trail)
Working out (push-ups, pull-ups, squats, lunges)
Getting into the mountains
FOOD (creating nutritious and delicious meals! And eating them)
Reading (2 books a week)
Writing (blogs, articles, coaching emails, books, courses, journaling)
Learning (spirituality, wellness, high performance, business, mindset)
Dreaming (imagining, visioning, planning)
Working on latest business idea and inspiration:: helping people with anything that has to do with plant-based nutrition, vitality, passion, life purpose, their zone of genius, and life design.
I look to monetize at least one of my passions at all times. I can’t imagine work that isn’t purposeful and passionate.
HOWEVER, and it’s a big however...you can’t think yourself into living your passions. You can’t think yourself into discovering them. I mean you can a little bit, most of my list was true when I was a kid...pretty much all but the business part. But sometimes it’s hard to get your head around what you naturally loved as a kid and how that now fits into life. And it’s even harder if you are trying to match a passion with how you make money.
There is so much pressure to live more of what you love. Live your passions. Turn your passion into profit...those messages are everywhere. I know, I’m one of the advocates spreading those very messages! And I believe them.
But this is also what you really need to know. There is a myth to what all that looks like.
While some people know what their passion is at birth (think Mozart), most of us do not. There is a very low percentage of people who are born with a great gift or passion and dedicate their life to it. It’s awesome to study and know those people, but it doesn’t offer great insight into how we can also live our passions. And there are others who have indeed discovered their passions and are living them full out...I consider myself one of those.
But this is what you need to know...most of us in this second category didn’t just wake up one day and claim our passion and then immediately build a dream lifestyle from it. What really happens isn’t so sexy, romantic, or fast. So give yourself a little break.
What really happens is this:
For most of us, you have to live a little. You have to experience enough of life to interpret your desires. To take notice of what you like and what you don’t like. What resonates? Where do you feel you are in the flow?
One of the best ways to find your passion or passions is to start with your interests. Again, not very sexy is it? That’s why people don’t talk about it. How would a book go over with the oh-so stimulating title of “Live Your Interest!” Woo-hoo!, Now that fires you up, right?! So, you don’t get this info. Very few talk about the truth and how to really get started and that’s a disservice because I think it’d be really helpful to know.
This is especially true if you’d like to make a living doing what you love. The best way to go about this unless you are super clear on your passion, is to start with an area of interest.
It’s kind of like you’re sitting at your desk and you take a few minutes to think and ask:
1. What have I always wanted to learn more about? Hmmm...let’s see. How about nutrition, fitness, publishing a book, making good videos, design, gardening, martial arts...you name it, it could be anything.
2. What has happened to me in my life that has impacted me? What had meaning? Could I help anyone else with the same problem, the same learning curve to move through it faster, easier, with less pain, cost...whatever...
That’s where you start. Simple. No fireworks. No parade. No life altering experience of “THIS IS IT!” That will come later, but for now if you are stuck this is where you start.
Then you get into action with learning and taking your first step to move this interest forward. This could mean research, reading, studying, a certification, becoming an intern, a volunteer, a part-time employee, a student, a teacher, a full time employer, a creator of something...a book, a painting, a blog, a website, a workshop.
You take the first step. You get busy with something.
You don’t have to know the outcome. You don’t have to think...will I make money with this? You don’t have to be jumping up and down with love and excitement for this thing. You do want a genuine interest and it should feel challenging and fulfilling to you to pursue it. That’s it.
You are not looking for: OH MY GOD THIS IS MY PASSION. This is my life’s work. This is why I exist on this planet. This is how I will make a million dollars. Waaaayyyy too much pressure there. And you can’t think your way to your zone of genius and passions in life. For most of us, we have to experience them and it takes work and action for us to realize what we really love, what we’re really all about, and what we are passionate about. And often it is a surprise.
How I started:
I was working my tush off as fundraiser at a college. Loved the college. Loved my colleagues. But I didn’t love my work. I wanted more freedom and more meaningful work.
I was interested in fitness and maintaining a great weight.
Why was I interested in fitness and wt. loss/maintenance?
Because for 2 years I was 40 pounds overweight and at 5’2” that is QUITE significant.
My Story: In high school I played sports and weighed about 115 lbs. My junior year I opted to work and make money instead of play volleyball and run track. I worked in restaurants in the evenings after school and on weekends. The culture is to work hard for hours, get off late, eat dinner very late, and have beer(s) as a reward and to relax. By the time my senior year rolled around I was 40 pounds overweight. I took that with me to college.
Being the competitive chick that I am, I was way ahead of the freshmen 20.
After my freshman year, I said enough of this. Interestingly, I followed another passion to get my first job that summer. I had always loved water, sun, and being outside. I thought how can I combine that with money? So even though I was overweight and completely embarrassed to get into a swimsuit, I signed up for lifeguard training. I passed and got a job at the pool I frequently went to in high school. I swam laps every morning, ate healthy during the day, and ran 3 miles after work each evening. In 3 short months, and by the time my college sophomore year rolled around I had lost the weight and felt FREAKING terrific. I thrived in college after that.
That was that. I maintained running, working out, eating healthy and didn’t think too much about it until...years later when I was stuck in my fundraising job. I wanted to love my life more. I didn’t want to dread any part of my day. And I dreaded work. So I just asked...
What am I interested in? Fitness and Nutrition
What is meaningful to me? Again, Fitness and Nutrition. It had changed my life.
What kind of work lines up with that? Now in 2018, and with our online world, a ton of things do! But in 1998, I could only get my head around one thing: personal training. Everything else involved going back to school (no way!). A certification I could handle.
I wasn’t jumping up and down over this decision to become a personal trainer. But it felt good. I was excited about it. Especially, if it meant getting me out of my current soul sucking job. I could taste freedom!
So I did the only 3 things I knew how to do at that time:
1) researched organizations I could get certified from
2) decided on ACE, then ordered my textbook and workbook to start studying and preparing for the exam
3) called my one contact who owned a gym and asked if I could possibly train there once certified (he said yes!)
I got busy. No fireworks. No life declarations.
Guess what happened? Four months later, I ended up opening my first fitness center which wasn’t even on my radar screen or something I would have EVER thought possible for myself at that time. It is so true and powerful that once you start taking aligned action...the doors open, and opportunities come your way that you could never have foreseen or orchestrated. Don’t doubt that Universe thing.
A couple years later I had three fitness and wt. loss centers. The company (yes I had a company!) was brining in multiple six figures.
The surprise was that an additional passion emerged. I fell in love with entrepreneurship and business building. I was just as surprised as everyone that I loved everything about business...the ideas, the vision, the marketing, the bookkeeping. I even loved meeting with lawyers and accountants to get incorporated and set up my systems. I loved opening my biz bank accounts and keeping meticulous records. I loved hiring folks and building awesome teams and systems. I loved motivating my staff and building places of employment that were fun to work at and make an impact.
I was really good at this business thing and I LOVED it. I couldn’t have thought or planned my way into that one.
Your passions and life’s work will evolve as you evolve. Don’t try to figure everything out. Follow the one thing that you are most interested in and has had the most meaning in your life right now. Start there. Trust that your “interest” is a trail marker and gateway to passionate and purposeful work.
If you approach it this way, things will unfold in such surprising and unexpected ways and usually A LOT faster and better than you could have ever planned or orchestrated by forcing something or trying to think it into being.
So take the pressure off, stop agonizing and torturing yourself. Do the best with what you know now. Follow that with your whole heart. Be bold in those things. Do the work. Take the steps. And watch as the pieces of your passion masterpiece come together. And trust one day, you will say, “Oh my God, THIS is it!”
So hey, Go live your interest! Woo-hoo! Seriously. Go. Now. You got this.
Sparking Your EPIC with a ton of Love,