When is the right time to turn your passion into your career?
When you are sick and tired of being in a job that doesn’t fit, it feels exhausting. Finding enough energy to do something you love can take you every last ounce to get started. But when you finally do and are in the zone, the energy returns. You’re lit up and on fire.
When we work at our passion project, it feeds us and energizes us like no other. And the absence of that feeling at work can start to feel even bigger, growing from a pit to a black hole. It is usually then that we start to wonder, “Why can’t work feel this way?” which leads to the question, “What if I turned my passion into a full-time career?”
If you are anything like me, when you have a big pressing question you would like the universe to answer…you Google it! But in this case, when I was looking for guidance, the Google-verse came up short.
So I leaned a little further and put on my coaching hat to approach this problem from a unique perspective, my own. I was going to figure this one out with some good, old-fashion questions I needed to answer. It was through this process I came up with what was missing from the idea of turning my passion into a paycheck. I was missing the starting line.
It matters where you start from
Before you can win the race, you need to find the starting line, and this is no 100m dash you’re running. You are preparing for a marathon so let’s get off on the right foot.
We walk into our present with all kinds of biases and life experiences. We filter the world through our own unique lens which makes us like no other. But before you go any further, you need to be aware and understand what it is you are bringing to the starting line.
When you’re hating your job, creates a need of doing something else…anything else. And because your passion project brings you so much relief, it starts to make sense to jump right into turning that into a full-time place to be. It is a feeling we want to naturally have more of.
And it isn’t only our current job dissatisfaction that influences our decision. We have a bias towards work in general. I was brought up in a house where anything worth doing is hard work. How does that belief fit into my actions when I want to birth a passion project into the world? Do I make things harder because only hard things are worth doing?
Be aware of the things you are bringing to the race. Some are going to help you win, while others are going to slow you down.
The myth about working at your passion
I call it a myth because for every person you find out there who says you can’t turn your passion into a paycheck, you can find one who says you can. Do some people fail at turning their passion into a full-time career? Yes. Are some successful? Yes.
When I come across these types of contradictions with my coaching clients, there is a way I approach it. “What if it’s both?” What if people fail and succeed? When I started to pull apart this question on my own journey of becoming a career and life coach, I gained a new perspective. I started to see the only thing that decides if it works or doesn’t work is me.
When you get to a place of believing in your own power, you realize the power that gets you to the finish line, is all you. With a starting line and the belief that regardless of the supplies I bring along, the race is mine to win or lose.
Let’s get clear about the race
Once I understood the first 2 things that were standing in my way, those were no longer hurdles I needed to jump over. To get to the real heart of what was going on, I asked myself 3 eye-opening questions.
1. What’s the real passion? What is it about the thing you do that lights you up?
This is the time when you sit down with a cup of tea or a glass of wine and dig into the core of passion. What is the feeling it brings up and how does it transform you?
2. Does it change people’s lives?
Part of being passionate about what you do is the bigger contribution it makes. Connecting your passion to a deeper meaning or purpose will get you clear on the impact you want to make. This question stirs up your ideal balance – doing what you love for you and for others. It rarely ever works out if you only have one side of the equation.
3. Is it valuable? Are people going to want to pay for what you are passionate about?
Something valuable to you, does it mean it holds value for others. It can be a tough question to ask of yourself so reach out on this one for a little help and perspective. Ask friends and family what they think or post something out on social media. Be clear on what value you think it brings and see if it resonates with people. If you have an idea about who would buy your product or service, find groups on Facebook, Meet-up or LinkedIn for feedback.
When you get to a point in your life where you want to find work that fits like a glove, it involves purpose and passion. By going through the exercise of looking for your answers within, instead of the Google-verse, you start to create an image of what is possible.
Get clarity on how you and others connect to your passion project. Pay attention to how it makes you feel when you think about turning your passion into a full-time career.
Let’s face it, when you start a passion project, there is way more skin in the game. You put yourself out there in a way that is scary and vulnerable. But when you strip that away for a moment, when you settle in on the feeling that is under the fear, you find your compass.