Turn Your Passion Into A Paycheck

Image-1I was speaking with someone recently about volunteering with my organization and they told me they couldn’t.  You see, they were bitter that their passions weren’t coming to fruition to help pay the bills.  They were too busy, too tired and too annoyed to help me.

It made me think about how often I hear this from others.  They’ve discovered their passions and are excited to live a life of bliss.  Then they seem to be disappointed when life gets in the way of living each day to their passionate potential.

Here’s what I’ve learned about turing your passions into a paycheck:

Realize it’s going to take (lots of) hard work to accomplish your passion

Your dream job isn’t going to fall into your lap.  It’s going to take time, energy and investment to make your dream happen and you need to be ready to make progress now, so you can reach your goal and dreams later.

Think about what you need to accomplish to get where you want to be.  Sometimes it’s easiest to write the end goal and work backwards.  You may need to volunteer with organizations to build your skill set and resume, you may need to seek help of others that can mentor and guide you, you may need to attend more networking events and build your connections.

Every single thing you do that gets you closer to your goal is a step in the right direction.  Even if it’s a tiny step, it’s still progress.  When you’re working on your timeline, be realistic and aggressive with your goals. You may realize it’s going to take months or years to get to the end result – but if it’s your dream – then it’s worth it.  Don’t get discouraged, just “keep swimming” and soon you’ll be there.

Schedule time to accomplish your passion

I love to write and design and realized that I’d gone months without focusing on either of these things.  And I immediately discovered the problem: I didn’t have either one in my schedule.  When you schedule time to accomplish your passion, you’re more likely to accomplish them – your passions are an important meeting, you deserve to spend time on yourself.

I’ve noticed the more time I spend in things I enjoy, the more excited I get about these things and the more progress I make toward my goals.  I encourage you to schedule time today to regularly work on things that are important to you. Make a list of goals, work regularly at these goals and check of your accomplishments.

Find your passion in your current surroundings

Even more than writing and designing,  I love to organize.  When I see something that is a hot mess, I start to get excited.  I also love meetings, projects, task lists and results.  And guess what kinds of jobs I’ve naturally gravitated toward in the past decade? Jobs that have meetings, projects, task lists and start as a hot mess.  I’ve realized the more I see the small things that I love come to fruition within my job (where I earn my paycheck), I’m more alive, I feel more accomplished and I’m more invested.

You are wired to make a difference and if you aren’t in a job that supports your (tiny) passions: Make a plan to make changes now.  Maybe it’s speaking to your supervisor about your responsibilities. Maybe it’s dusting off your resume and using your network to find your new (dream) job.

What was most interesting about the conversation I’d mentioned earlier is that the person that was too bitter to help, was turning his back on a volunteer opportunity that would have built his network and probably given him the chance to meet someone to help him move his paycheck to be more in line with his passions.  

He’s not alone.  So many are just waiting for the opportunity to fall in their lap.  It’s not going to happen.  You are going to have to work – starting today – to make changes in your life to get what you want.  Whatever you need to do to turn your passions into a paycheck, you deserve to find this fulfillment in your full-time responsibilities. I encourage you to be brave enough to try.

Advertisements

Need Motivation? Get back on track

Ever have one of those days where everything seems to be pulling you away from your goal? Today is that day for me.  Nice weather, computer problems and my favorite time-waster TV show is a 24-hour marathon today.  Not much motivation to work on my organization blog.  But earlier this year, I set myself a goal of one post per week, so here’s to digging deep to find the motivation to keep going.

A while ago, I read a great blog from a friend, TJ Sullivan that struck me.  TJ writes, “It’s all about step two.  It’s easy to get started, but it’s harder to keep things going.”  I’m pretty sure that is where the saying comes from, “when the going gets tough, the tough keep going.”  Step one isn’t easy, but it’s the remaining steps–the devotion to the goal–that can wear you down and make you think about giving up.  Here’s what I’ve learned:

 c0bc84de21a83ecd064ec99ac83cb8cf

Set your eyes on the prize.

I love writing and I love organizing, so my blog goal this year seemed like a natural move.  But I’ve reached the point in the season (or the semester) where I’m ready for a break. Not just from blogging, I really want a break from all of my goals.  I’m tired. Laying around watching TV and eating sugar (I’ve found form doesn’t matter–cupcakes, candy–all good) seems like the way to go.  But I know that I’ll be disappointed if I don’t stick to my goal and have changed things up a bit to give myself the motivation I need.  I’ve switched one day of running to exercise bike, so I can look at my Pinterest page at the same time.  And I’m going to watch my TV show marathon, right after I finish this post.  By giving yourself a reward, or switching things up a bit, it’s much easier to stay focused on your goals.

Continue reading