Are you living your passion? Am I?
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People become self-employed for many different reasons. Sometimes it’s by choice, because they want a more flexible schedule, for example. Sometimes it’s out of necessity, because they’re out of work and unable to land a job. Sometimes it’s because they’re truly passionate about something.
The types of businesses they start are even more varied. They may choose to hang out their shingle to do the same type of work they did in their past employment, adopt an established model as offered by companies such as LegalShield or Send Out Cards, or do something entirely new and different.
None of these decisions are right or wrong, but it’s important to choose the path that’s right for you.
I’ve talked to a number of people over the years who clearly weren’t passionate about their business, but were doing it simply because it’s what they knew how to do. I’m sure there are thousands of people in that situation, and I can’t help but wonder about their chances for long-term success. If your business isn’t moving forward as you’d hoped, maybe you should look inside yourself and ask if you are truly living your passion.
Thinking about this recently reminded me of Allison Maslan’s book, Blast Off! The Surefire Success Plan to Launch Your Dreams into Reality, which I read several years ago. Maslan based her book on the coaching program she developed after turning her own life around, both personally and professionally.
The first chapter provides an outline of the program and describes the tools you’ll use as you work towards your goals. The remaining chapters are each dedicated to a specific goal area, including career, relationship, health, and prosperity. This is a real time-saver, because you can choose to read only the chapters that pertain to your specific goals.
I do, however, recommend reading the whole book when you have the time, because it’s full of nuggets that you may find helpful, even in areas of your life where you generally feel satisfied. Some are real eye-openers, some may be difficult to accept, and others are simply reminders of things we already know but aren’t putting into practice for one reason or another.
What I liked best about Blast Off! The Surefire Success Plan to Launch Your Dreams into Reality is that Maslan doesn’t simply tell you what to do. Instead, each chapter includes a series of practical exercises to help you identify the changes you want to implement and the steps you need to take to reach your ultimate goal. Furthermore, the exercises are unique for each chapter, and not just re-worded to suit the topic. A lot of people may resist doing the exercises because they require effort, but I’m a firm believer that the more you put into something, the more you’ll get out of it.
If there is no passion in your life, then have you really lived?
Find your passion, whatever it may be.
Become it, and let it become you and you will find great things happen FOR you, TO you and BECAUSE of you.
~ T. Alan Armstrong
I absolutely love my work and am excited to start every day (well, most days…) but my business today has no resemblance to what I pictured when I first decided to do something to bring in a little extra money in my spare time. Fortunately, along the way I discovered my passion for web design and have been able to shape my business accordingly. That passion not only drives me to continue learning and growing and working, but has become a magnet that attracts clients to my business. After all, most people would rather deal with someone who is excited about what they do than with someone who just does it, right?
But life isn’t just about business, is it? I’ve been struggling for years to spend more time away from my desk. I’m doing much better lately, but am planning to re-read the chapter “Blast Off! to Adventure and Amusement” for some inspiration and a good kick in the butt.
I am also happy to be able to say that I love what I do! Whenever I am heading out to a client appointment (as I am about to do now), I get excited about the change and improvement that is about to take place. I also love people. Hearing their stories and learning from their life experience is a huge “plus” of what I do. I learn from my clients every day! Running a start-up takes a lot of energy, so it is a blessing if you can pursue a passion. As you say, that often takes a bit of a twist path to discover, but it is worth the effort!
I’ve noticed a lot of people who seem to start a new business as often as I buy a winter coat (every few years). I used to think they weren’t committed but now I realize they were probably just like me, gradually evolving from one thing to the next. But when you’re not directly involved, you don’t notice the transition, you just notice one day that things have changed and shake your head.
Passion is the word I was raised with. I watched both of my parents work in careers they loved. They used to say to me, “Do work you love and you’ll never work a day in your life.” My path took several turns until I ended up in the organizing industry. Before this I worked in the design and computer graphics world, which I also loved. But I was working for others. And ultimately, I knew that I wanted to build my own business. So 26+ years ago, I launched Oh, So Organized! and I’m grateful every day for my clients, for the work, and for being able to help faciliate change in others’ lives.
Linda, you’ve been in business for so long that I never even thought about your life “before organizing.” Big congratulations are in order, not just for your many years of success, but for getting started when the organizing industry was still in its infancy!
I am happy to say that I am passionate about helping other small business owners! I enjoyed working with clients when I did home organizing, however, after an injury, it wasn’t fun any longer. So, I transformed my business by using my International Business college degree to support other entrepreneurs. Looking back in my career as an employed person, it was easy to see that I was here to help other small business owners. It’s nice to know every small business evolves through the years for every business owner.
I think it’s also important for those of us who are self-employed and loving it to remember that this life isn’t for everyone, so someone who shuts down their business and returns to the regular workforce shouldn’t be seen as some kind of drop-out, but just someone who is finding their true path, as we have also done through our evolution. Thank you for sharing your thoughts!
I’m so glad that you love your work as a web designer. I appreciate the wonderful work that you do for me. Thanks Janet.
Great clients like you are one of the reasons I love it!
Having known you all these years, I get a special delight from seeing that photo and the evident joy in your face, Janet. Your joy in what you do helps so many of us, from all of us who learn from your blog posts to those of us whose passion in our own work is supported by your passion in yours (as you save our sites and our sanity). To passion!
Yes, to passion! And to over 15 years of friendship…
I’ll definitely add that book to my to-read list. You are so good at what you do, Janet, and I learn so much from you all the time. I’m glad you’re enjoying well-deserved time away from your desk, too!
Thank you so much, Carol! Your kind words mean a lot to me – and you’ve reminded me that I still need (and deserve) time away from my desk, even now that my summer vacation is over.