If we had a ringgit each time someone says “just follow your passion!”, we’d be rich enough to put the money in that passion and live our dream.
If only you knew what your passion was though.
But this passion thing seems to be the key to happiness in your career, and eventually life. So off you go searching for it. You try new things like yoga and baking. You eventually notice that you’re quite good at something. But are you good enough to quit your day job and turn that passion into something profitable?
Which in lies the problem – just because you’re good at something doesn’t mean it can be a viable business or that you’re good enough to make awesome money out of it. Passion doesn’t have to be a moneymaker. What you can do instead is to make your money some way so that it gives you time and resources to do what you really love to do.
The other issue? How do you find out what that passion is? The problem with passion is that it all ends up the same – you start out feeling super excited about something, produce great results in the beginning and then when you try to get deeper into it, soon realise that you may not be as great as you thought you were (because sorry, there will be others out there a whole lot better especially if this is something they’ve been doing their entire life). And then there is that little voice: “Maybe this isn’t it”.
If this is you, read up: Finding your passion so you can quit your job shouldn’t be the end goal of this entire thing! The reality check is that not many people out there have successfully made their passion into a business or made it a career that doesn’t feel like they are working at all a single day.
Some of the things you’re passionate about are probably just going to remain as a hobby or interest. Just because you love drinking coffee and have been experimenting with your own coffee machine at home doesn’t mean that you should quit and start a coffee business. Because running a business involves a whole lot of other things where passion is just maybe only 10% of the equation.
But that shouldn’t stop you from exploring to find something you’re passionate about. Because finding that can do a lot of other amazing things to your life. Like give you something to look forward to on a dreary work day. Or give you purpose in life if your career isn’t exactly your be all and end all. And yes, if you’re really good at it and if opportunities present themselves, that passion can be a new career option.
So where do you start? By asking yourself these questions:
#1 What is something I can read a ton about without ever getting bored
It could be books on baking bread or interior design... if it is something that doesn’t ever bore you, then you’re on the right track. Bonus if it is something you can talk about on and on every day!
#2 Can I do it for five years straight without getting paid?
In the ideal world, you’d be so rich that you can do whatever you are passionate about without even being paid. So indulge in this fantasy for a while – is your passion something you can do day and night, and you don’t really care whether you get paid for it or not?
#3 What would I do if money wasn’t an issue?
Similarly, if you were super rich, would you drop everything and go for your passion? Even if it doesn’t pay at the end? Or if money wasn’t an issue, would you make your passion a career knowing that the take-home would be pittance?
#4 What did you like doing as a child?
When I was little, I’d always tell my dad that I would one day be a writer. Cue today – I am a freelance writer making that passion into a living. Do I love it every day? Not really – it is a job after all. But can I see myself doing other things? Not really either because I’ve been doing this almost my entire working life! So apply that formula when you are figuring out what your passion is. If you still love doing what you did as a child, then hey, that could be your true passion after all.
#5 Can you do it as a hobby or side job first before getting tired of it?
Baking bread sounds like fun, right? It is but before you think that’s your calling, give it a try first... and try and try to see if you ever get sick of it. The best way to actually test out whether something is a passion before jumping into it as a career is to do it as a hobby and even a side job first to see if it’s really your true calling.
#6 Is there something you already love doing?
You never know but you may actually already enjoy doing something right now! It may not be obvious: You love creating accounting spreadsheets (a passion doesn’t have to be arty farty like cooking, baking or writing) so that’s a passion right there. Or maybe you like helping out new colleagues get settled in (a job in HR perhaps)? All these can be passions too and if you’re already doing something you love, then you’re ahead of the game.
Tweet us @graduan and tell us how you found your passion!
Photo by Clemens van Lay on Unsplash