What brings you joy? What activity makes you feel alive and ready to take on the world?
You already know what you love to do. But you’re not so sure you can monetize this passion. After all, everyone seems to believe that “only a few lucky ones” can make a living doing what you love. If you’ve already taken action to pursue your calling, people might be constantly asking you if you’re planning on getting a “real job.”
We’ve all experienced this pressure to conform. Even internationally-renowned bestselling author Eckhart Tolle relates that years after making millions selling his books, his parents still asked him when he was going to get a “job.”
This is why you may have turned your passion into a hobby. Then, when the weekend comes, you’re so busy running errands and catching up on housework that there’s never time for this hobby.
You find yourself lying in bed, planning on doing what you love sometime in the future, when the “timing is right” or when you finally retire.
Daydreaming about the future might provide temporary relief, but the highest part of you will be in turmoil. Deep inside, you know you have a gift or talent that is being wasted.
On Connecticut Style, a morning television variety show, I shared three tips to monetize your passion and even make a living doing what you love.
ONE. Apply your talent to solve a problem or to meet a need
You might love writing, but if what you write doesn’t instruct, inspire, or entertain, you won’t sell any books.
Steve Harrison, one of the top publicity experts in the country and previous guest on my radio show, always suggests thinking from the point of view of our audience to develop any product or service.
When I create a new course or coaching program, I always ask myself what my clients and audiences need. Then I apply my creativity to design something that brings tangible value.
What does your audience need?
You don’t have to be a writer, a professional speaker, or a performer to answer this question. In a corporate environment, your internal and external customers are your audience.
Solve a problem.
The value you provide will be returned to you in the form of money.
TWO. Don’t be blindly persistent
When you start a new venture but experience the nagging feeling that something isn’t right…
When you wake up in the morning and feel that what used to be passion has turned into a test of endurance…
When you don’t look forward to doing what was supposed to bring you joy…
That’s when you need to consider changing direction. Yes, it might be best to call it quits.
On Connecticut Style, I told the story of Serena Dyer, one of the previous guests on my radio show. Serena, the daughter of bestselling author Dr. Wayne W. Dyer, felt that she had to measure up to her father’s successful career. She loved to speak, so she thought that becoming a lawyer was the way to go.
Everyone congratulated Serena when she passed the bar exam and was admitted into law school. However, only a month into the program, she realized that this career path wasn’t for her. Instead of quitting, she decided to stick with her initial plan.
It took months of feeling sick and even depressed for Serena to leave the program. She later pursued a career as an author and public speaker, and is now thriving emotionally and financially.
If you decide to shift directions, however, you must remember you’re not quitting your passion. Instead, you are letting go of the specific way you chose to take action. There are myriad paths to apply your talents, and your job now is to discover a new way to make a living doing what you love.
Once you find a “how” that works, income will start flowing in the right direction (toward your bank account).
THREE. Promote yourself and your passion
If you make amazing chocolate chip cookies but no one except you has tasted them, it’s unlikely you’ll have a thriving cookie business. You must let everyone know about your cookies–and let everyone taste them, of course. Someone might ask you whether you can bake a batch for her party. Someone else might suggest you contact a friend who owns a bakery.
Things will start happening for you.
Reach out to people whose problems you can solve. Network with like-minded professionals. Get out there and tell everyone about what you love to do. Your passion will permeate through your communication, and slowly but surely, you’ll build a platform.
Your platform will be made of potential buyers, and as you expand this platform, you’ll start making more money.
There is a fourth critical tip for success I didn’t share on the TV segment that I’d like to share with you.
FOUR. Build a strong personal brand
How much would you pay for a fake Rolex? Five to ten dollars? Why not more? The fake Rolex does its job and has a beautiful design. But its price can’t exceed those few dollars because of the power of the real brand.
Same applies to personal branding. Starving artists, musicians, and writers have weak brands. If you build a strong brand, however, your compensation will be what you deserve and desire.
This is the reason I’m so passionate about personal branding.