How can I make money doing what I love?

How can I make money doing what I love?

By Andrea Jacques
In November 6, 2015

Who hasn’t heard some form of, “you can’t make money doing what you love”, “work is a necessary evil”, or “you work for a living and live for the weekends”? This is, sadly, taken as dogma in our culture.

But it isn’t true.

Meaningful work is not a myth. Not only can you make money doing what you love, you can make GOOD money (And many people do!). If, however, you’ve internalized beliefs that work must be painful, you’ve eliminated the possibility that you will even begin looking for a way to escape the endless tug-of-war between thankless jobs and unemployment.

It doesn’t have to be that way. Making money doing what you love is simple concept: figure out what you love to do, research opportunities to monetize it, pick one, make a plan, and put your plan into action.

Easier said than done, I know. The stats out there prove it – according to Gallup’s Global State of the Workplace report, only 13% of people are actually fully engaged in their work. But as meaningful work becomes more in demand by workers of all ages and career stages, people and companies are creating more ways to make it a reality.

Unfortunately, work and passion remain an uncommon pair in our culture. Although the concepts are simple, few people have the focus, courage, and depth of understanding of the process required to follow through on this knowledge.

The following steps offer you a more detailed understanding of the steps on the way to making money doing what you love:

Step #1: Become aware of core limiting beliefs.

The first step is to become aware of the core beliefs that support or hinder you from pursuing this goal.

Reflect: when you began to read this article, did you scoff at the notion that you could make money with your passion?

Are the concepts of pay and pain inextricably entwined in your mind?

To combat such limiting beliefs, read stories of people who have been financially successful from pursuing their passion. Read autobiographies of successful and well-respected business, political, or community leaders and you will find that they have a driving passion for some area of the work they do that has energized and inspired them along the way.

Expand your sense of the possible. I recommend reading The Aladdin Factor by Jack Canfield. This book is filled with incredible stories and a pithy formula for getting what you want by learning how to ask for it.

As you start the journey, you are unlikely to believe 100% in the possibility that you can create work doing something that you love, but you don’t need to. In her book, Building Your Field of Dreams, Mary Mannin Morrissey states that you only need “hold a corner of your mind open to the possibility” that you can make money doing what you love. Just open the door enough to start allowing the creativity to flow and to give yourself permission to take some action, no matter how small.

Step #2: Identify your passions and talents

Make sure that you have enough knowledge of what it is that you really love. There are three key areas in which to concentrate your search:

  • what you love to do
  • the kind of person you love to be
  • the areas of expertise or knowledge in which you love to learn and grow

Pay attention to any activities or interest areas that you are naturally intrigued and energized by.

Read the great books out there on discovering your unique gifts and talents. My personal favorites: The Purpose of Your Life by Carole Adrienne and I Could Do Anything If Only I Knew What It Was by Barbara Sher.

Not sure what you’re passionate about? Or feel like you’re not passionate about anything? You’re not doomed.  And you’re not alone. Click here.

Step #3: Pay attention to the world around you

The next step is to become a detective. Begin researching and paying attention to trends in the marketplace that could be related to your passions. Making money doing what you love is simply a matter of finding a need or niche in the marketplace that matches with the unique talents and passions that you have to offer.

One of my favorite books on trends is Clicking by Faith Popcorn. In it, she tells you how you can “trendfit” any business, product, service, or concept to capitalize on trends in the market place. You can also watch trends by paying attention to newspaper headlines, blogs, social media and Google Trends. Become involved in groups (online and offline) that relate to your passion and listen to what other people say.

In this process, you are a detective collecting evidence. Think about what changes this evidence points to. Ask yourself what gaps are going to be left by this new product or service, what needs it points to in the market, what people and businesses will need to make the transition from the old ways to the new ways, and how you could address special segments of that need with your talents.

Once you know what you want to incorporate into your new livelihood — and once you have let go limiting core beliefs — you might be amazed at how many possibilities start appearing for you to combine your passions in a new job, career, industry, or business concept.

But even if nothing comes to mind immediately, don’t worry…

Step #4: Believe in the impossible!

Now, you may think that your talent and passion couldn’t possibly have a matching demand in the marketplace, but I can honestly say that after more than 25 years teaching, speaking and coaching on this topic I am even continually amazed by the market niches that exist.

In one workshop I facilitated, for example, a woman in her fifties shared her passion for doodling her stress away. Fifteen minutes later the group had come up with her ideal job: Dr. Doodle. It sounds crazy, but within 2 months she had produced and printed 5 different doodle journals, taught several workshops on doodling to relieve stress and enhance creativity, and begun pursuing a partnership with a local children’s hospital to provide workshops and doodle journals to support families dealing with children with terminal illness. She isn’t rich yet, and that wasn’t her goal (this was a retirement project for her), but with her passion and enthusiasm fueling her, she found a receptive market niche with lots of potential to grow a larger business if she chose to pursue it.

Step #5: Set aside your doubts and take focused action on a consistent basis.

The next piece of the puzzle is the one that requires the most patience, faith and tenacity.

Once you have figured out what you want to do, take focused, consistent action towards manifesting your vision in your life. Be careful of the tendency to downsize your dream at the first sign of any barriers, or at the recognition that it is likely going to take much longer and be more “work” than you had hoped. I put “work” in quotation marks because, once you have identified your passions and vision, work loses many of the negative connotations that it previously held. Once this watershed is reached, the effort you expend in reaching your goals takes on a sense of flow that makes it feel joyful and energizing rather than onerous.

Step #6: Be patient. Don’t force your passion to support you before it is time.

Stay open to the idea that you may have to continue to support yourself in other ways while you build an income stream doing what you love. Robert Bateman, for example, supported himself in one of his secondary passions, teaching, while he was pursuing his passion for painting. He did so because he did not want to put pressure on his passion to pay his bills.

Earning a living with your passion can be both an art and a spiritual practice. It requires patience, continuous practice, consistency, faith, the ability to listen to your heart, a willingness to stand up for your highest ideals and live according to your most deeply held values, and a peaceful type of vigilance to remain ever open and receptive to allow your spirit to guide your actions.

Step #7: Educate yourself on alternate sources of income.

Finally, educating yourself on methods and techniques for creating financial freedom, no matter what your income level, is an empowering step that anyone can and needs to take it they are serious about creating a life that allows them to do what they love and love what they do for a living.

While the process might be simple, it won’t be easy. If it was, there wouldn’t be so many people who see their work as a source of stress and drudgery that barely outweighs the benefits of the income it provides.

The process won’t happen overnight. You should expect to read, think and feel a lot. You will get frustrated. You will question whether you are ever going to figure it out. Believe in and visualize a future where you are doing what you love, making a difference, and earning a great living and commit to not stopping until you get there.

The key to success is to persist. Learning how to make money from doing what you love will take time. Time to become more aware of who you are, who you aren’t, what you love and don’t love to do, and how you really want to make a difference in the world with your work. Time to continuously educate yourself about different methods and techniques to create income (the exploding area of selling traditional products online as well as creating online courses, apps, and other services that could not even exist prior to the advent of e-commerce).

In the end, the effort to create the life you want is well worth the trials and tribulations along the way. Perhaps more importantly, the challenges you face along your path to profiting from your passion will help you to know yourself better, understand your principles, be more selective about your priorities, and craft a career where money is an almost inconsequential side effect of doing what you were meant to do.

Starting your journey? We’d love to help. Read up on our career or entrepreneur coaching services, or contact Kyosei today with any questions!



Feature image by Sergey Nivens via DollarPhotoClub