Passion is something unique and personal to every individual. What elicits passion in one person may feel tiresome or trite to another. Passion isn’t contagious. Being around someone who is passionate about something won’t make you passionate about it, too. Working in a place where the owners are passionate about their service may make you feel proud to be part of something special; but it won’t automatically make you feel passionate about the same things. It’s possible to go your entire life and be surrounded by people who are passionate about their work without you ever knowing that feeling.
You’ve probably heard the saying that if you can find a way to get paid for doing something you love, you’ll never have to work a day in your life. The idea is that when you’re passionate about something, it doesn’t feel like work. You can certainly find proof of the truth in this saying in your personal life. If you love to decorate, then shopping for furnishings and textiles doesn’t feel like work. But if you dislike decorating, then every minute spent inside a HomeGoods store probably feels like torture. It’s all about how you feel about a thing. Passion is a feeling. It’s almost inherent. Most people are either passionate about something or they aren’t. But it’s hard to develop a passion for something unless you’ve tried it; experienced it. You might think you’re passionate about the stock market, but until you immerse yourself in it, it’s likely that you’re just very interested in the stock market; not passionate.
Knowing what we now know about passion, finding your passion, and getting paid to do it makes sense. It’s entirely possible to find something you’re passionate about and figure out a way to make money at it. When you do, as the saying goes, you’ll never have to work a day in your life; at least it won’t feel like work. So how do you find your passion?
Experience New Things
As I said, it’s difficult to discover new passions without experiencing them first. So finding your passion involves taking the first step into new experiences. Fling open the doors to what life is offering you to sample. You can even choose to stay within your comfort zone if you want to. You don’t need to take drastic measures or go “above and beyond.” You don’t need to make proclamations to your friends and family that “things are going to change.” All it takes is your simple willingness to experience new things. The act of experience will elicit your passion—or not. But this is how you’ll find out.
You may be surprised at what you feel passionate about and what doesn’t make your heart beat faster. Things that you’ve “always wanted to do” may fade from your mind after you’ve checked them off the list. That’s okay. It just means you aren’t passionate about that thing to want to keep on doing it.
You may find that something you’d previously disregarded keeps pulling you back to it. You may find hidden layers and new meanings that keep you interested and awake at night. If this happens, follow it. Let it lead you. This may be the thing that you’ll be passionate about.
Find a Way to Get Paid
Once you’ve found your passion, the next step is to find a way to get paid to do it. At first glance, this may seem like the hard part. But actually, you’ve already done the hard part, which was finding your passion. A lot of people go their whole lives without discovering what they’re passionate about. You’ve done that part. Now for the easy part (yes, easy); getting paid to do it.
As a business woman, you’re probably accustomed to solving problems and thinking outside the box. What you need to do now is apply that kind of thinking to your own dilemma, figuring out how to get paid for doing what you’re passionate about. Looking at it logically, what problems are you solving with what you want to do? For example, let’s look at some successful entrepreneurs who found their passion and get paid to do it:
Melissa Galt turned her passion for interior design into a wildly successful career doing interior design but also life coaching and speaking. In her words, “The year following my graduation from Cornell, my mom died suddenly of a brain aneurysm. It took me the ensuing 5 years to understand the lesson in her passing. Life is too short to do something you don’t love.”
Sue Zimmerman turned her passion for art into a career as a business consultant. In her words, “The passion I had for art and painting turned into a nice side hustle, and eventually gave me the confidence and validation to do what I loved at a very young age.”
One thing that you can learn from these two stories is that your passion doesn’t necessarily have to be the one thing that you make money from. It can be the thing that leads you into a way to make money. In other words, if you love to sew, maybe you won’t be able to make a living making home textiles. But you could make a nice living if you combined your love of sewing with an idea to solve a problem. Like the woman entrepreneur who came up with the Baby Boppy, the enfant holder that most new moms can’t live without. So think about what you’re passionate about, and then think about related problems that people have. Then you’ll really be in business!
Need More Inspiration?
If you need more inspiration to figure out how to turn your passion into an income-producing activity, try these books:
From Passion to Income: How to Turn Your Hobby Into a Profitable Small Business, by Sharon Barnett
This book is for anyone looking to switch gears and spend their time doing what they love instead of what they have to do.
Turn Your Passion Into Profit, by Walt F.J. Goodridge
This book will actually help you to figure out what your passion is. And then, it goes on to give you some helpful ideas about how to make money from your passion.
Just for fun, these passion quizzes may give you some insight into where your passions may lie. Though some of these are not scientific, the answers may surprise you and get you to thinking in new ways about how your future career may look!
The thing about finding your passion and making money from it is that you might actually have more than one passion. Just because you’re passionate about feeding the wild birds in your backyard doesn’t mean you have to be an ornithologist. Many people have multiple things they’re passionate about, while others never find one. Or, you might have something that you’re passionate about and be able to create a new career out of supporting others with the same passion. For instance, what if you just adore jewelry. You’re passionate about jewelry and you enjoy making it for yourself. That doesn’t mean you now have to spend eight hours a day with reading glasses on making jewelry to sell. You could build an entire business out of sourcing raw gems and teaching jewelry making classes or selling wholesale supplies.
Following your passion can lead you down paths you never dreamed of. You just have to open up yourself to the possibilities. Don’t ever let anyone tell you that you can’t make money doing what you love. There’s always a way, whether you’re actually doing it yourself or helping others to do it. Life really is too short to spend time doing things you don’t want to do. Take the advice in this guide, use the resources, and find what brings joy to your heart. When you do, the next step of finding a way to make money doing it will be easy.