Discovering your passion can be challenging. Additionally, if you're surrounded by people who seem to know exactly what they want to do with their life, it's easy to feel inadequate, or like you're falling behind.
If you feel this way, you're not alone. Many people don't enjoy their job and are trying to figure out what they want to do for their career.
I often hear that I'm lucky to have found my passion and to be able to make a living from it. I agree that I'm incredibly fortunate. Earning money from your passion really is the most amazing thing.
With that being said, I'd like to share my advice for finding out what it is that you love to do and making a living from it.
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1. Determine What Excites You
Everyone has things in their life that excites them. Is there an aspect of your job that you enjoy? Or perhaps you have a hobby outside of work that gets you excited? Grab a piece of paper and a pen and take 10 minutes to write down the things that add excitement to your life.
2. Think About What You're Good At
Even if you're just starting out in life, I can guarantee that you have a talent or skill... something you're naturally good at. Have you always been a great writer, cook, or painter? Maybe you're good at getting people to buy stuff or organizing your home.
Again, take 10 minutes to write down the things you're good at. As you do this, try thinking back as far as you can. There may be things that you're good at but have forgotten all about. Those things could turn out to be your passion.
3. What Is Your Dream Job?
If you could have any job in the world, what would it be? Would you like to be a graphic designer, chef, novelist, entrepreneur, computer engineer, etc.? Often, self-doubt and fear of failure hold us back from following our dreams.
Write down your dream job or jobs, regardless of how unrealistic you think they may be.
4. Consider the Topics You Enjoy Reading About
Analyzing the things you read (or watch) can be a great way to find out what interests you. Do you have a particular magazine that you enjoy? What types of blogs do you read?
I bet some of these topics correlate with your own interests, hobbies, or desires.
Again, these are all things that you should be adding to your list.
5. Start Researching
Now that you have a list of things you're good at and that interest you, pick one thing from the list that brings you the most excitement.
After choosing your first candidate, take some time to write down a list of things you can do to expand your knowledge of this interest, and improve your skillset.
If you can, I recommend talking to people in person or online who you consider successful in the field and learning what you can from them as well.
Keep in mind that as you study up on your interest, you don't want to spend too much time in this stage. People get so caught up in the studying part that they burn out before they've given themselves a chance to implement what they've learned.
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Once you're done your research, this is where things get fun. Now is the time to start applying what you've learned.
If your interest is cooking, trying making a gourmet meal. If you're interested in being a novelist, start writing down an outline for a short story.
While you experiment, pay attention to how you feel doing it. Do you feel excited? Is it something you look forward too? Do you want to share it with others? If you answer yes to these questions, that's a great sign that you're getting closer to finding your passion.
7. Rinse and Repeat
Choose 3-4 more interests from your list and repeat steps 5 and 6. Repeating these steps could take you a month or more. Take your time; there's no need to rush.
After completing your rinse and repeat for your chosen interests, analyze how each of them made you feel. Ask yourself which ones excited you the most. Is there a way you can make any of them profitable? Also, can you see yourself doing any of them years down the line?
Next, choose one of those interests (two at the most) and make it your sole focus. Put your fears to the side and start putting in the time and work it takes to build a profitable career from your passion.
Avoid making excuses like you don't have the time. People often complain that they don't have the time it takes to accomplish their goals. I'm going to give you some tough love here and say that if you want to do it, you'll make the time. Plain and simple.
If during your journey, you discover that this isn't something you want to do after all, then try the next thing on your list.
My biggest piece of advice to you is to not be ashamed of failure. Failure teaches us valuable lessons that will help us succeed the next time around.
Furthermore, failure is not always an indication that it's time to give up, but that we need to do something different.
Follow Your Passion
Success doesn't happen overnight. Once you discover what you want to do and get good at it, it can take years before you're able to make a living doing what you love. The thing discovering your passion is that during that time, you'll at least have fun getting there (for the most part).
For a lot of freelance careers, starting a blog can be a great way to put yourself out there, demonstrate your knowledge, and build your reputation. I recommend starting a blog if you're looking for a way to jump-start your freelance career.
Finding your passion and going on to make money won't be easy, but it will be worth it. Every second and every ounce of effort and courage will be worth it.
I hope this article helps you find joy and success in your career. Good luck.