30 Sep Tired of being told to "follow your passion"? Read this
“Just follow your passion and everything will flow…”
How many times have you heard that advice?
So often, success stories of entrepreneurs read as if their passion just fell into their lap. Before they knew it, they had quit their job, founded a six-figure business and life was peachey.
Now I absolutely believe that when your heart and soul are aligned with your work, incredible results can flow.
But what if you don’t know what your passion is?
I knew I was on the wrong path long before I left my corporate career. But I didn’t have a clue what I wanted to do instead.
I knew what I was good at. I knew what I liked doing. But what was I truly passionate about? I thought that if I could just figure that out, it would be easy to quit my job and make a leap of faith.
So I read books, invested in life coaching, took workshops, changed jobs, and after my daughter was born, experimented with different freelance opportunities. But what I was “supposed” to be doing continued to elude me.
The more I read of entrepreneurs finding incredible success through following their passion, the more pressured I felt. Would I ever figure out what I was “meant” to do?
Maybe I was just one of those people who was never destined to find their passion?
Fast forward a few years and I now realise that finding your passion is a journey.
Of course some will be struck by a bolt of inspiration, but others (like me) have to evolve into it, making not-quite-right career moves and occasional wrong turns as they work out what really makes them zing.
I can now see how all those false starts add up to this body of work. I had to go through all those evolutions to fine tune my skills and discover who I wanted to work with and how I could truly serve.
Natalie Sission, (a.k.a. The Suitcase Entrepreneur), describes the journey this way:
“You don’t just wake up one day and become passionate about something. You work towards it. You slowly start to enjoy something that you’re pretty good at it. You get better at it. You get more confidence. You start monetizing it. You make some money from it. People tell you you’re very good at it. You hone your skills. You improve. You invest. You get mentors. You get advisors. You get coaches. You learn. You apply. You become very good at it. You suddenly start loving the fact that you’re very good at it. It becomes something you’re passionate about. People pay you more money for it. And before you know it, you have a rip roaring profitable business doing something that you love.”
So relax. You don’t have to find your passion over night. Phew.
To begin with, all you have to find is one thread. Just look for that tiny thread, the part of your work (and it may be a very small part to begin with) that gives you the most satisfaction.
Then pull on the thread. Do more of that work. Identify exactly what it is you love about that kind of work.
Think about how else you can apply those skills or that knowledge. Think about who needs those skills or knowledge.
Learn, upskill, invest improve.
With time, patience and focus, one thread can unravel the stickiest of knots.
Now what’s your experience of finding your passion? Are you still searching? Or if you’ve found it, how did you get there? Leave a note in the comments – I’d love to know.