Should I turn my passion into a job?

Should I turn my passion into a job?

Phylicia said,

Hey There :) So I came across your page and lately I have been thinking that my life has more meaning then what I am doing. In this present time I am 22-years-old have this reoccurring thought where I want to be more and achieve more, but I have this feeling where I am just at the bottom, not knowing how to swim or even tread water for that matter.

Like I think my ultimate dream would be too open a hookah bar. I love the music and the atmosphere. Etsy seems so hard, everything is being sold on there and people want the best of the best. I know that things that I could produce would be magical and magnificent, I just am finding it so hard to pick something and just invest and put my all into.

My question is…What was it that caused you to wake up one day and do this? How do you know if something is a passion and do you believe you can make something a passion if you like it a lot? Do people just ride out hunches? Where did you start? What were you looking to fulfill in yourself? I read things on the internet all the time and think so many people in the world have businesses, but how?

Thanks so much for your question Phylicia!

Getting into web design and aerial definitely wasn’t a wake-up-one-day-with-the-answer situation. I eased into both jobs over months and years. I’ve been designing websites since I was 13 – starting my own blog, inching my way through pages of code and learning to work with clients by building websites for friends. Once I got my degree and a full-time job (I was around 21 at the time) I found I was really unhappy doing corporate work, but I didn’t automatically turn to freelancing as the answer. First, I panicked that I didn’t love designing anymore. I dropped everything extra I was working on and basically went through the motions of day to day life until I got back into blogging again. I found enjoyment in redesigning my own site and after I had a bit of a following, decided to offer my services to other bloggers. I got a few clients, built up my business and realized I would be able to make enough money to leave my job.

Anyone who was around me during that year of finding my path will tell you all I talked about and all I wanted to talk about was blogging, designing and business. I read every book I could get my hands on, became offline friends with a few bloggers and had bi-weekly blogging business brunches, devoured tons of blogs on self-employment, loved crunching numbers to see how it would be possible to survive on a freelance income. I completely (though unintentionally) immersed myself in blogging, design and business. I was excited to get up in the morning and work on my blog and rushed through my day so I could squeeze in more design work at night. And I was all too happy to spend every weekend with my fingers glued to my laptop. Eat, breathe, live your hobby and it might be possible to turn it into a job.

I recommend starting out by turning your passion into a side-hustle. Something you do in addition to your full-time job. This will help you gauge customer interest, income, and how much time you’re willing to put into it without becoming bored or burnt out. You may feel passionate about something now, but will you still in two or 10 years? Will you enjoy it if it turns into your sole source of income? If you have to do it every day?

Passion for work is a lot like love. Do you want to marry someone you like a lot? You enjoy being around most of the time? Do you want to be stuck with them for years and years and years? It might work for some people, but personally I need to be head over heels for something or someone to commit myself. And I don’t think it’s something that’s created just because you want passion or love – it’s there from the beginning and it grows stronger over time.

If you don’t feel a crazy, obsessive passion for something right now, don’t worry, keep trying new things, investigating what interests you, and moving forward with your life. You’re only 22-years-old, you have so much time ahead of you there’s no need to rush forward! It can be a slow process and it might not feel like anything spectacular will come along while you’re still wading through the sludge of the day to day. But I assure you, even if it takes 10 years, if you are looking to turn a passion into a job it will show up at just the right time.

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  1. says

    Love this post! Someday I want to turn my blog into a full-time job, but that dream won’t become a reality for a while. I appreciate your honest advice :)

  2. says

    Hi Sarah,

    Thanks for the inspirational post! I’ve been struggling with making a career switch and this post couldn’t have coincided at a better time. The issue of commitment to your job passion really rang true with me.

    Congrats on everything you’ve accomplished!

  3. says

    Yes, I would tend to agree with Sarah. I constantly struggled in my 20′s to find the “perfect” passion to pursue and was constantly frustrated about that. My advice would be to aim yourself in the direction of doing things you enjoy and you will be one step closer to living your passions. It’s easy to think it has to be all-or-nothing right from the get-go, but often you’ll find that just aiming your efforts in the right direction will lead you to new ideas and passions that you didn’t even know you had. Exploring what you enjoy doing is the best way to eventually end up getting paid for what you love to do.

    Just a thought though… don’t wait so long with indecision that you end up never jumping. If you’re into this idea of a hookah bar, start researching it! See what it would take to actually do that and you’ll get a better gut feeling for whether or not you should try it. The worst thing that can happen is that you’ll fail, but if you never try, you’ll never know. Either way you’ll just continue to get older, so you might as well try and fail than do nothing and wonder “what if”. Because the truth is, even if you do “fail”, you’ve really not failed; you’ll have actually gained valuable experience and insight into what it takes to run a business, market yourself, deal with customers, etc. So… might as well go for it!

  4. says

    Such solid advice! Easing into doing something you’re passionate about as a full-time job is such a smart thing to do.

    Etsy is nice because you can start small without investing tons of time, money and energy to gage whether or not there’s interest (both for you and customers) before wading in over your head. If you’re interested in opening a Hookah bar, have you tried working part-time in one to see how it might actually run?


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