Turning something you love into a business is the dream, right? Spending all your time getting paid for projects that make you happy and working with people who are passionate about the same things as you. But after a few months or years, you may find yourself grinding away, focusing so much on the day-to-day biz stuff that the passion parts feel all but fizzled out.
You skipped out on the corporate rat race and built something full of creativity and freedom but now…it just feels like you’re back at work.
So how do you get those good vibes going again when your passion-fueled biz starts to feel like a regular ole day job?
Try answering these 7 questions to steer yourself back to your purpose and adjust your day to spend more time on things that bring you joy and ditch the things that bring you down.
Who am I helping + how do they benefit from working with me?
This is one of the best ways to re-center your thoughts. Simon Sinek even wrote a whole book on the subject. In my experience, getting back to your WHY and the purpose behind your work can bring back the passion pretty quickly.
Take some time to dig into your ideal client or customer’s challenges and how your work helps them find a solution. Understanding this can help you make sure your products and services are truly using the best of your skills to benefit your audience. Even if you’re just penning a blog post, there is going to be someone on the other end reading your words – what will you help them do?
And if you’re not really sure you’re having an impact, I highly suggest getting in the habit of sending a weekly email to your audience. (Yes, even if that’s all of 10 people.)
When you are open and honest and show up in people’s inboxes with information and insights that hit home with them, they will RESPOND. They will write you emails that will literally make you cry. Maybe sappy/warm/fuzzy tears, maybe happy tears, maybe laughing so hard you cry tears, but trust me – if you get really, really connected to your audience, it will happen. And then your WHY will come look you straight in the eye and remind you why you started this business in the first place.
What is my goal?
But, of course, it doesn’t always have to be about other people. It’s important to focus on how your work helps you too. Are you imagining penning blog posts from a cafe in Spain? Holding workshops for 500 excited fans? Speaking at a prestigious university? Becoming the cookie queen of Chicago? Or maybe you just want a permanent three-day weekend instead of closing your laptop Sunday night and wondering how you managed to work seven days in a row…again. (Oh yes, I know you’ve done that!)
You need to have some sort of vision for your future, whether it’s next month, next year, or in 10 years (all three would probably be good), so you know why you’re taking steps in a specific direction and continuing to grow your business each day.
How do my daily tasks contribute to my endgame?
Think about the tasks that show up on your to-do list on a regular basis. Are those items moving you forward, keeping you stagnant, or pulling you backward? Because all too often we start doing things once a week, every week, without stepping back and evaluating what those tasks really bring to the table.
Could one task be exchanged for another to help you make a bigger impact? For example, instead of putting time into scheduling tons of promotional tweets, could you spend a few hours setting up a couple content upgrades + an automated email sequence for a better converting marketing tool?
Or are you obsessed with Pinterest, while most of your ideal readers, clients, or customers are spending their time on Instagram?
This might mean you need to drop some old habits and learn some new skills in order to level up your business and get more bang for your buck. Passion tends to show up more when you’re actually getting a response (emails, subscribers, clients, sales) from all your hard work.
What does my ideal day look like?
This is a question I keep in the back of my mind every single day because working at my corporate job was the exact opposite of how I wanted my life to look. I was stuck in a loud newsroom, in a cubicle that didn’t even have walls (it had like 6-inch partitions – wtf is that??), working on projects I didn’t have a strong connection to, building boring cookie cutter websites, and adhering to someone else’s design standards.
What I wanted instead was to help other people build their own online empires, to be creative and experiment with design, and to make my own schedule so I could come and go as I please. (And eat ice cream in the middle of the day.)
Getting clear about what your entire day, not just your work, looks like can help you adjust so you’re more motivated and feeling that passion again. If you want to spend your mornings walking along the beach or sweating it out in a spin class, what needs to change to make that happen?
What can I stop doing?
I guarantee right now there is something you need to stop doing. You’ve already come this far – don’t hesitate to make changes that will make your day more like the one you envision.
This might be a matter of adjusting what you offer in order to add more tasks you enjoy and less that are a drain on your time/body/mind.
For example – when I was selling blog templates, I spent soooo much time responding to convos with information that was already in my listings and shop details. In fact, just writing that sentence triggered a little stab of annoyance in my stomach. This was one of the main reasons I closed the entire shop – I really enjoyed designing templates but was so over answering support emails.
This could also mean hiring someone to take over part of your business that either takes too much of your time because you’re not great at it OR you just plain hate it. Graphic making, bookkeeping, researching, editing, packaging. Hiring someone for a couple of hours each week can mean more time for you to do more important tasks or those that you just plain enjoy. And, in my own case, hiring a VA for a few hours each week meant less things to juggle and, therefore, less stress.
What is the thing I least enjoy + how can I change that?
The thing I least enjoy is editing. How did I change that? By hiring a virtual assistant. After spending hours and hours writing blog posts or emails or course lessons, the last thing I want to do is go through and read it all again and cross my fingers I didn’t miss a typo. Especially because I have been known to preach about making sure your content is impeccable.
But making a change doesn’t always mean hiring someone else to do the work-ish work for you. Maybe you least enjoy holding meetings to pry information out of your clients’ brains and you can fix that by adding a step to your process where they fill out a form and then all the information shows up in your inbox automatically.
Maybe you least enjoy coming home after your 9-to-5 and having to do more work on your side hustle, so you set aside Saturdays as your official passion biz work day or start getting up earlier in the morning to check a few things off your to-do list.
Whatever that most work-ish of work tasks is, YOU are in charge, so it’s your job to hire it out, make a change, or eliminate it altogether.
What is the thing I most enjoy + how can I do more of that?
Because the things you enjoy are the things that are probably filled with all that passion you’ve been looking for in the first place.
What do I enjoy most?? Digging into other people’s online presence and helping them make it better. And in order to add more of this type of work into my life, I created an entire course that allows me to do this on a regular basis.
Once you’ve gotten rid of a few of the tasks you least enjoy, you’ll have more room in your days to spend time on things that make you feel the passion for your business again.
And, of course, once you’ve answered these questions, your final move is to make changes to help you do less of the things that are a drag on your mood and your time and more of what makes you feel good, recharges your batteries, and brings the passion + your WHY back to the game.