Can you make a living doing what you love?
Maybe you were looking for a more involved answer. But let me make this clear - you can make a living doing what you love. We know this because there are people out there making a living doing what they love.
Your first two “make-or-break” moments
There are many reasons you may find yourself at a crossroads, where your dreams of doing something else stop being an idle fantasy and start to become an escape plan. We all have days where we entertain the thought of doing something else like moving to a remote island and living off the land, cashing in our pension and writing novels full time or buying that empty cafe on the high street and turning it into a dessert place.
But, for some of us, we get to the point where the longing and musing stops and we get out the calculator. This is the first “make or break” moment on the journey. If you never get your calculator out and start to write a rough business plan in your brand new notebook, or even on the back of an envelope, you don’t mean it. Not yet anyway. You’ll start thinking about:
How much money do you need to live on?
How much money could you make in the first year?
What happens if you fail?
Are you brave enough?
Are you going a bit mad?
Having made some rough calculations and identified your biggest concerns (failure being the number one for most people), you’ll then reach the second “make or break” moment. The answers to these and a variety of other questions will cause you to either shove your ideas back into a box (maybe for a later date) or they will tell you that your ideas are worth a punt. You’ll either decide to park your idea or develop it further. It’s okay if, after this second moment, you stop here. If the timing isn’t right for this particular idea, move on.
The 5 Shifts
Over the years, I’ve coached many people who claim to want to change their life. Thanks to these clients, I know the difference between people who continually park their idea and and those who make it a reality. The ones who succeed and make their ideas happen, make 5 simple, but critical, shifts:
Believe it is possible. Many people have great ideas but deep-down, do not believe they’re possible.. They believe that work has to hurt, that most people cannot do something they love for a living and that believing it is possible is dangerous because it leads only to disappointment. Their world view is so powerfully fixed in this way that they dismiss their own yearnings as childish fantasy.
Believe it is possible for YOU. This is different than my point above. You can believe that other people are doing what you want to do. But, perhaps subconsciously, you don’t believe that you personally can do it. You might blame your personal circumstances, your inadequacies as a human or think it is just easier for other people (they have more money, more connections, a helpful partner, no children, etc) and you reject your idea as being OK for someone else but not for you. To make it happen you need to change this attitude.
Find supporters or your ‘tribe;. You may not be able to find supporters amongst your friends and family. Your desire to create a different kind of life can be threatening and frightening for people who want you to stay safe and don’t like how you’re making them feel. Your plans may cause others to reflect on whether they are sacrificing their souls for their jobs and it may make them uncomfortable enough to want to derail your plans. People who succeed in making a living doing what they love find new supporters, often online or in shared interest groups, who have already found success and who prove what you want to do can be done. Take advice from your tribe, not from those who’ve never taken such a leap.
Believe YOU are worth it. Making a change in your life requires a commitment of time and energy, which means you will need to put yourself first at times. You need to leave the house and go to your evening class. Or you need to spend weekends on your business while holding down a full time job. Or you need to get the kids to make their own dinner because you’ve got to record a podcast. You might need to ask your partner or a family member to help you financially or practically. You might need to take over a room in the house for your business. If you don’t believe that your wellbeing, enjoyment of life or your priorities are as important as those of your friends, family or co-workers, you will not make this happen.
Have a plan. You’re about to undertake a certain amount of risk and your journey is going to be somewhat unpredictable, so don’t have to go overboard with planning. But you do need to work out your first few strategic steps. And then take them.
People who spend too long on their plan are procrastinating or they have the flawed belief that there is such a thing as a perfect, fail-proof plan and they’re not going to take action until they’ve locked their plan down. This is not the case. There is no risk-free option. Know your first few steps, know your worst case scenario and what you’ll do to minimise that risk. And then start.
A majority of people are unwilling to make these shifts. Perhaps they’re not in enough pain yet. Perhaps they don’t want to change their life enough. Perhaps they’re not ready to question the fundamental beliefs that keep them stuck.
Sign up to A Brilliant Gamble Online to discover whether you’re ready to make a living doing what you love and learn how to navigate your way from back-of-the-envelope musing to making it a reality.
Blaire interviews people who’ve made a living doing what they love, re-thought the 9-5 and found a way to live a more fulfilling lifestyle as a result on her A Brilliant Gamble Podcast. Subscribe now and be inspired to stop sacrificing and start living life on your terms.