If you’ve been reading Uncaged for a while, you know that there’s a few things I’m pretty in love with:
Making my own rules!
And I’m gonna go out on a limb here and hazard a guess that your fine self also has many, many interests. I mean let’s face it – have you ever met anyone who only likes ONE thing? Maybe you have. And you know how horribly dull that person was to talk to. You are not that person.
If you’re reading Uncaged, it’s likely because you’re not happy with your life, and you want a new one (cool! you’re in the right place)! And some of the advice that I love to preach is about creating your own dream job so you get to do what you love, in your own terms.
But, with all these different things you love about life, how the hell are you supposed to nail them down and figure out EXACTLY how to put everything you love into a neat little package (ie. your ideal job)?
Clue: the answer is that you’re not.
Oops, I guess that wasn’t really a clue, was it?
But here it is again – YOU’RE NOT.
There is so much bullshit advice on the internet about how to create a business based on your passions. To be honest, I’m kinda sick of the word passions. (Now accepting applications for a new word).
The problem is – you love a lot of things. And often, those things conflict, or at least don’t quite fit together in a way that makes sense.
So when people (like me) on the internet go out and tell you to build a business based on your
passions (insert new word here), you get your panties all in a knot because you can’t figure out how the fuck to combine sewing + hunting + photography together into a business that will make you money. Or, for that matter, a business that people will even understand.
Take a breath. Unwind that lacy thong of yours. And listen up.
You DO NOT have to combine every single quirky passion of yours into a business. In fact, please don’t. You will confuse me, and everyone else, and no one will ever get what you’re all about. Being the photographer who takes pictures of people’s dead deer they’ve hunted and then hand sews little “Shot ’em dead!” totes for the hunters might sound like a great idea to you, but your market is gonna be a litttttle obscure.
Here’s what you’re gonna do instead:
1. Pick one. Consider a) Which you love doing more than anything and feel a calling to move towards business wise b) Which you would actually still ENJOY doing once your whole life centers around it, and c) Which people would actually pay for. In that order. The love of whatever it is you’re doing has to come before worrying about making money. For biz purposes, it’ll be easier for you to pick one. And for job satisfaction purposes, you’d better pick one that you’d do for free.
2. Get uber clear (in your mind, on your website, when you talk to people) about what, exactly, it is that you do. If you’re a photographer – what do you shoot? Who do you love working with? Why do you think great photos are ESSENTIAL to living a happy life?
3. Find ways to incorporate your other funky hobbies into your business without them being the main player in your biz. A photographer who loves sewing? Maybe you sew your clients handmade thank you pillows. Or little cloth changepurses with your website address on them. Whatever. Find ways to use the skills you have to incorporate into your main business. You’ll be seen as out of the box, fresh, and most importantly – you’ll be memorable and interesting
4. Make sure, whatever you do, that you create your biz in a way that affords you the lifestyle you want, so that you actually have time to do all those other hobbies you love. If you create a biz that leaves you no time to do what fuels you, you’ll crash and burn and your dream career will start to feel like just another chump job.
So stop listening to all the jumbled advice on the internet, PICK something, and go for it, already. The world awaits your creative genius, and it sure as hell isn’t going to be able to find exactly what you have to offer anywhere else.
Someone was telling me recently that I’ve been heavy on the biz advice lately, and I guess that’s because I’m SO damn in love with the freedom that working for yourself gives you, that I like to yell it from the virtual rooftops. Hang tight though, lots of non-business-y stuff coming your way soon.
Now, off to have a nap (one of my passions!) in between coaching calls (passion!) on my day off from rock climbing (passion!) and before I cook my friends an uber healthy and delicious dinner (passion!).
And seriously. We need another word for passion? In the comments – GO!
And if you know that running your own business is the only option, click here to get the free training that will walk you though how to decide WTF business you should start.