Think back to when you were a kid, and you got with your friends and started to think about what you wanted to do that day. You didn’t take out a piece of paper and start to brainstorm ideas of the most fun activities to do. You didn’t make a plan or itinerary of what to do. You just met up with your friends and played. And when you got tired of that game, you played something else.
Childhood was so easy. It didn’t involve a lot of the tough decisions we have to make as adults. Sometimes I miss those carefree days.
I miss being able to make a decision at the drop of a dime and not really caring about the future or consequences.
I miss not dissecting a problem a million different ways. I’d love to be able to just see the problem at point A, and make a quick decision to get to point B.
But We’re Not Kids Anymore
And life is hard. Life is full of making a ton of choices and decision. One of those particularly tough decisions is finding your passion.
I think it becomes more of an issue the older you get. I know it definitely did for me when I was turning 30. However, it wasn’t an issue because I thought I needed to find my passion. But because other people wanted to know what my passion was.
Let’s Go Back to the Late 90’s
I’ve been designing graphics and websites since I was in high school. Ironically I didn’t think it could be a career choice for me when I started designing. But when it came time to select a career to study in college (again, something someone else was making me do, not something I decided to do on my own. Funny how that works.) Being a graphic/web designer was basically a no brainer.
Back when I was in high school, unlike today, I didn’t know of any graphic designers. Many people only had access to the internet via a school library. And no one I knew in “real life” was into designing. Sure I had a lot of nerdy internet friends who designed, a lot of whom I’m still friends with to this day. But I don’t think any of them initially saw graphic design as a career choice either.
Fast forward through my twenties, I worked in graphics, I worked as a webmaster, I worked in marketing. I didn’t necessarily hate designing, but I hated being at a job.
Come to find out, the reason work was never satisfying to me was because I was meant to be an entrepreneur. But that’s a topic for another episode. *Goes to write that down on my content board in Trello.*
Struggling to Find My Passion
One day someone asked about my passion. I wasn’t really sure of what it was and the call got interrupted so I was thankful that I didn’t have to answer. But it left me feeling bad that I didn’t know what my passion was. I felt like I was failing at life because I was almost 30 and didn’t know what my passion was.
Then I turned 30 and I had a fabulous birthday weekend. That is until someone asked me what I was going to do now that I turned 30. Wait, what?
The person explained to me that 30 is a milestone and things need to be different. I tuned out of the conversation because, not only did I revert back to the convo about not having a passion, I didn’t know that turning 30 meant you had to have everything figured out.
But they were right! I had to get my life together.
I tried to sit around and brainstorm to figure out my passion. I couldn’t think about anything I was passionate about anything except figuring out how to pay these bills. Obviously, I love being a mother but I didn’t think that qualified as a passion.
It wasn’t until last year when I came up with the idea to start my podcast that I accidentally figured out what my passion was.
You Already Know Your Passion
I knew I wanted to start a podcast about something, but I didn’t know quite what I wanted to talk about. I knew graphic and web design well, but I couldn’t do a podcast about graphic design. I thought it would be a little hard since podcasts aren’t visual, and I didn’t want to do a video podcast.
Then I realized that all of my client meetings turn into hours and hours of brainstorming and helping the person out. I love hearing about people’s business ideas, I love to give them ideas, and I absolutely love making their ideas come to life with my designs. Wait, did I just find my passion without sitting down and thinking about finding my passion?
Yup! And I’m sure you already know what your passion is also! It’s what you do. It’s what you love to do. It doesn’t even have to be a career choice. Maybe your passion is sewing. Maybe you like collecting something. Maybe you like to cook. Maybe you love watching TV or reading books.
If you had a day off with no responsibilities, you were well rested, and caught up on all your favorite tv shows what would you do? Chances are, that one thing you’d enjoy doing the most is your passion.
But I Can’t Monetize My Passion
At this point, you’re probably thinking, “That’s cool and all Cindy, but your passion is helping people with their business and designing. You can make money off that, I can’t make money with my love of romance novels.
That’s where you’re wrong. Now, there are some exceptions, but almost every passion can be monetized. You just have to be creative about it.
If your passion is reading romance novels, you could start a blog where you review your favorite books. You can place ads on your blog. You’ll probably be given lots of romance novels to read and review.
You can even throw in certain posts on speed reading, or how you read x amounts of books per year. You can then turn those posts into an ebook you sell.
You can come up with courses related to romance novels.
You can create an outline on what makes an addicting romance novel.
Eventually, you might find that you want to write your own romance novel. You’ve got the audience from your blog. You have tons of research notes because you’ve read so many novels yourself. So why not write your own novel? It doesn’t have to be that long. You can release the first few chapters on your blog for free to see what readers think.
Once you release your book you can release a course or book on your own book writing process. And those are just a few ways you can monetize that particular niche.
If you like to sew, you can create some sewing patterns and sell them. You can start a beginners course.
If you like TV, you can start a blog on your favorite TV show, or a YouTube channel where you recap episodes or even a podcast. Back when LOST was still on the air, I loved listening to LOST podcasts, reading episode recaps and other viewer’s theories.
Your Passion Is Not Something That Needs to Be Found
You already know what it is, you’re just putting too much pressure on yourself to figure it out. Relax and let your passion come naturally to you.
Don’t let people pressure you. Don’t be discouraged if you’re getting up in age and don’t know what your passion is.
Your passion will also change as you change and that that’s okay too.