How to Follow Your Passion

“Go follow your passion!” Such a great phrase, but how do you know to do that?

Passion is a powerful word! It’s inspiring. It’s unique to you. It’s fuel to keep us moving forward. It can also be dangerous if not thought through.

We often hear “follow your passion” when someone is trying to inspire young people to live a life that is truly theirs. Other times we hear “follow your passion” when someone is at a crossroads in their life and are trying to figure out what to do.

But do we know how to follow our passion? You see, “follow your passion” is not a one-size-fits-all opportunity for life.

The reality is that if you don’t know how to follow your passion, it could do you more harm than good!

Our passion can serve multiple purposes when identified and harnessed properly! Below are two of the most common …

1 :: Passion As A Revenue Generator

Your passion could become a source of income. We see this happen to those who have developed a service or product that, through significant and daily effort, becomes a thriving business.

My personal story led me to this place where my passion for driving people forward through reputation management, coaching, and consulting efforts – and a $hit-ton of hard work and perseverance! 😉 – has allowed me to replace my ‘corporate gig’ salary and “follow my passion.”

This was not easy. This was not a, “I woke up one day and decided to follow my passion” type of experience. This took years of preparation. This took hours of work. This took significant commitment and a level of self belief in the value I could offer this world during my brief stay.

So, how did I know to follow my passion as a revenue generator? Read what the three key elements are below …

On the other side, your passion can deliver supplemental income – your side hustle. You don’t have to quite your 9-5 (or, maybe it’s more like 7A-10P for you?!) in order to bring your passion to life.

Following your passion does not have to be an either, or decision. It can be and … read here for more insight on how to make these types of decisions.

2 :: Passion As An Impact Generator

Other times, people find that their passions are about making an impact, not necessarily making money. They know or come to realize that their passion isn’t all about making money.

Your passion could be about supporting an effort or movement in which you believe.

I have a friend who builds orphanages in underdeveloped countries – his passion is helping these young people have a chance at life that was not available before. However, he realized that it was his high-paying corporate job that had allowed him to generate donations and access resources to help bring his passion to life. You see, he didn’t just quit his job to follow his passion and put himself and his family at risk.

Many years ago, I came across this three-prong approach to discerning how to follow your passion – revenue or impact? Its simplicity and directness was impactful to me as I was trying to figure this passion-thing out!

The three key elements are: Talent, Passion, Market.

Talent: You have a distinct and strong ability to do something. This is something at which you have worked to refine, strengthen, and put your unique fingerprint on. People often compliment you for this talent and you may wonder why. “Everyone can do this, right? I’m not that special.” Wrong! Not everyone can do what you have been uniquely and wonderfully designed to do.

Passion: This is something that is the last thought on your mind when you go to bed and the first when you wake up. This is the thing that lights you up when you talk about it. This is the thing that you work on and hours feel like seconds. Immersing yourself in this is like breathing!

Market: This is where the first two come together and is vital if you are considering monetizing your passion as a supplemental or sustainable source of income. There has to be a market for your Talent and Passion where people are willing to pay you money for this.

You see, you can have all the talent and passion in the world, but if no one is willing to buy your work, then don’t quit your job to follow your passion!

You can have passion and a market, but no talent in that particular area.

You can also have talent and a market, but no passion for the work. This is where some people start down the ‘mid-life crisis’ path. “My life is just passing by and I’m doing something that I’m not passionate about.”

Here’s an example of how this can come to life: I have always loved animals. When I was a child, I wanted to be a veterinarian. There is clearly a market for people who spend billions annually on these family members! I realized though, that I neither have the passion nor the talent to have become a veterinarian.

Another example is from a friend of mine who is a real estate agent. She grew up in a household where her parents were both real estate agents and was told that it was a great profession that would be lucrative and allow for a flexible schedule. Having grown up with ‘real estate in her blood’, it wasn’t surprising that she stayed in the family business. She clearly had talent for the work and there is a market, but it’s not her passion. Her passion is working with the elderly. So, she keeps her day job, which is lucrative and her flexible schedule allows her to volunteer with the elderly.

I have personally found this to be a great resource to figure out how to not only follow my passion, but more importantly understand the role it plays in my life.

If you are exploring your passion and how it could be incorporated into your life, I hope this serves you in a similar way!

Keep digging!