Isn’t it so amazeballs to know Your Thing – y’know, what you wanna do when you grow up? Then, it “just” becomes a matter of figuring out how to make it happen, and while that’s no easy feat (if it was, I’d be out of business for sure), it certainly comes as a relief when you’re intent to figure out, well, what it is you wanna do in the first place!
The one caveat to that, though: having too many Things to choose from (or so you think). So you know that you love hula hooping, researching, and guitar-playing…do you have to pick just one to monetize? And how can you know that monetizing ’em won’t make you resent ’em? Lots of creative Renaissance Souls fear that a passion will turn into resentment once they decide to make it a career/revenue stream. Well, you can find out by….
….listening to your gut.
Hippy-dippy but true. If something is saying that you’re not gonna enjoy hula hooping professionally, then stick to keeping it as a fun party trick, or sharing it on your blog. Even if you’re looking for a “professional” career (aka one where you work for someone else, or with/for lots of finance types in suits), I guarantee that you sharing this passion is a great conversation-starter at worst and a likeminded-people-attracter at best!
…trying it out in the short-term
My client Patty has an amazeballs Etsy shop, but it always played second fiddle to her office day job. After a successful Heartsy sale, she knew she needed to stock up on more product. As a challenge, she committed to spending 24 hours in one week making it happen (yes, this is on top of her 40+ hr/wk job)! Between the madness of filling Heartsy orders and the 8-hr Sunday working on making her product, she realized that “THIS is what it must feel to be a crafter full time(…)and I’m ok with that :-)” Onwards and upwards for Patty!
Another client thinks that grant writing might be right for her. She would love to be involved with a performing arts company, and has some friends that she think would happily give her a crack at it on a volunteer basis. She’s reaching out to them right now, knowing when the gig’s over that she’ll know whether she wants to move on to something else or seriously consider a career in grant writing.
…conduct an informational interview
What you assume is a researcher’s day-to-day responsibilities might be totally off to their reality. No matter the “weirdness” of the career, my clients always seem to find a friend, family member, or friend-of-a-friend (or friend-of-a-family-member!) that they know that’s doing that exact job. Email them and ask if you can send them over some questions and/or take them out for a drink to get the backstage pass as to what it’s really like to be a hula-hooping, guitar-playing researcher.
…write a Dear Future Me letter
Take out a sheet of paper, and write today’s date, but one year from now (aka July 18, 2012). Now write a letter from your Future Self to your Current Self, explaining what happened this year – what you did, how you spent your time, what you look like, whatever (here, you can see mine – it’s easier to show ya than to tell ya anyways). After it’s written, take a day or two to let it sit, and then read it. What did you do this year, and how does it make you feel now? If it’s a combination of nervous and excited, then you’re absolutely on the right path – start walking down it.
…brainstorm what doing them all would look like
Suspend disbelief for me, please. Also, what’s realistic. Also also, who would actually buy whatever you’re selling. If you were to monetize your hula-hooping, your researching, and your guitar-playing, what could that actually be? What would you want to offer? If there’s one thing I’ve learned coaching 150+ creative types, it’s that there’s always a way – it’s all about finding the “how”instead!
And Geez Louise Louise, no matter what, pick up The Renaissance Soul and do the exercises, will ya? I promise it’ll open up your eyes to a whole new world, a myriad of possibilities, and other cliche-but-true sayings. It’s 2011, for Pete’s sake, and if there’s a profitable pizza fire truck, there can be a hula-hooping research guitar-player, too.