This article will provide insights into the following topics:
- How do I turn my passion into a career?
- Why should you turn your passion into a business?
- How do I sell my passion?
- Can my passion be my profession?
The pandemic of 2020 did leave us with many lessons, the one which I cherish the most is- Life is too unpredictable not to follow your heart. I cannot help but notice, others got that message too! Social media is flooded with people who are using all this free time to explore their hobbies and things they love.
Be it cooking or music or dance; we are more afflicted with passion right now than ever. Sudden loss of jobs has created a great divide in our understanding of society. After all, no matter how safe you play when coming to your career, there's always room for unexpected. And if that is the case, why not take a chance doing something we love. Why not try turning our passion into a livelihood. Here, are a few things you should keep in mind when you decide to follow your heart.
Beware of catch 22
More often, I come across people who got into their "passion" as an escape from their routine job or education. Which is a perfectly normal thing. But if you are planning on taking the next step with your passion, first you should have a complete understanding of your psyche. Are you sure what you have is passion and not just a diversion from dull books and drudging offices? This will start to rear its head as soon as your passion career will start to demand gruelling hours of work. And when that happens our forever- monkey mind will try to search for other escape routes, thus getting us stuck in a frustrating cycle of trying and quitting. How to get out of it and into a linear direction to a bigger life? Understand your purpose.
Purpose as polestar
Define it as clearly as you can. What it is that you want to give to the society- a masterpiece of a song, or build the best school for cooking or create the safest fastest car! Your purpose will be your pole star. Keep it safer than your ATM pin. Don't let others steal it because the competition is real! Don't let it be corrupted by negativity around you. Let it bring forth the profits and not the other way around.
Passionate & pragmatic
I remember watching Chetan Bhagat's (one of the most famous Indian authors) interview where he suggested aspiring writers not to quit their jobs suddenly to become a full-fledged writer. Same goes for education. When we read about billionaires like Zuckerberg dropping out and hitting big, we let ourselves get carried away, following the similar drastic steps. I know I just said about taking chances, but be more prepared. Mark Zuckerberg has been creating software since he was a teenager. He had private tutoring as wells as took a graduate course in software development when he was just in middle school. Before he dropped out of college, he already had dozens of software's to his name, and Facebook with a huge user base. He was professionally and financially in a safe place and could afford to back out of a Harvard degree. Therefore, don't jump into it recklessly. As Roo Panes sings- "Start small, grow tall."
Start small, grow tall
By small I mean start with the easiest and most significant step which is honing your passion. If you are thinking of becoming a freelance developer or a writer or a painter, you better start learning and practising deliberately until you master it. Do market research if you are planning to bring in a product or a novel service into the market. Build the entire blueprint down to the finest details. And do it in a secure situation, pointed out in the previous point. As Bhagat says, "keep the raincoat handy to not let the spark die."
How we eat an elephant
Follow the classic management technique of breaking a herculean job into small doable tasks within a predefined period. Now, no matter how big your appetite is, you cannot gulp this one down alone. This is where another important aspect comes in, your team.
Nothing can be greater than finding your colleagues or business partners around you, in family or friends. But it comes with its baggage. Many of my acquaintances who went into the business along with their friends faced problems like - the uneven delegation of work and accordingly share of each person in the profits. Secondly dispense of the income, leading to syphoning of income to causes that weren't agreed upon by all the partners. All these aspects should be clearly defined else you can always hire a team whom you are only related professionally.
Make use of digital wonderland
I don't think, for budding entrepreneurs and artists (or any person who wants to learn and grow) there could be a better era to be alive in. Make use of all the wonderful resources that have been made available to us through the internet. Be it learning new skills through online courses or building an expansive social network, or using it as a platform to launch your MVM and do market research. Internet is the biggest boon which comes at a little price and can provide oceans of opportunities. Digital advancement aside, today, our society is already equipped with people and organisations whose purpose is to help people build their businesses. There are innumerable business incubators, accelerators and even investors, get in touch with them!
Tolerance for failure
This is generic advice but also sanjeevani for all businesses. Brace for failures and setbacks, especially if your passion is too unique to be bankable. You just have to work extra hard in that case. Find your locus of inspiration, which should be easy since it is your passion! You love this thing! Just keep up with it.
Don't be afraid to evolve.
Like any other entity, the business also needs to evolve to survive with the changing times. Which also means upskilling yourself.
Now there is another aspect to it too. You need to understand, your ideal career may not be as ideal as envisioned. There are chances that your passion wasn't meant to be turned into a profession, and when it did, it lost all its charm to you. Because when we talk about making profits, building business, it involves deadlines and stress, competition, it often happens corporate culture sponges off all the enjoyable aspects of your passion. When that happens, don't be afraid to explore. KFC was started by Colonel Sanders in his sixties. Although some might say, hitting success in your sixties isn't that glorious, but it shows, you never know what might work. The more you try, the closer you get to the perfect recipe.
And when all the above points get too much to remember or follow through. Think of this one thing- you have only one life, a very small one. There is no reason to wake up every day and spend it doing something you don't love. When dreary nuances of business life get too much, take shelter in our passion, to derive joy and happiness. Keep telling yourself why you started it in the first place. Keep revisiting your ideal futuristic life in your head. And don't forget the degree of your passion sets you apart from others. It is going to decide eventually how far you will go.
Co-author: Shreya Arya
A digital marketing enthusiast with experience in HR and hospital management, Shreya has wide interests ranging from philosophy, psychology to latest trends in automation. She is also a freelance content writer and loves lending beautiful words to ideas and feelings.