How to Do More of What You Love (in 3 Steps)
Have you ever felt pulled between working a 9-5 and doing your own thing? Do you feel overworked and undervalued? Stuck and unproductive? The moment you begin to feel "uncomfortable with being comfortable" marks a pivotal point in your life. You realize there's more to life than working, day in and day out, building someone else's dream. You know you feel called to do more but maybe you haven't been able to put your finger on it. Or maybe you feel like you don't know enough about business... or maybe you do know what your passions are, but have no idea how to fund them - and the resentment for not being able to actually do them (because you’re stuck at your piece of s&*^ job) are slowly eating away at you. Whatever it is, you CAN do what you love, and best of all, you can be one of the entrepreneurs who #workfromwherever! Having a location-neutral business is easier than ever these days thanks to emerging fields, technology and social media.
All of these emotions can be encouraging and frustrating at the same time! If you're looking for some inspiration - something to get those creative wheels turning in your head - then grab your pen and paper. It's time to let go of the restraints you feel and DO WHAT YOU LOVE.
What if life is happening for us and not to us?
As I moved through my career early on as a teacher, I always felt compelled to do more than just "work." I wanted to add a second income stream and naturally felt empowered to try my hand at entrepreneurship, even though I had no initial training As a kid, I remember watching my dad bake his popular sweet potato, white potato and bean pies all the time. I would ride with him as he'd make his deliveries to the local restaurants and convenience stores. Eventually, his business outgrew the manpower and he stopped. I guess you could say his drive and entrepreneurship fueled my subconscious mind with courage and thoughts of independence!
In time, I tried a few network marketing companies (no, they are not all bad), started a knitwear fashion line, crafted my own skincare products, and even auditioned for commercial modeling gigs after I had my first child. While I enjoyed them all, deep down I was searching for more - for my place in the world. I'm so grateful for life's experiences, because even the ones we consider negative or bad allow us to see the contrast in our awareness. In other words, if we feel scared, hurt or angry at a situation, those feelings give us enough contrast to know what we'd like to experience INSTEAD. That is the trick - not getting caught up in the emotions the "negative" experience produces, but instead shifting our perspective about it (i.e., realizing what may be a better choice or experience). Remembering this will help you move a little closer to what you want each time.
Think about it - after moving through grade school, high school or even college, you might feel conditioned to believe that your purpose lies in establishing a traditional career - and maybe it does. The challenge however, is that all too often we start out with an idea, a vision or a dream, only to watch it slowly fizzle away as we work to build someone else's dream, likely living check to check or with little disposable income. Now let me be clear. I'm not saying there is anything wrong with working a regular job! This article is written for those who have EVER wondered what life would be like if they had pursued a talent, skill or gift as a business instead of solely relying on being someone's employee. My point is that even your faintest dream of doing something "else" indicates that you have more to share with the world. There is someone waiting for what you have to offer!
Step #1: DECIDE.
Even the Bible says to "write your vision and make it plain." You can't expect to gain any traction personally or professionally if you haven't made a decision! This sounds simple, but you'd be surprised at how much time can pass you by when don't have a clear plan or a goal to work towards. Making a decision could mean dedicating more time to your hobby, working out consistently, reading a new book each month on a topic you love, or laying the framework for what could become your own fortune 500 company!
Whatever resonates with you, you must first DECIDE that you want things to look differently. Decide HOW you want your life to look. Envision your ideal day with as much detail as possible! What time will you wake up? What kind of bed are you sleeping in? What is your personal style? What car are you driving? What kind of food are you eating? What does your jewelry look like? How do you look and feel? A lot to consider, right!? Do this practice as often as you can, every day!
Once you make a decision about what you want to put more effort into (feel free to be fluid in your decisions until you find what feels right), the trick to this step is breaking your vision down into chunks you can accomplish with ease. But what if your ideas require lots of money, employees or even acres of land!? Or what if you have no experience in the field you want to pursue? Let's hop to step 2!
Step #2: DO THE WORK.
You might be thinking, "But I don't even know where to start!" I'm here to tell you that with technology today and the rising number of coaches, consultants and independent schools, there is a ton of information out there to get you started! Some of my favorite resources for inspiration are books, online courses (try Udemy), webinars (try Youtube), Etsy , and good old fashioned Google.
This brings me to my next question. How badly do you want it? Whether you have 2 hours or 20 minutes of disposable time each day, the bottom line is you have time. I don't want to hear about your busy schedule, your kid's sports, your job, or anything else. YOU. HAVE. TIME. Simply reallocating your time will help you to focus on making time for your new venture. This doesn't have to mean staying up until the crack of dawn (OK, I'm guilty on some nights) and it isn't always about doingmore. When you decide what you want and get clear on your ideas, set aside a specific amount of time to work only on those goals. We all have the same amount of hours in a day - it's up to us how we choose to use them.Activity is the cure-all for every negative thought or encounter. The more you detach yourself from the outcome you want to achieve and stay laser focused on reaching your goals, the more you can focus on doing the work. Be active, be consistent and you will see results.
Activity is the cure-all for every negative thought or encounter. The more you detach yourself from the outcome you want to achieve and stay laser focused on reaching your goals, the more you can focus on doing the work. Be active, be consistent and you will see results.
"It takes commitment to start and consistency to finish."
Step #3: GROW.
You can't expect to have anything you aren't willing to become. What I mean is that if you plan to be the CEO of your company one day, but hit the snooze button every morning, take no care in your wardrobe and don't communicate well with others, you may have a difficult time growing into the role. Remember the visualization you did earlier about your ideal day? How would you act, speak, dress, and eat if you reached your goals TODAY? I think you see where I'm going with this - FAKE IT TIL YOU MAKE IT. This is not the same as lying about what you do, especially to manipulate someone into becoming a customer or client. It simply means that the faster you act like a CEO, the easier it will be to attract the people, places and experiences that allow you to ACTUALLY BECOME ONE!
So, how do you grow? How do you become what you are visualizing? Dedicate a part of each day to your personal and/or spiritual growth. This is non negotiable in my book!
Here are my top tips for personal and spiritual growth:
Whether you choose hard-copy or audio, reading is essential. Leaders read. I have many favorites and am putting together a resource guide of my favorite personal growth tools to share with you! Give yourself at least 30 minutes of reading time per day. When I read or listen to a book on a topic I love, I can really get lost in it. The point is to start somewhere and just read!
Create moments of silence to encourage inner peace. Do your best to feel gratitude for both the things you have and the things you're waiting for. Meditation also reduces stress, hormone balance, improves well-being and gets your mind in check. Don't worry about forcing yourself to not think about the negative garbage that can creep into your mind. It's about recognizing the thoughts and letting them go. It's so easy to run away will all the wrong thoughts, but this gets us nowhere. Whether you call it prayer or meditation, carve out just 5 minutes a day (preferably each morning at least) of solitude and your life will improve with ease as each day goes by.
CARE FOR YOURSELF
Self-care is a must! As a wife and mom of 2, it is so easy to get caught up in what everyone else needs. I've lost myself at times because I cared for them before I cared for myself. Think of the attention and love you give yourself as water in a glass. When your glass is overflowing, give your excess to others. Don't empty your glass by giving others what you should really be giving yourself.
Believe me, I've tried to be superwoman, but the truth is - I'm not supposed to be (thank God because that would be exhausting!). I'm meant to care for and love myself first, so I can be fully present with the others who need me. Anything less than this will create anger, frustration and resentment, whether now or in the years to come - and that is no bueno.
I am a firm believer that what we tell ourselves is what we will believe, positive or negative. It's important to create positive affirmation statements that you see and read (even silently) daily. I keep mine visible so that I see them throughout the day. It serves as a reminder that I need positive self-talk consistently. One of my favorite people to listen to when it comes to affirmations is Louise Hay. You can find many of her webinars and guided meditations for free on Youtube. Be sure to look for her morning and evening meditations. What a great way to start and end your day!
Now that you've learned my 3 tips to do what you love, I hope you'll find them useful as I have. As you follow these steps, you're mindset will go from scarce to abundant, complacent to driven and fearful to confident!