Recently, I received a big payout for my creative work. I won’t go into specifics, but it was a creative project I’d worked on for about a year. It was fun. I loved the work, and I’m going to love seeing that nice uptick in my bank account (less taxes).
Now, whether it’s painting, a novel, homemade furniture, you may have some passion you want to monetize. I’m here to say that you can, and there are four key tips if you’re going to attempt it.
Tip #1: Do the darn thing
Don’t wait for permission. Don’t second guess yourself. Is it your passion? Yes? Good enough, get going!
Successful individuals chase their passions. They don’t wait for opportunity to find them, but rather seek out ways to accomplish their goals, despite the world around them. I worked in corporate while pursuing my creative endeavor. Was it hard most days? Yes. Did I still love pursuing my dream? You better believe I did.
The biggest issue with aspiring writers is that they don’t write. Aspiring bloggers don’t blog. Would-be YouTubers never record their first video. They talk about all doing all these things, sure. Yet the only way to ever get to where you want to be is to sit down (or stand up, if that’s required) and just put in the hard work. Plus, if it’s a passion, it usually won’t even feel like work.
Tip #2: Hold yourself accountable
Still, sometimes it will definitely feel like work. Days will come where you have zero motivation for your main hustle, let alone a passion or side hustle. It’s for that reason that, when there may be no one to motivate you, it will be your job to find motivation within yourself.
There are several ways to go about this, but the one I found most effective was to break down the work I was doing into small daily steps. I devoted at least one hour and a maximum of two to my passion each morning prior to my day job. Why? Because it’s important to do something to move the bar forward, but so that I wasn’t turning this into another 8-hour job and, thus, burning out.
Of course, there are plenty of self-motivation strategies other than breaking down your goals. If you’re a no-nonsense get-it-done kind of human, power to you. What’s critical is that it remains a passion, and you keep showing up, but you don’t work yourself into hating it.
Tip #3: Find your community
Second to holding yourself accountable, finding others to hold you accountable is the next best thing.
I joined Twitter and put myself out there. Guess what happened? Not only did I find a community to support me, but because my goals were clear (it was a community pursuing the same passion) I didn’t want to let anyone down by quitting. Now, don’t get me wrong, plenty still quit within the online community. Those that don’t are the vast majority.
A second benefit of finding a community around your passion, whether online or not, is that you’ll meet individuals who have achieved success. Individuals you can learn from and, if possible, even engage and ask questions. Nothing can be more critical than finding mentors or teachers on the road to success when it comes to passions that can’t always be taught.
Tip #4: Focus on the present
It’s so easy to point to the greats and dig into textbooks on craft, how they accomplished their goals, and fall down rabbit holes of history. Unfortunately, that’s also a waste of time. To those who say, “those who don’t study the past are doomed to repeat it”, I say…duh, that’s the goal. We’re trying to find success the way others have found it in the past.
To do that, we need to know what those who share our passions are doing TODAY. Technology and the transfer of knowledge changes so rapidly that what may have been a sound strategy for success last year could now be outdated. So, if you’re trying to start a web-comic, don’t study the printing press, learn to publish on the major online comic platforms. Or, if you’re hoping to sell homemade sex toys, don’t go to the local flea market, open an Etsy store. Understand what’s in for the markets you’re entering.
This all is to say that focusing on the present will keep you adaptable. Sports outlets have begun pivoting, for example, in inviting in celebrities to talk about sporting events, or centering on old America’s racial issues that have become a large part of the current national dialogue. If you’re entering this space, whether a podcast or blog, one of the valuable insights gained from this would not to leave out critical dialogue that might keep fans engaged.
Whatever your hobbies are, my hope is that you don’t give up on those passions as you pursue financial success. You don’t have to be an internet marketing specialist to build a following, and there’s never a good time to start, so get going NOW!
If you enjoyed this post, or have questions, feel free to reach out and be sure to share with your friends. Thanks for reading!