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Have you ever heard of the statement; “We are the product of our choices”?
This literary means, our everyday decisions are responsible for the outcomes of our lives. Hence, if we want better results, we must master how to make decisions that will yield such.
There are a lot of motivational speakers out there who are misleading people with the “follow your passion” mantra.
As a young boy growing up, I realised that I was good at quite a number of things. I am a dominantly creative, yet strategic and analytical. So whatever I do, I like being very good at it. I want my work to exude excellence.
That said, you can imagine the kind of energy I put into my endeavours; quite the Olympian kind of tenacity.
I literally taught myself graphic design, website design, computer programming, video editing, public speaking, creative writing and how to play the guitar. On the corporate side, I find myself to be a trainer, coach, strategist, data analyst, organizational development specialist.
Okay, not that I am trying to claim to be a know-it-all person. You can ask those who know me well, I am a passionate person. You can say my story is that of a trained physicist with all these artillery, this kind of combination makes the blessing of being gifted feel like a curse. I had spent some time at the corridors of confusion. For me, I could take one of my passion and decide to follow it all my life or on the other hand, follow all of them in a haphazard manner and look like a confused person. You know what they call it; jack of all trade, master of none.
Enough about me, this post is about how you can avoid following your passion and end up broke.
With the trending movement of being a lifestyle entrepreneur, I see a lot of millennials trying to turn their passion into their profession and ending up short changing themselves because they have gone about it in the wrong way by not properly assessing their passion and positioning themselves in a competitive manner. Being awesome at one thing does not mean it has the potential to pick your bills and pay for a vacation at your favourite location on the planet.
So how can you choose to follow your passion in such a manner that you don’t end up being broke; how do you choose the right passion that will leave you fulfilled and not financially shipwrecked?
The first thing you want to do is to do a passion or skill audit. Do you remember the ancient philosophers mantra; “know thyself”? If you do not know what you have, how can you make money from it?
Questions you might want to ask yourself should include;
Who am I? what am I good at, what do friends say I am good at, what do I love to do, what comes to me naturally, what experiences have I overcome and what lessons did I learn from them, what can do so well that people will be willing to pay for, which problem in my community or the world at large moves me to tears?
From the questions, you will find that your passion and skill is weaved in your provided answers. List all the area of passion and the corresponding skill that drives them.
Now, categorise them into three major areas;
- Areas of Interest: the fact that you are interested in a thing might not mean you have what it takes to be very good at it.
- Things you are good at: these are things you have the requisite skill to do at a professional level and compete globally
- Passion with potential economic value: these are things you are passionate about that have a corresponding economic value by virtue of having a ready market that values it and are willing to pay for the service/product. Some of them may not appear to have economic value at the surface, you may need to really grind and create the economic opportunities that lie there in.
Now that you have done that, you want to eliminate categories one and two and focus on the third category. We want to narrow down to the one or maximum three-things you can channel all your energy and time into, so you can be a master at it. Because to attain mastery, you need to focus.
Are you ready for the final step? If you follow these listed steps, you will be unstoppable, you will be extraordinary!
Among the listed passion with economic value, our goal is to ask critical questions that will help us identify the critical few that will deliver the promise and reward for hard work and diligence.
Here are the questions.
- Does my passion make economic sense? You need to know if the thing(s) you are passionate about has can pay for and deliver the lifestyle you desire. If you are single today, you are most likely to someday get married and have kids. Your partner and kids will need funds to live a comfortable life. You will need funds to send your kids to the best schools. You will need funds to sponsor you and your family on a vacation to one of the nicest locations in the world. So pursuing a passion that makes economic sense is critical, otherwise you will find yourself frustrated down the line.
- Do I have what it takes to compete in this space at a globally level? If you do not have what it takes, you want to commit to go all out and learn all that is required. Go on the internet and find the top 5 to 10 people in that space. Find what they have done, what they are doing now and more importantly, they skills they learned, the things they did to bring them to the limelight. They say success leaves trails, your goal is to follow their path so you will end up where they now are and eventually go beyond their present level of success.
- How long will it take me to attain mastery in this space? It takes 9 months for a child to be born; it takes 10,000 hours to attain mastery in any filed. Every skill has a gestation period, you need to identify the time duration required to acquire the skill you need and then commit to it.
Those are the steps you can take to help you identify your passion with economic value. If you follow the listed steps, you will position yourself for global competitiveness and not end up on a passion that has no promising economic value.
I hope you found this post very insightful. What other steps do you think one can take towards excelling in your area of passion? I would be glad to hear from you in the comments below.
Thanks for reading.