Everyone has a passion. Whether it is travel, cooking, entrepreneurship, making new personal connections, or something entirely else, there is always that one thing that brings a smile to your face every time you think about it.
For many people, a major life goal is to spend more time doing what they love. Whether that means turning your passion into your career or simply making this activity a mainstay of your weekend, the path to get there is not just going to create itself. You have to expend energy to turn it into reality.
On the other hand, you don’t want to be overwhelmed by pressure and over-extend yourself by taking on a ton of risk. Nothing is worse than turning something you love into something you loathe. But with the right strategies, planning, and mentality, anyone can kickstart a passion project. And who knows? If you heed the following advice, that project of passion may just become something you can make a living from.
1. Test the Waters
No matter whether your passion project will be a permanent hobby or become a future job, it’s a good idea to start out slow. While some people are hard-wired to jump in with two feet, this can be a quick route to burnout or failure.
Especially if you think this can become full-time employment, it makes sense to test the waters a little bit before quitting your job. Devote some nights and weekends to your project and see how you feel about it a few months later. If you’re already getting bored or excessively frustrated, you can back out or scale down without much problem. But nine out of 10 startups fail, reports Fortune.com. So if you’re already in too deep, there may be no turning back from ruin.
Ultimately, you need to make sure you are not confusing short-term excitement with the true motivation it will require to turn something you enjoy doing into something that you can really be proud of — or earn a living from.
2. Set Measurable Goals
As the saying goes, failing to plan is planning to fail. It doesn’t matter whether you want to improve at photography just for yourself or launch a career as a photographer, you won’t get anywhere unless you have some goals.
Set some deadlines for achieving various objectives and hold yourself accountable. Inc.com reports that a whopping 92 percent of people fail to achieve their New Year’s resolutions, and it’s largely because they tend to have nebulous targets — such as “eating better” — that cannot be measured. Along the same lines, everyone wants to be able to take better photos. But that will only happen if you determine specific courses you plan to take or learn to master image processing-software like Adobe Light Room and then actually do it.
These goals can be big or small. But try to keep in mind how much time you have as you create the deadlines and set milestones. The photographer’s goal may be ambitious (“take three professional lighting courses this month”) or simple (“go out to shoot photos four times this month”). But add numerical benchmarks that you will know whether you met.
3. Constantly Seek Inspiration
Attitude is a big part of success — the biggest part, some might say. For this reason, staying motivated and retaining the right energy is absolutely crucial to accomplishing any goal. Persistence often beats genius, and to keep grinding day in and day out, you will need to stay inspired.
There are a wide range of entrepreneurs, artists, and influencers on social media that can help keep you on point. Individuals like Gary Vaynerchuk, Barbara Corcoran, and Melinda Emmerson are among the best.
And don’t forget about brands. Through the Amway Twitter account, this global company consistently brings positivity and real-world examples of success — like the story of Carrie Bohlig — that can help inspire entrepreneurs.
The good news is that you have already done the hardest part: figured out what you love. Many people can go their whole life without ever truly feeling passionate about anything.
But you have to understand that passion alone won’t ensure that you create anything that leads to real fulfillment. Instead, to start building something you will be proud of, start out slow, set measurable goals, and continually refill your inspiration tank.
If you start by focusing on these few small areas, you will have big success in no time.