Here’s the thing no one ever tells you about your passion.
It’s not always obvious. It’s not always right there IN YOUR FACE.
It’s not always something you have loved since you were a little kid.
You may not even be any good at it.
Not yet, anyway.
First, you have got to start practicing.
I was 33 before I found my ‘passion.’
And when I say found, I mean it’s quite by accident that I stumbled across it. And… it was borne out of desperation and complacency. Complacency in the sense I didn’t know what else to do and I had to do something and this was an area that I didn’t “hate”, so …meh, what the heck. Let’s give it a shot.
And it didn’t really look like how I thought it was going to.
I hadn’t grown up dreaming of publishing a book or becoming an author.
I certainly never thought I’d be running a writing business.
I started with a problem and worked my way out from there.
The problem was that I hated my career path, which happened at the time to be teaching.
So I just started. I left my job and jumped in with both feet. I took a temp job in the mail room of some oil & gas company to pay the bills and became a freelance writer.
I turned out to be pretty good at it. But honestly it could have gone either way.
I wasn’t actually sure it was my passion and I certainly didn’t know I would be any good at it when I started. All I knew was that I couldn’t spend one more single, solitary day in the classroom as a tenured teacher. Not one more single breath.
So I just started.
I wrote a blog post.
And then I wrote another one.
And then another one.
And that lead me to more opportunities to write articles and work for online magazines.
And then that lead me to a book deal.
So I wrote a book.
And then a second book deal.
So I wrote another book.
And trust me when I tell you this, no one was more surprised than me that I was starting to build a career as a writer. Nobody.
And then I realized that there was no money in writing books for a publisher and although freelance writing paid pretty well, I didn’t like all the hustling required to land a gig.
So I talked to a business coach who found out that I had written my first book in 6 weeks and he said, “That is a superpower. There are people who would kill to have that skill. You should charge for it.”
And so I did that.
I opened up a writing business. All that really meant was that I put up a website, ordered some business cards, and ta-da! I had a writing business.
Then I got my first client.
Then I wrote a little eBook.
And then something else happened. And so on it went.
Like little breadcrumbs.
Blog…blog…blog…article… article…article… book…book….website….business cards…client….book…book…book…book…book….
I just followed the breadcrumbs.
I didn’t have a plan. I certainly had absolutely NO IDEA what I was doing. I just did the next thing there was to do in front of me, took the next opportunity that came along and here I am 7 years later with dozens and dozens of books under my belt and a 6-figure ghostwriting business.
And never once did I worry about “finding my passion” or question, “Is this my passion??’ All I knew was that the actions I was talking were working and I enjoyed what I was doing. And it beat the heck out of teaching.
It wasn’t all a straight line, though. Not by a long shot. Some of the actions I took weren’t that simple and sometimes they didn’t work out. I made mistakes. I have had angry clients, I have had to learn how to speak up, set boundaries, and hustle more than I ever did as a freelance writer.
Have there been tough moments? Oh hell yes. There were times when I had 23 cents in the bank and no food in the fridge. There were times when I went to bed hungry. Have I thought about quitting and doing something else? About a million times. Except that, well, I don’t know what else I would do. There is nothing else I’d rather be doing. Really. It feels like I have no choice. No choice but to do what I do. Hustle and write books.
Still. Writing is just something I do; it’s not who I am.
If you had asked me 10 years ago to write down a list with the top 5 things I’m passionate about, I assure you writing would not have been on that list.
I also didn’t “follow my dream” or “follow my bliss”. Jesus. No pressure.
Putting those kinds of lofty expectations on this tiny, fledgling, vulnerable little thing you are starting (call it your ‘passion’ if you want to) is the equivalent of strangling a baby to death. Seriously. Stop doing that.
Stop putting so much pressure on yourself to “find your passion” and go out there and try a bunch of stuff and see what works. Follow the breadcrumbs. And observe yourself. Listen to people who care about you and know more shit than you and be kind and gentle to yourself and see what happens.
You don’t have to have it all figured out. In taking action, what’s meant to be, your life’s purpose will float to the top
And if you’re not sure if writing is your thing, well neither was I, so I’d say give it a shot.
Just take the first step today.
And see what happens.
Have you ‘found’ your passion, or are you still looking? Please share in the comments below. We’d love to hear what you are doing.