The only way to take control of your life, raise your standard of living and move beyond merely surviving is to create your own unique product or service that you offer to increasing numbers of people in exchange for the things of value that you desire. This simple formula applies to countries as well as people. A self-sufficient economy has its own products or services of value to export to the world. Similarly, a self-sufficient individual has something of value to exchange in the global marketplace. That thing of value is based on your natural talent, skill, or interest—in other words, your passion!
Your passion is not just any entrepreneurial business idea that makes you money. There’s a big difference between turning your passion into profit, and simply turning a profit. Any business can make you money. And there’s certainly nothing wrong with finding a lucrative business and using it to create the reality you dream of. In fact, if more people would simply do that, the level of happiness in the world would increase tenfold. However, a passion-centered business answers to a higher calling. Even profitable business vehicles will often fail to sustain your interest, and eventually fail simply because they are not meeting your spiritual needs. You may have some success, but may still end up looking for something else later. It’s that something else that we seek in this chapter.
A passion is also NOT someone else’s idea of what you should be doing. Even though you can and will use other people’s observations about your talents and strengths in figuring out your passion, the final choice should be something that you decide is important to you. "My dad thinks I’d make a great doctor" is not a valid reason to pursue that profession. A passion cannot be an obligation or someone else’s vision for you. It must be yours and yours alone.
A JOB BY ANY OTHER NAME
One of the most common tendencies people have when they start thinking about doing something they love is to start looking to standard professions. They hold out the hope that changing professions will offer them a means of escape from the monotony and lack of fulfillment of their present form of incarceration, er, I mean employment. Unaccustomed to thinking about making money in ways other than those with names like lawyer, social worker and accountant, they make choices within those boxes.
It’s time, however, to think outside the box. As you search for your passion, don’t make the mistake of simply trading one form of employment for another. While it’s true that some jobs may be more satisfying than others, and that you can get degrees of fulfillment from various forms of employment, what we’re doing here is something completely different. We’re not looking for an existing box within which to fit ourselves. We’re starting with our dreams, and making our own box from scratch.
YOUR DESIRE IS YOUR RESUME; RESULTS ARE YOUR DEGREE
To live the Passion Profit lifestyle, no resume is needed. There are no pre-qualifications, just your natural gifts, talents and interests. The lack of formal education or degrees will not exclude you as long as you have a willingness to learn. Your desire is the only resume you’ll need.
In addition, there’s no degree required for what you do naturally. Your ability to create the results you promise through your passion is the only validation and certification that others want to see to feel safe buying from you or hiring you.
WHAT IF I HAVE TOO MANY PASSIONS?
Here is my best advice for those who are overwhelmed by the many things they like to do. In choosing a passion to pursue, it’s not important what you choose, but simply that you choose. You are not obligated to stick with this decision for the rest of your life. Following your passion is like taking a journey. Each decision is a station along the way.
Each choice is a single step in a thousand mile journey. That’s why it’s vitally important to simply head in the direction of your passion, because the journey is the most important thing. Six months from now you may be an entirely different person with different needs, desires and motivations that may require completely new passions to express. Don’t be paralyzed by thinking that your decision is written in stone, or that you are excluding all the other things that interest you. You are simply taking the critical first step. . Go forth boldly knowing that you can change your mind and your direction at any time.
WHAT IF I DON’T HAVE A PASSION?
The answer: EVERYONE has a passion. The fact that you exist is your guarantee that you do. Your passion is who you are. Everything about you is an expression of your passion. Your love is the expression of your passion. Your enthusiasm is the expression of your passion. Your fear is an expression of your passion. Your desires are the expressions of your passion. Every thought you’ve ever had of new ways to express yourself is your passion speaking to you. Every feeling that has ever passed through you that beckons you to be, do and have more is an expression of your passion.
Your passion is the reason and rhyme for why you are here. It reveals the underlying theme of your life and the role you have chosen to play in this drama called life. Your passion is what guides your decisions in all of your choices. Your passion communicates its existence through that still small voice within you when you choose to listen.
The opposite of a life lived with passion, is a life of desperation, misery, frustration and unhappiness. It is a life that appears confusing, chaotic and out of control. It is a life perfectly described by Henry David Thoreau, who said "the mass of men live lives of quiet desperation." So, if you’re experiencing any of those feelings, it’s a sure sign that you do in fact have a passion that is seeking attention and expression.
So, the question is not whether you have a passion, but how do you discover it. You can discover your passion if you know which questions to ask, and then answer them honestly. That is what the Discovery Exercises are designed to accomplish. Any one of the exercises may hold the key to helping you find your passion.
Many people report experiencing breakthroughs simply by asking themselves the question in the first exercise: "What do I want?” For many people, that question is one they have never really answered. Allowing their own desires to be brought to the forefront of their minds, opens up limitless possibilities that, quite literally, changes lives!
The foregoing is an excerpt from Turn Your Passion Into Profit. Find out more about the Discovery Exercises online at www.passionprofit.com
Until next week, remember, success is a journey, not a destination!--Walt
Walt F.J. Goodridge is author of over two dozen books including Turn Your Passion Into Profit. Walt offers coaching and workshops to help people pursue and profit from their passions. Originally from the island of Jamaica, Walt has grown several businesses in the US, and now makes his home here on Saipan. To learn more about the Saipanpreneur Project and Walt’s philosophy and formula visit www.saipanpreneur.com and www.passionprofit.com)