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Now is the Time to Cash In on Your Passion

What are you passionate about? Building websites? Designing clothes? Playing golf? No matter what your answer is, you are fortunate enough to live in a world where you can take that passion and turn it into a career. Don’t believe me? Just look at all the entrepreneurs and solopreneurs out there right now that are building communities, tools, and services around the things that they love. Now is the time to cash in on your passion, and in this article I’ll detail a few ways you can do just that.

Figuring It Out

You might not know exactly what your passion is, but the good news is that it’s never too late to find out! The easiest way to figure out what your passionate about is to take inventory of yourself and your daily routines. What gets you motivated every single day? When you have extra creative energy, where do you focus it? Start keeping a list of these activities and then write down how they make you feel each time you do them. After a few months you’ll be well aware of what makes you tick and well on your way to seeing your passion more clearly.

Understand that Passion Alone, Isn’t Enough

In order to truly be able to cash in on what you love, you must be good at it and able to provide something of value in that niche. That might mean you create a successful podcast on knitting or design an app that helps people take better photos. In any event, you have to have the “skills to pay the bills” in order to make this whole thing work.

Invest In Yourself

If you don’t think your skillful enough to pull this off right now, find a way to invest in yourself and learn whatever it is that you think you need to learn. There are countless resources online for continuing your education. As a matter of fact, I happen to work for one of them. You don’t necessarily need another college degree, but rather a narrow-focused set of skills to help build this thing.

Be Patient

Chances are that you aren’t even close to being able to pull this off right now. Such monumental shifts in life take months or even years to pull off properly. That’s why you have to be 100% sure that you’re ready to invest the time and effort into something like this, and why understanding your passion is so important. I’m passionate about education, and I wanted to build a career for myself that helped change the way people learn. That’s not something that happened overnight. I started out podcasting from a tiny apartment in Kentucky back in 2006, and I’m only just now beginning to feel as though I’m scratching the surface of that dream 8 years later.

Recognize that Someone Else May Have Already Built It

If your idea is good, there’s a possibility that someone else has already started something similar or will start something similar before you can launch it. This is not necessarily a bad thing. Perhaps you can work with this person or learn from them indirectly by studying their successes and failures. Competition is nothing more than a learning tool for those who are smart enough to use it correctly. Too many people get bogged down in the us vs. them mentality of competition. The truth is that most markets are big enough to accommodate a wide range of players. I would also argue that entering an already established market is substantially easier than creating a whole new one, because you have the added benefit of seeing exactly what has worked and what hasn’t thus far int he industry. This puts you in a prime spot to enter from a different angle and completely change the game.

Worry About Money, But Don’t at the Same Time

Making money is important. Anyone who tells you it isn’t, has plenty of it already. However, money won’t come easy when you’re first starting out, and you’ve got to be okay with that mentally. Be smart with your financial decisions during your transitional phase. When you’re established and comfortable, then you can afford to be a little less frugal, but not a minute before. You’ll also want to invest any early profits right back into whatever it is that you’re doing. After all, you have to spend money to make money, right? If you’re jumping into this thing to make money, you’ve already made a huge mistake. Trust me.

“The only way to belong is to act like you belong. Or to not give a shit whether you belong or not.”

This is one of my favorite quotes. Though, I’m not sure who originally said it, the internet seems to attribute it to reality tv star, Lauren Conrad. No matte who said it, the quote is 100% true in my mind. Insert yourself into the conversation within your chosen niche and act as if you’re supposed to be there. Even if you don’t, who cares? I’m pretty young to do what I do for a living, and it’s been tough getting respect over the years because of the attached stigma that goes with being the kid in the industry. I became quickly aware of this, and decided I was just going to inject myself into every facet of the business without really caring if I “belonged” or not. Who’s to tell you that you don’t belong int he first place? I’ll tell you who… Nobody.

How to Get Started

Set yourself a realistic first goal. Maybe that’s identifying your passion within the next 6 months, or developing a rough outline of what it is that you’re going to create around what you’re passionate about. In any case, don’t try to build your whole house in a single day. Start by laying the foundation, then add in some walls, a roof, etc. Don’t get mired down with a bunch of stupid little details either. Just focus on the big picture, slowly put the plans in place, and take one small step at at time.

The internet, technology, and education have never been more accessible than they are right now. You have the potential and the power to change your lives and the lives of everyone around you. Don’t ever forget that. Personally, I’m excited to see what the next big wave of game-changers will be, and hopefully you can be a part of that. Just make sure to drop my name when people ask you what motivated you to change the world. Seriously, I wish you all the best. Thanks for reading!

5 Comments

  1. Hi Justin,

    You wrote here a very nice post. Am Ibrahima and I live in Senegal, Africa. Am also a member of lynda.com and I think I’ve watch all your tutorials about Illustrator and the last one I really liked is Photoshop CC for Web Design.

    I known exactly what my passion is (building web apps from scratch, from Sketch3 to a dynamic server-side application with Laravel4). i want to make also some screencastes and sell them. I already buy a MAC just for the Sketch3 app and am agree when you say ‘you have to spend money to make money’.

    Anyhow, this his a good post and I’ll never forget advices given here when I’ll succeeded with my passion.

    Cheers :)

    Reply

  2. Thanks Justin – your post came at a time I really needed it.

    Reply

  3. Hi justin,

    I am passionate about learning and sharing about webdesign and blogging. I am and failing for years, i started blogs and failed to maintain blogs and make money but never quit learning, i love creating screencast and vidseo courses.

    I tried to create a video course but failed many times almost after 1 and half year i finally successfully created and published my first 3 video course about HTML, CSS and WordPress, WordPress course is available is available in Urdu/Hindi and HTML & CSS course is available in English for free download.

    One thing is sure if you are passionate enough and love what you do, nothing can stop you and that’s why i finally launched my courses. I am not making money right now but i hope i will start making money as well because it’s very important.

    here is a link of WordPress course and details share it with your audience if your think it’s worth sharing.

    Reply

  4. Hi Justin,
    I should read this once a week to remind myself that success is not a race to see who can get there first. It’s taken me some time to identify my passion, and I’m happy to say it’s clear to me now. I to can identify with the age issue has I’m turning 55 next month. Most people are thinking about retirement, but I’m thinking about this whole new adventure of front-end code and design. I’ve been told it will take me years to develop the skills, and by the time I’m ready I’ll be to old to care. Ha! Ha! Never listen to those people…Never! So, I”m happy to learn from a guy who is young enough I’m sure to be my son! Thanks for the great tutorials, you’re a great teacher.
    Debby

    Reply

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