Pictured above: Farbod Sharoka, an investment banker who became the creator of the “Etsy for flowers.”
I don’t think there’s anything more inspiring or admirable than a person who follows their dreams. Life’s too short to not be doing what you love and what makes you feel alive. Doing anything else makes day to day life rather uninspiring . It can often feel like your choice is to pursue your passion or pay your rent. But, thankfully, it doesn’t have to be that way.
While sometimes difficult, pursuing things you are passionate about will almost always be rewarding. As people often say, if you love what you do, you won’t ever work a day in your life. If you’re struggling to make the choice to follow your dreams, consider the following helpful hints on how to turn your passion into a profession.
1. Find a niche.
Nowadays, it seems as if everyone has the next million dollar idea and even YOUR million dollar idea. With all of the brilliant people in the world, it’s not surprising that our ideas sometimes overlap. But just because someone else is already doing what you’re passionate about, it doesn’t mean that you can’t do it too; it means that you need to find your niche. As far as the dictionary’s definition of niche goes, it is a “distinct segment of a market”. While that may be true, I see finding your niche as so much more. Find a place in the world where you are comfortable doing what you love and that you can do it in your own way. If you are passionate about designing handbags, for instance, don’t follow what others have done in the past; instead, make the designs your own and carve out a unique place in the fashion industry for yourself. If something has already been done, do it better. And if it’s never been done before, make sure you do it well so as to inspire others along the way. Turning your passion into a profitable business almost always starts with finding your niche and making the most of it. Once you know where you and your dreams stand, you can take the next steps.
2. Make a plan.
After deciding you want to pursue your passion and have found your niche, it’s time to write out a plan. This doesn’t have to be an elaborate scheme, just a general idea of what you want, how you’re going to get it, and a tentative timeline. While writing these ideas down, especially a timeline, may seem a little preemptive, you are giving life to your ideas and making them real. I find that any goal, hope or dream that is written down feels more attainable and becomes something I’m dedicated to working towards. If we are sticking with the handbag scenario from before, your plan may be as simple as wanting to design and sell handbags online, writing a list of the types of suppliers you will need to contact, and the day you want to have your designs finished by. Now, instead of just saying you want to design handbags, you have a better idea of what, how and when.
3. Take the plunge.
Once your passions have been realized, all the planning has been completed, and your lists have been made, it’s time to just go for it. As scary as it may seem to put yourself out there, both emotionally and financially, you just have to take the plunge sometimes. I’m not suggesting that you quit your full-time job and wing it. I’m saying to not let fear hold you back. There are an immeasurable amount of great ideas and even startups that don’t go anywhere because people are afraid. This may be a fear of rejection, a fear of having their ideas stolen, or a fear of failure; regardless, it’s stopping them from following their passions. You may not have everything planned out perfectly and you most certainly will make mistakes along the way, but it’s time for you to start living the life your deserve. That starts with you deciding that you, your ideas and your passions are worth the risk.
There is nothing more liberating than waking up every morning and knowing you love what you do. While not always simple, it is possible and realistic to turn your passion into a profession. All you need to do is find your niche, make a plan of how you’re going to succeed, and just go for it. Believe in yourself, be confident in your ideas and make the most of every day. I wish you nothing but the best of luck!