Last March, one of my favorite people spoke to a group about leadership. One of the things she challenged the group to do was to think of what they would do if they were not afraid of failure. Would they continue on their current path or pivot to follow their passion?
Over the last several months, I have had opportunities to guide several people through their career journey and have used this same question to them time and time again. As I talked to people about what they were doing in their job and what they wanted to do with their life, I could tell very quickly what they should be doing. You can see it in their eyes, hear it in their voice, and feel it in their energy.
We spend too much time at work doing something that does not fulfill us! Why would we do something that doesn’t make us happy? I know the easy answer: to pay our bills! That is critically important. So the question is: how we can turn the thing we love into something that pays our bills? Now is the time. More than ever, there are opportunities to do what we love. My son has a 16-year-old friend making thousands of dollars a month playing video games and live streaming himself unboxing a computer. If people can make money taking pictures of their goats, you can make money doing what you love!
So how do you do it? Make a plan. Find people who can help and support you. Be realistic. Then start doing it! Stop talking about doing it and try. I am a believer in never telling yourself “no” because you are afraid of failure.
With that being said, it doesn’t mean that I don’t have some hesitation. Fear is a great thing. It allows you to step back and think about things. Are you reacting out of emotion? Maybe… although that is not always a bad thing. When you’re passionate about something, you will have emotion behind it. Are you taking the best path to your passion? There may be 100 different ways to get to your goal. Have you thought this through enough? You cannot plan for everything. Work through your plan enough to get yourself started.
There will be unknowns that you will have to work through, but you have to start. Don’t quit your job yet. If you really want to get this done, start building it outside of work hours. Make it your second job until you can sustain yourself, then make it your full-time job. When you are passionate about something, it won’t feel like work all the time. With that said, there will be times that even your passion is work. It is still a business. You still have to market yourself, do taxes, and make other business decisions. But with the business decisions, they will feel better when you are doing what you love!
It is ok to be scared; just don’t let that stop you from doing what you love!
Dr. Katie Ervin is the founder and CEO of Catalyst Development. She has contributed to Brainz Magazine and the Forbes Business Council. She is currently writing her first book.