THE LK BLOG
THE LK BLOG
Leaning into what you love can be one of the most important moves you will ever make. Building a career and business around something you love may be something you’ve been trying to do for years. You may even have an idea of what you want to do. You may have a nagging feeling that your current career just isn’t where you are meant to be. It’s so important to identify your passion and turn it into a career. If you’ve identified what it is that you want to lean in to I’m doing a happy dance for you. Seriously, this is a massive hurdle you’ve overcome.
If you haven’t identified the thing that you want to lean in to don’t worry many of us have been or are right alongside you. It can be the most frustrating thing in the world to have the energy and drive to go build a business but not have the idea. Don’t worry you won’t be stuck for long. I’m going to walk you through 5 ways to identify your passion and turn it into a career.
First, I encourage you to go back to when you were a child and allow yourself to play and experiment. In our adult life, we are trained to overthink and find every reason why we shouldn’t do something even if it’s something we love. Building a career and business around something you love starts with just that, doing something you love. Think about what you loved doing as a child, I enjoyed painting pottery, scrapbooking, oil painting, and woodworking. What did you enjoy doing? I now design digital art and sell it on Etsy, I can lean into my creative passion wherever I have my laptop and can sell it anywhere in the world on Etsy. Here’s a list of things you can do to jumpstart your idea generation:
When you identify what makes you happy you can often find people who are completely leaning into that passion and doing it full time or who have been doing it for so many years. They may also have a team helping them achieve success. Acknowledge that this can be you too in time, it’s important to acknowledge that your output is going to be smaller, it stings a bit but it’s the truth. It’s like planting a seed and watering it, over time you will grow. You have to enjoy every sprout of a new brand and bud. It’s all part of being able to identify your passion and turn it into a career.
When an idea is planted you are like a seed. You will look at the grand trees next to you and see their output, don’t compare your beauty to theirs because yours is on a smaller scale and is in the early stages of growth. The more you water your passion the taller and stronger it grows.
I like to think of creative entrepreneurs as a stand or group of aspen trees. Did you know a group of aspens is considered a singular organism, with the main life force underground in the extensive root system? Before a single aspen trunk appears above the surface, the root system may lie dormant for many years until the conditions are just right, including sufficient sunlight. When the aspen grows it’s supported by other aspens through its root system. Just like our community of creatives who have turned their passions into a career. You have examples all around you of how you can grow and have the life force to accomplish your success in your roots, in your ecosystem of creative entrepreneurs.
Have you heard the saying that you become the 5 closest people you surround yourself with? Be conscious of this and save space for those who build you up and lean into your passions. It makes it easier to identify your passion and turn it into a career when you surround yourself with people who are supportive. These people will be like rocket fuel for your business.
Sometimes we glamorize the term self-taught, I wish we would swizzle the term a bit, and call it unconventionally taught. Sure, I took the conventional route. Straight from high school, I went to university and attended business school. I even graduated and got a certificate in entrepreneurship at one of the top business schools in America; however, this textbook learning isn’t what made me a successful business owner. I’ve learned the most from creative entrepreneurs who were just a few years and steps ahead of me. I’ve taken online courses that were specific to what I needed to learn, they helped me start and propel my business. I used both free and paid classes to save me time, and learn. Every single time, I’ve invested in specifically what I needed, and it’s paid off.
When you start and grow a business one of the measures of success should be profitability, that is if you want it to be more than a hobby. For me, profitability has been one of the most rewarding parts of owning a business. Our family has been able to travel to amazing places around the world, designed and built a home that we love, and we don’t have finances weighing on the list of things that could cause our family stress. I want you to think big picture when it comes to profitability and apply some high-level practices to your business. Time is your most precious resource. If you are like me you value spending your time with those you love, doing what you love the most. Design a business around getting the most profit for your time.
Being the most efficient with your time means that you create systems that make you the most make you the most effective with the time you are spending creating. Batch work whenever possible, plan your work, eliminate distractions and produce more by batching similar types of work together, dig into exactly how to batch work in this blog post, here.
The secret to growing your profit exponentially is outsourcing some of your work. You can look into production partners, I own a wall art business on Etsy and I have a lab print anything bigger than an 11×14 art print. This printing service has allowed me to save time, offer a superior product, and not cut profits because I don’t have to buy expensive equipment. You can hire contractors or employees to do work that you don’t love doing. There are a few things you have to do within your business but when you really think about it, it’s a shortlist. I have hired a contractor to fill orders, and respond to customer inquiries. I can then focus my time on new designs and growing the business.
Passive income is a buzzword lately and for good reason. It applies to us creative makers too. Your entire business can be passive or you can sell certain items that bring in passive income. For example, you could run an entire business that sells digital files that are birthday party invitations, the invitation is a digital download and the customer fills in the details of the party into the file once they digital download it. You are essentially creating the birthday party invite once and listing it, then every time someone purchases the birthday party invite there’s nothing for you to do after the sale. Every time you make a sale on the birthday party digital file you are making passive income.
If you want to create physical products to sell within your business you could consider offering complimentary listings. Do you sell embroidery? You could consider selling a PDF of a pattern as passive income. If you sell jewelry you could consider teaching a course on how to make and sell jewelry and sell that as passive income.
The way to turn your passion into a successful career is consistency and finding joy in your growth. Sure, you may have some long-term goals that you want to achieve. That may be leaving your 9-5 job or growing your existing business to bring in more profits. The trick is to value what brings you joy, over what you have seen as a traditional path to “success.” Being a creative entrepreneur is often unconventional, it’s unique and results in more fulfillment than most traditional careers. I wish it were the norm to identify your passion and turn it into a career.
Within your entrepreneurial journey when you focus on constant growth and profitability you’ll find yourself making money that comes closer and closer to your 9-5 income. There becomes a point where you have to sit down and choose to leave a 9-5 job because you want to lean into what you love and are finding success in your growing profits. As scary as this may seem, I haven’t met a person yet that regrets leaning into what they love. When you lean into what you love you you can turn passion into a successful career.