Doing What You Love: Small Steps

I know people who love what they do, do what they love and who make a living doing what they love.

I also know people who dream about and talk about doing what they love as a career, a calling or vocation. They want to do what they love as a living and get paid for it. Fear stops most of them. Fear of failure, fear of success, fear of risking and losing it all.

But, it doesn’t have to be this way.

Sometimes people seem to be trying to run before they’ve even learned to crawl. Depending on where you are in this moment, going from where you are today to making a living doing what you love can be a HUGE leap.

There are some people that take this leap and not only survive, but thrive.

But, there a many who are either too afraid to leap or leap, plummet to the ground and never try again.

I believe that doing what you love as a living is a wonderful and worthy goal.

But, I also believe that doing what you love should overflow into all areas of your life.

If your ultimate goal is to do what you love for a living maybe you can start where you are and build more of what you love into your life. It’s all about small steps.

Small steps allow us to build a foundation of small successes, helps us distinguish the difference between the things we love and the activities that are just passing fancies. Small steps also help us to develop the habit of doing what we love day in and day out. In other words we need to learn to crawl before we walk and walk before we run.

So, how do you begin taking small steps toward doing what you love, not only as a living, but as an everyday part of your life?

I’ve identified five key factors that helped me and may help you.

    Identify your passions – What do you love to do? What are you passionate about? WHY? Make a list of all your favorite activities, your favorite magazines, the stores you love to browse, the commercials, movies or television shows that capture your interest, the types of books you love to read, the subjects you just can’t seem to learn enough about. Once you have your lists start asking yourself what attracts your about these things? Do they have anything in common? WHY do you love them?

    Decide – Make the decision to follow your passion and immerse yourself, to learn everything you can, to explore and play with what you love.

    Refuse to Choose – Many people love to do more than one thing and are passionate about more than one area of interest. Refuse to choose just one. DECIDE to explore and nurture all of your interests. Remember not every passion will hold equal standing and not everything you love to do will lead to (nor does it have to) a career, vocation, calling, money or fame. (A great book to read and explore this point more is Barbara Sher’s Refuse to Choose)

    Make it a Habit – This is about setting aside the time every day to explore what you love. It’s about developing the habit of sticking to it, to not giving up, even when things get a little boring or difficult. Devote time every single day to what you love – weekdays, weekends, holidays, vacations. (You wouldn’t not brush your teeth for a day. Committing to doing what you love is no less important.) The amount of time you spend each day exploring, playing and immersing yourself in the things you love can range from a few minutes, to a few hours and if you are lucky, sometimes a whole day. The amount of time isn’t as important as your commitment to developing the habit of doing what you love.

    Take Action – After taking the four small steps above, choose one thing you love, and explore how you could make money doing it or sharing it with others. Don’t spend too much time planning and organizing. Jump in and take action. Make something and offer it for sale. Share your expertise. Teach a class. Write a short e-book. There are hundreds of ways to get started making money and running your own business part-time, on-the-side, in your spare time. (Check out Chris Guillebeau’s book The The $100 Startup: Reinvent the Way You Make a Living, Do What You Love, and Create a New Future)

Identify, Decide, Refuse to Choose, Make it a Habit and Take Action…try it. Take it slow. Break it down into small steps. You might just be surprised at how effective these keys are when combined with taking small steps for building more of what you love into your life and even turning one of those loves into a way to make a living.

And, one more recommended book, a book that helped me believe I could do what I loved and work for myself, Making a Living Without a Job: Winning Ways for Creating Work That You Love by Barbara Winter. It’s a classic and it’s filled with juicy little tidbits to insipre you.

As always, with full disclosure, all book links are Amazon affiliate links. :)

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