A couple of years ago, I was working 12-14 hours a day managing my team’s performance in a call center, drafting proposals on how to increase the performance of our program and building processes for the transition of newly hires to meet the standards of our clients. A few more years back, I was managing machines spare parts distribution to three geographic locations around the world. I sometimes fly back and forth to various countries to meet and discuss our challenges and successes. I was on call 24/7 and barely get enough sleep especially during the setup period of new lines of businesses. I enjoyed the perks, the salary, the nerve-wrecking challenges, the ego boosting praises but it was exhausting.
Every single day I look at my laptop’s wallpaper which is a picture of the world map telling myself that if I could save enough money, I will leave and travel the world.
Every time there’s a seat sale, I book flights to various destinations locally and internationally and spend my weekends to a new place. It breaks my heart once it’s over and often utter to myself that someday I will spend as much time as I want in those beautiful places with my friends and family.
At the peak of my career in one of the companies I worked for, I was offered the global manager position which means I would be able to travel to all continents except Antartica and would carry a nice title and a nicer salary. I first thought that it would be a nice compromise to what I want in life. I have a job and I could travel, but reality is business travel is not my definition of travel. And then it dawned to me.
I want a life that gives me enough time to enjoy the things that I love to do. I don’t want to wake up when I’m still sleepy. I don’t want to talk about machine spare parts or performances of our service which I wasn’t really passionate about. I don’t want schedule to govern my daily living! And the personal complaint list goes on.
I left the job and backpacked across Asia.
I realized that there’s a way to enjoy life every day and not just on weekends or long holidays. I found out that there’s a way not to drag ourselves out of our beds every fucking day!
I’d like to share a brief outline on how you can achieve this:
1. Spend Time Finding Your Passion: If you spend time doing things that you don’t like, then you ought to find time to try out things that you really like. List the things that you’re passionate about and try allocating some time to try them. If designing clothes and jewellery is your passion, then enrol yourself to some school to build your skill and competency on this craft. If travel is your passion, then go to a new place every weekend.
2. Generate Revenue through Your Passion: If you want your passion to be your lifeblood, then you have to think of ways on how to generate revenue through it. Going back to the first example, if you’re passionate about designs, then you may create some wonderful stuff and sell it to your officemates. If travel is your passion then you may try to write about your experience and send them to publishing companies, you may also try selling pictures or you can make travel websites and earn from advertisements.
3. Be Strategic with your Time: Juggling a new endeavour alongside with your current employment is exhausting that’s why most people just quit during the start-up phase. Be strategic with your time and you’ll be able to do it. Identify your time wasters and stay away from them.
4. Be Strategic with what you Offer: Going back to the first example, ask yourself, why would people buy your products? Is it cheaper? Does it have better quality? Does it offer value for money compare to the competition? If you own a travel blog, you can ask yourself, why will people read your blog? What will they get out of reading it? What will make them come back? What do advertisers look for in a travel blog? How else will you earn aside from writing content? And the list goes on.
5. Network: If your current circle of friends and acquaintances are not familiar with your passion then you should meet new people that could help you learn more about it. Whatever your passion is, the internet is a good way to start connecting with people who share the same passion. Look for online forums, FB groups, and other online groups. Don’t hesitate to connect with people outside your countries too, the world is a big place and there are billions of people out there, you’ll surely find a group that shares your passion.
6. Keep Yourself Motivated: it’s not a walk in the park. It takes time to learn something new and convert it into an income generating activity. It can be frustrating. You have to constantly motivate yourself within and without. Always remind yourself of thee purpose or reason on why you’re doing this.
7. Surround Yourself with Positive Like-minded People: Converting your passion into a business can be difficult especially if you don’t get support. Surround yourself with passionate, positive and like-minded people and you’d be able to breeze through all the negativity that will come your way. Just remember though that you shouldn’t depend much on external motivation because internal motivation (IMHO) is stronger.
8. Identify your Freedom Fund Goal: Identify how much you want to earn and save before you pursue your passion full time. Designate an income buffer so you will have some money even if you’re not meeting your sales target.
9. Asses: Make an honest assessment of what you have done. Use tools to help you measure your own level of success and key challenges. Identify the things that worked for you well and the things that didn’t. Make necessary adjustments. Talk to your friends and family and ask for a feedback. Be sensitive about all feedback about your product or service. Appreciate positive and negative feedback and use it to improve.
10. Rinse and Repeat: Maybe design or travel is not your only passion. Once you’ve made the first one work, then maybe you can try another thing.
This is just a brief outline on how I was able to pursue my passion and earn at the same time. In the coming weeks, I’ll be writing a more detailed explanation on how you could launch a travel blog and earn from it. I’ll be posting those articles in my travel blog, FlipNomad.com.
Leaving you with a quote that became one of my guiding principles in life:
“Instead of wondering when your next vacation is, you ought to set up a life you don’t need to escape from.” – Seth Godin