It's painful to sit behind a desk inside a walled office when your soul just longs to do something creative, meaningful, and exciting. It longs to use its unique talents and experiences to do good in the world and get paid well to do it. It dreams of working from a laptop anywhere in the world.
The good news is that this is possible. It's not only possible but necessary for your happiness.
Five years ago, I was sitting in a business suit and high heels behind a desk working as a corporate banker in New York City. I longed to escape, travel the world, and help people along the way. I did just that and now I've created my own business and live abroad by the beach in Tulum, Mexico. My passion is to help you do the same.
Here are some tips for getting clear on your purpose and creating a business that supports your dreams:
1. What do you love to do and talk about?
I know, I know. Maybe you're very clear on what you love, but can't think of how to make that a thriving business, or you feel so clouded that you don't even know what you love. Ask yourself:
- If money weren't a necessity, what would I spend my days doing?
- If I were out for a glass of wine with a friend, what do I love to talk about?
- What do I feel guided to click through and research online? What books am I reading?
I want you to spend more time doing the things you love ... It'll make you feel good, and when you feel good, you're in the flow. Brilliant ideas come. And your soul speaks to you.
You can't think your way to your purpose, it emerges from your soul.
2. What are the major suffering/painpoints in your life?
There are people out there searching for your help. They need to know how to do something, and their pain is your opportunity to help them change something.
You have a unique blend of talents and experiences that no one else has. People feel understood (and more likely to buy from you) when they know you truly “get” them.
Have you been through a nasty childhood, a stumbled career, a bitter breakup or divorce, a life-threatening illness, lost a ton of weight, or experienced intense grief?
While these stories may not be what you want to re-live over and over again, they are the key to connecting with others. You made it through and you can help others do the same. Your unique story is the key to your business.
3. What does the world need?
The thing you love has to fit a need in the marketplace if you're going to make money. You may love something but people may not buy it. That’s why your business needs to be the perfect combo of your unique experiences and talents, something you love to do, AND something the world needs. You must solve a problem for someone otherwise they won’t buy anything you have to sell.
I know you want to help people and you’d prefer not to have to charge anything, but unfortunately that’s not the reality. You need to support your dream lifestyle. And think about this: The more money you make doing what you love, the more people you can serve. And this is about service.
4. Look fear in the face, and start already.
I know you've been thinking about this for years, but you're not taking action. What's really holding you back? FEAR. This is inner game stuff.
How do you step past the fear?
- Make time for mindful practices everyday: yoga, mantra, meditation.
- Step out of your comfort zone everyday in little and big ways. It's muscle you exercise!
- Find a supportive community. You are the average of the five people with whom you spend the most time. Hire a coach, join a yoga studio or meditation class, find a mastermind group or a women’s circle.
Start before you're ready.
Finding your purpose in the world is a lot less about “figuring it out” and more about letting it “emerge from your soul.” I hear from many coaching clients that they've been spending years trying to figure out what their passion and purpose is! They usually change jobs every couple years in hopes the next one will fill the void. It doesn't. And the pattern repeats, until you finally do what you're here to do.
That’s why—as important as journaling, thinking, and analyzing are in this process—what matters more is your intuition, your gut instinct, the part of you that “just feels it.”
Follow your passions even if you don’t think you can make a biz out of it. Spending time doing activities that you love help you deepen into your heart space, the space of your soul. When you spend more time there, your offering to the world unfolds with ease.