Make money and not loathe your job? That's dreamin' big, am I right? When I was younger, I thought people who went to work and actually enjoyed it were harboring some kind of secret. How was it possible to love what you do and making a living from it? I truly believed only the athletes, the movie stars, and the very lucky were able to accomplish such a feat.
After years of soul-searching, failing, struggling, and — finally — accomplishing, I now am one of those “lucky” people who turned a passion into a career path.
What’s the secret? How can you crack the code or reveal the hidden formula for making money doing what you love?
The truth is that it won’t happen overnight, but it also doesn’t require a handbook. Here are four simple ways to start moving toward your own passion-based business and manifest the life you’ve always dreamed of:
1. Make “free” your motto.
If you’re just starting out, accept the fact that you’ll have to provide free “samples” of your services or products in order to attract attention to your business. For example, before I became a paid copywriter, I spent a long time writing free and low-cost content for various websites to build my portfolio.
Make every effort to give people a taste of what you have to offer so they are enticed to ask for more. The law of reciprocity will ensure you get back what you deserve, as many of your “free” customers will likely turn into paying clients.
2. Network — at least a little.
Truth be told, I’m not a huge fan of in-person networking events. (Who is, really?) More often than not, they feel forced and stressful.
But putting yourself out there and showcasing your talent to the right people is the only way your dream customers will find you. Whether your business is homemade crafts or health coaching, utilize sites like MeetUp.com to connect with people who share your interests or goals.
And remember that, in the beginning, marketing and growing your business will be entirely on your shoulders. Don’t be shy, because word of mouth is one of the most powerful ways to start gaining traction.
3. Build an online presence.
If you want to turn your passion into a career path, you’ll ultimately need a website and social media presence to grow your brand. This is where a lot of people cringe, but you don’t have to be fake, stuffy, pushy, or “salesy” to accomplish this.
Some type of online presence is necessary, since the Internet is often the first place people go to find the types of services or products you may be offering. Showcase some type of online identity where people can easily find you and retrieve information about your brand.
4. Invest in yourself.
One of the biggest things that will hold you back from making money from your passion is an unwillingness to invest in the process. While there are many free resources available for aspiring entrepreneurs, hiring help is often necessary in the beginning. So whether you need a business coach, or someone to design your website, spend the money and don’t think twice about it.
It’s absolutely true that you have to spend money to make money, so use the talents you have to grow your business and let others help you in the areas you aren’t so strong.
Lastly, don’t expect instant success. People who make wild claims about making large sums of money because they followed “System XYZ” or “Formula 1-2-3” are likely withholding critical information from the story (like the fact that they struggled for years to make ends meet before they struck it rich).
Don’t ditch your dream, but understand that like all things worth waiting for, manifesting money will take some time. Be patient and, above all, trust yourself.
In case you missed it, here's a talk from Harvard Business School professor Mike Norton about how to make choices that will bring you happiness.