If you’re passionate about something in life, you’re likely to have thought about the possibility of pursuing your passion and making it a full time occupation. But you’re also likely to have wondered about how to make enough money to fund the business project that is your passion. In the following blog post I answer this question.
Desmond Morris; a zoologist, published a book titled The Biology of Art in which he describes a very interesting experiment. In that experiment he taught chimpanzees to paint. The chimps enjoyed the paintings producing some great works. Then something unexpected happened.
During one phase, Desmond Morris began rewarding the chimps by giving them peanuts every time they created an art work. Soon enough the quality of their work degraded. Eventually the chimps only produced the bare minimum to satisfy the reward giver and get their peanuts.
Does this remind you of someone you know?
It took me five years of hard work to land my dream job. But I never thought of it as hard work, because I was passionate about what I did and enjoyed every moment of it… until it became my job. Soon after, reality hit and I turned into a Desmond chimp. I stopped enjoying myself, did the bare minimum to get my peanuts and eagerly waited for weekends. I figured perhaps it’s the job to blame for losing my passion and drive, so I decided to change employers. The second time was even worse than the first. So I decided that’s it, jobs suck, I need to set up my own business, thinking this would solve the problem.
Admittedly, this still worries me. Because right now, even that I absolutely love what I do I still worry that a few years down the line, this will turn into another job where I’ll be doing just what it takes to get the peanuts. Do you see the dilemma here?
Either do what you love and not get paid for it, or get paid for it and stop loving it as a result.
That’s the dilemma. What’s the solution?
I’m not going to claim I know the answer because I don’t. Instead I’m going to share with you my personal experience. And please, if you have any ideas on how to deal with this do share them in the comment box below.
Here’s what I think the answer is…
A few days ago I was talking to my life coach in London and she reminded me of why I started doing what I’m doing in the first place. Even before I landed what I thought was my dream job. She reminded me of the vision that set me on this path, that somehow I got deviated from and ended up doing a job or feeling like I’m in one.
You might think that setting up your own business solves this problem. It doesn’t. Because when you set up your own business, you can’t rely on a salary at the end of the month. You need to be creating your own income. As a result, especially if you’re a startup, you might be doing anything that brings you this income to get your business of the ground. Which results in you deviating from your vision and your business turning into a job. Here’s an example…
Let’s say you’re passionate about making desserts. That’s what you love to do and you want to spend the rest of your life indulging people in amazing desserts that you artistically produce in your kitchen. But because you’re still new to the business and there’s no income yet, you accept a job request to cater for a raw food dinner, which you don’t particularly like doing. Slowly, to keep the cash flow, you find yourself catering to more jobs that you don’t enjoy. Suddenly it starts feeling as if you’re working for your clients and not following your passion anymore. You’re a chimp doing a job for peanuts! What possibly could you do?
Let’s be realistic. You need the money to keep your business going. There’s no harm taking jobs that keep the cash flowing especially if you’re starting up. That’s fine. At the same time do the following:
1- Get REALLY good at making desserts. Become known as the dessert person. When you hit this status, you’ll be flooded by dessert making requests; exactly what you’re passionate about doing.
2- Stick to it. When your business takes off and you get flooded by dessert making requests or if you’re starting your business strong with a solid capital stick to making desserts. It’s your passion and there’s absolutely no point in doing anything you don’t enjoy. Unless…
3- Unless you discover that catering for raw food dinners is a very lucrative business, but you hate doing that. When you have the funding for it, learn everything you can about raw foods then hire someone to do it for you. The trick is, hiring someone who absolutely loves catering for raw food dinners.
So to sum it up, the solution is to find ways to get your passion to work for you and make you money. Not the other way around. You shouldn’t be asking “How do I fund my passion?” That’s the wrong question. The question you should be asking instead is “How do I get my passion to fund me?” If you’re passionate about your vision you’ll become resourceful and come up with tons of answers to this question. That’s when you’ll start truly living your passion, steadily move toward your vision and achieve your purpose in life.
If you’re struggling to find answers to this question, get some life coaching. My London life coach has tremendously helped me find answers and I know if you find one he/she could do the same for you.
Copyright (c) 2010 www.TarekCoaching.com – NLP Trainer, Life coach London, life coaching London, RESULTS Coach, Performance Consultant