The long and sultry summer holidays are ideal for contemplating life. Away from my regular job and the habitual routine, on a magnificent island in the South of France, I took time to go through the 3 steps that will bring me closer to making money by doing what I love. Let me share them with you:
- Find out what is most important to you
- Design products and services to offer
- Take action
1. Find out what is most important to you
Some people know already from their childhood what is important to them and what makes them happy and fulfilled. My brother was like that. He was interested in security since he was born, ordering a safe in his room at the age of 10, nowadays running a successful cybersecurity business. I, on the other hand also knew that I wanted to do something amazing and magnificent :-), but had to do some more self-exploration and study of my habits to discover what I love doing.
If you are anything like me, start paying attention to these things to figure out what is important to you:
- Look around your house or office and see what objects you like to see and surround yourself with.
- Pay attention to what you are doing with your time, especially your free time.
- What do you talk to other people about?
- Which activities give you energy and a feeling of flow?
What is important to us is determined by our highest values. Our highest values define our decisions, actions, thoughts, and interests. We spend the most time, money, and energy on our highest values. When we do not live according to them, we feel uninspired, disempowered, and lacking purpose. When we consciously respect our highest values we flourish, awaken our unique talents, and feel expanded and fulfilled.
For example, I noticed that I always have several books I am reading in parallel next to my bed. Whenever I have free time, I am always following a course to learn a new skill or language. I love asking my friends and colleagues about the books they have found inspiring.
So, I figured out that one of my top values is to grow, learn, and expand my mind.
Go ahead, take a pen and paper, or some digital equivalent, and jot your top values. Now that you know what truly is important to you right now, you are ready to go to step 2.
2. Design products and services to offer
Most probably you already provide some services to your friends and family with the things you love doing. I am the girl people come to when they need a book recommendation or a partner for hiking. How about you? Are you fixing the computer of your mother or providing your friends with advice on the latest toys for boys?
“When we serve friends and family we call that caring. When we serve to the rest of the world, we call that selling” – Dr. John Demartini
To earn money with what inspires you, you need to define what you love doing in terms of exchangeable value. You need to define it as products and services that are of value to other people. Be creative and bold like an entrepreneur and use your imagination. You can follow these steps described in the excellent, practical guide “Inspired Destiny”.
- Think of your top 3 highest values you have determined in step 1;
- Recall the services you have already provided for people around you, for example, “I have helped my neighbor organize his house” or “I have created an audiobook by recording my reading for my father who is blind”;
- Write down a list of your skills and assets that would be valuable to provide for others as a service and circle those which are most inspiring to you;
- Identify individuals and groups who can benefit from your service and who would love to pay in return. Start with the people from your immediate environment and what they may need, but do not stop there. Think as big as you can.
For example, in my case of loving to expand my knowledge and read a lot, I could start blogging book reviews. Once I have built a significant audience on social media, I could start earning commissions by recommending certain books as an affiliate marketer. See the book above 😉
Furthermore, I could design a subscription service of matching people’s interests with the books they would love to read. Then I could focus on certain topics and as I have grown my knowledge by reading I could start speaking publicly on those topics, etc.
You get my point, right?
Now it is your turn.
Once you have clarified how you can provide value to the other people you are ready to go to step 3.
3. Take action
The third step is to start the change of what you currently do to earning money with what you love to do. This is a process much like a career change and is very well described by Herminia Ibarra, a professor of Organizational Behavior at London Business School.
Change only happens when you take action. Take action every day! Small but consistent action every day can bring you to amazing places in a year or two.
Perhaps you can start a small project on aside and test the service or product designed in Step 2. Establish a relationship with potential customers. Find mentors for the knowledge and skills you need to gain. Associate with individuals who share your highest values to build a support and accountability network.
Refine your service design based on the customer’s feedback.
And most of all, enjoy working on the things that inspire you. The natural energy, creativity, and motivation that comes from doing the things you love are your biggest selling point and will eventually get your own business running successfully.
It is very important to find out what inspires you and what is that you want to dedicate your life to.
“The meaning of life is to give life a meaning” – Ken Hudgins
This is a continuous 3 step process of consciously paying attention to your highest values, developing entrepreneurial skills to invent services that others find worth paying for, and taking constant action every day.
Making money by doing what you love is living a fulfilled life and making the biggest and unique contribution to our wonderful, colorful world.