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Do What You Love, Love What You Do

Thinking of making your hobby into a business? Here are some things to consider.

If it’s always seemed an unattainable fantasy to make a living while pursuing your deepest passions, now’s the time to give that notion another look. While it’s not easy to earn steady and reliable income doing what you love, that doesn’t mean it’s impossible. You can do what you love and love what you do if you approach the endeavor with a proper perspective, realistic expectations and, yes, some good business sense.

Truly, if you’re ready to realize the “when you love what you do you’ll never work another day in your life’ dream, then chase that dream. Here are some things to explore that will help you determine if you’re doing what you love, and if doing that for profit will sustain your needs, wants and life’s fulfillment, too.

Discovering what it is you love

As it is in relationships, so it is in occupations: When you find the one you love, you’ll just know it. In fact, what you love might be in your life now—you just need to open your eyes to see it.

How can you be sure if what you love, as a possible profitable pursuit, is already at hand? Here’s a simple exercise others have used to discover what they love.

  1. Create a list of all the things you’re good at: skills, talents, deep knowledge. Write them down then set the list aside.
  2. Create a second list of all the things you believe you enjoy doing (including items you wrote on your first list). If you could be doing anything besides working, write down those things. Set this list aside.
  3. Create a third list of activities and preoccupations that have particular meaning to you. If they serve a purpose to others and/or give you a deep sense of satisfaction, write these down.
  4. Finally, compare your three lists, and you’ll likely discover correlations where the same or similar items appear on each of your three lists. These are your passions!

Some say the pursuit of happiness is everybody’s life’s work. Discover what it is you truly love (truly love, not just what you believe can make money) to start yourself on that path to fulfillment.

If you love it, will you make money doing it?

This is the big question that might overshadow the passion proposition—how can you monetize what you love to do? Now, just because you love something, that doesn’t entitle you to being able to earn a comfortable living doing it. Nevertheless, when you find what it is you love, that’s a solid start.

When you start with something you’re passionate about, you’re more likely to succeed in it as a profitable pursuit

In other words, when you start with something you’re passionate about, you’re more likely to succeed in it as a profitable pursuit because, to you, it’s what you prefer to be doing right now. That passion for the endeavor is what will help you overcome setbacks—and there will be many—because, if it’s what you love, why wouldn’t you keep at it?

This is the crux of being successful in any business endeavor: You must have the fortitude to work at it, despite any obstacles that might arise. Coupled with this, consider a few things about what it is you hope to do for a living.

  • Is what you do already well served in the consumer market? If so, it might be more difficult to wrest away a piece of the already well divided pie.
  • Do you have a special approach to what it is you’ll pursue? Have you solidly determined there is an unmet need and a large enough audience to serve for profit?
  • Based upon how you define how you’ll turn your passion into a business, will any adjustments you make dilute your passion? Be honest here because, without the full power of passion, you might struggle to achieve success.

With all that said, can you really make money when you pursue doing what you love? This is where you need to practice objectivity and flexibility in your pursuit. Again, as with a personal relationship, you need to take the good with the bad, the better and the worse, with that core passion remaining undaunted amid it all.

Like a relationship, you need to work through the ebbs and flows as they come, nurturing the endeavor along. If it’s your passion and you’re able to change and grow as the business climate changes, you’ll be best positioned to withstand troubling times.

Caution: Will pursuit of profit poison your passion?

What if you can’t make money doing what you love? Well, that doesn’t mean you need to stop pursuing your passion—why would you? Remember, you can get a “regular job” that pays your bills while concurrently maintaining your second pursuit, either for fun or profit.

You can ease the pressure of having to make money doing what you love when you have another reliable source of income that keeps you financially afloat. With that safety net under you, you’re better able to explore the profit potential of your passion.

But if you put too much pressure on yourself to make big money from your passion, you passion can quickly become poisoned, no longer a pursuit that gives you pleasure. This is where most folks will advise you not to turn a hobby into a business.

And if it appears your passion won’t be able to pay all of the bills, that’s OK because perhaps it can at least pay for itself, still allowing you to continue doing what you love in life. It might also serve as a retirement vehicle, something you can do for less money at a time when, perhaps, you’ll intend to live more simply. It’s all about setting your expectations realistically while keeping financial pressures from turning your passion into a pain.

Yes, you can do what you love and love what you do if you enter the prospect with an open mind, an open heart and the overriding drive to find fulfillment every day.

About the author

Dennis L. Prince
Dennis L. Prince has been analyzing and advocating the e-commerce sector since 1996. He has published more than 12 books on the subject, including How to Sell Anything on eBay...and Make a Fortune, second edition (McGraw-Hill, 2006) and How to Make Money with MySpace (McGraw-Hill, 2008). His insight is actively sought within online, magazine, television and radio venues. Opinions expressed here may not be shared by The Online Seller and/or its principals.

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