You probably have those moments where you wonder what “this” is all about and what you should be doing with your “life”. Congratulations, that means you’re thinking about what you should do with your time and what makes you happy. To help your thought process along, here’s my guide on how to narrow your focus so you can spend time doing what makes you passionate.
What do you think about (even when no one is making you)?
What problems do you try to solve when you don’t have to think about anything in particular?
Work flow process optimization? Checklists for Operating Rooms? Building the ultimate fantasy sports team? How “pearls” are made? Building visually appealing and easty-to-use websites? Making primary education more effective for inner city youth? Improving the way baseball players swing the bat?
Whatever it is, that’s home base for your passion. It doesn’t have to be something grandiose or a sure fire way to get rich quick. In fact, it’s better if it isn’t. The problem that bugs you into trying to fix it is what will motivate you going forward.
That’s it. Really. Seriously. Just stop and think about the last time you were chilling out and you told your friend, “you know, they really aught to…” Now replace they with I and you are ready to go!
Here’s what you need to do:
1) Think about the problem you’re trying to solve
This is general brainstorming time. Thank about your life and the what you are familiar with. If you do makeup design, don’t try and build a better way of delivering newspapers. Problems you can solve are problems you know something about from personal experience.
2) Identify your passion
Spend some time drilling down to the actual problem. Imagine you had to explain to your mom why you aren’t going to be a doctor and instead spend your life building an adventure travel company. She’ll probably want a good explanation of what you are going to do (and where it all went terribly wrong).
3) Figure out who else has this problem
Having a customer base is critical part of building a successful business. This isn’t the same as building a model of your ideal customer. Right now you just want to make sure your problem isn’t so specialized that you are the only one impacted by it.
4) Develop a product and market your solution to them
This next step is what you’re going to be doing for the foreseeable future and isn’t easily encapsulated in a sentence. This post should have been properly titled “Do What You Love”. But check out some of the other posts on this blog, or read some of the people I read (like Tim and Seth) for places to get started.
Enjoy! Nothing is more personally rewarding than following your passion and making it your livelihood.
Anyone have a success story of how they followed their passion into a career?