“If you love what you do, you will never have to work a day in your life” goes the famous quote. But how exactly can you turn your passion into a profession that you can make a living on? Fortunately, in today’s digital world, the opportunities to do so are more than they have ever been – you just need determination, drive, and a little bit of luck.
Discover your passion – but be flexible
The first step towards turning your passion into a business that will make you money is to discover what exactly it is that you are passionate about. Take a step back and review what your priorities are and which activities you feel naturally drawn to. This process can very well occur while on your current day job, too: you might find that you felt much more motivated that time you were asked to train a new colleague than when focusing on your daily accounting tasks. Perhaps this shows a passion for teaching or working in human resources?
Next, you have to be honest with yourself: there is a difference between a passion with potential and a hobby that is simply fun to do. Just because you like playing the guitar now and then doesn’t mean you could easily become a full-time musician. Yet at this stage of evaluating your prospects, it also helps to be slightly flexible and keep an open mind. Your drawing skills might not be enough to catapult a career in painting, but perhaps they are more geared towards starting your very own web-based comic series revolving around fun anecdotes from your former life as an accountant!
Focus on your areas of strength
When choosing whether or not to turn your passion into your job, you have to think smart. Always focus on areas you are already strong in and have well-rounded knowledge on – that way, there will be much fewer surprises down your path. Many successful cooking blogs were started by people who have extensive experience as amateur cooks, having tried and tested hundreds of recipes in their home kitchens – and having religiously followed similar blogs, so that they know what cooking fans look for.
You might have dabbled in a bit of trading in the past, or even worked for a broker, and are thinking of kick-starting your own occupation at home. Top-rated forex brokers feature reviews by contributors who are usually ex-traders themselves, so they know what information is valuable for other aspiring traders on the lookout for brokers. On the other end of the career spectrum, more pilates or yoga instructors than you would suspect have been former novice students themselves not that long ago, before their enthusiasm led them to a career change.
By focusing on an area you are strong in, you will be decreasing the need for additional training and you will ensure that you have an accurate picture of what your new profession will entail. Before you jump the gun by pursuing your latest obsession, take the time to scour the field and evaluate whether you have the skills required – and what it would take to develop them. It would not do to give up a job, if you would have to pay good money and undergo years of training to become a certified dog trainer. Perhaps your enthusiasm about pets would be better served by starting your own dog-walking and pet-sitting company – and take it from there.
Harness technology and social media
Your most valuable ally towards turning this end goal is technology. Living in a digital era has its perks, as it makes it tremendously easy to connect with your target audience and provide your services online to reach a wider client base. First, decide on what kind of platform is important for the work you aspire to do. If you are an aspiring photographer, then using Instagram to showcase your work, and Flickr and LinkedIn to connect with potential customers is a great way to start. If you are looking for a platform to sell your hand-made jewelry or art, you have to set up an e-shop and delve deeper into eBay, Etsy, and similar websites.
It all depends on what your end goal is yet, one thing is for certain: whatever you do, harnessing the power of social media is key to successfully marketing your new career. According to research, there are currently 3.8 billion active social media users, which translates to almost 50% of the global population. Setting up professional social media accounts to showcase and promote your work can work wonders for reaching out to your audience, as well as for finding ways to monetize your influence. Followers and subscribers can also easily turn to purchases or supporters on Patreon.
Allowing your passion to drive a career change can seem daunting at first. Yet, you are already starting from a privileged position – as an enthusiast yourself, you will be able to thoroughly understand what newcomers to the field will be looking for. That, coupled with a genuine love for your new profession, can make all the difference in the world.