In the current climate, many people are looking away from the traditional job market towards working for themselves. The massive redundancies and job-insecurity has caused many people to radically rethink their career plans. With the ever rising cost of living, many would be happy just earning extra money to support their family and to pay the bills.
In this article, you will discover what you really enjoy in life and how to turn it into a money making opportunity, and perhaps even a full-time career. Your only limitations are those you impose upon yourself! At the very least, what you learn will help you to be happier with your current job.
First of all, a little exercise to get you started. Make a list of everything and anything you really enjoy and are passionate about. This can be anything at all, from playing with Lego through to planning projects or programming in Cobol. Write down everything you think of, no matter how silly or pointless you think it may be. They are all important and must be included on your list.
Go through the list and ask yourself whether you truly are passionate about each one. Ask the question, “If someone offered to pay me to do this, would I be happy?” If you would not, then cross it off your list.
Look at each item on your list and ask yourself what you enjoy about it. You may enjoy the peace and tranquillity of gardening, or the fast paced life style of project management. Write this down too by each item.
The why you enjoy it is very important because it gives you an insight into your inner workings. When you understand what it is that you enjoy about something, you can look at applying that quality specifically to your life and current job to improve your happiness. If you like peace and tranquillity but your job is hectic, you could take time out for a walk in a park or to meditate to bring into your job peace and tranquillity. You could make sure you take a lunch break and switch off your phone.
Once you have identified the things you are passionate about, write down next to each one how much time a month you currently spend doing them. You may love surfboarding but only manage to go once a month or you may be passionate about cooking yet have to live on fast food because of your lifestyle.
From now on, make a commitment to yourself to spend time doing the things you are passionate about every single month. You will find that not only does your level of happiness improves, but your energy increases and life feels so much better because you are doing things that you love.
Carry your list around with you for at least a fortnight, adding to it each time you think of something you are passionate about. Then repeat the process above for each new item, analysing it and understanding what it is you like about it.
Do you have what it takes?
Whatever your current job situation, working for yourself can be a very appealing option. But the question is, ‘do you have what it takes to work for yourself?’ Not everyone does, but the good news is that the necessary skills can be learnt by anyone.
To successfully work for yourself you need to have all of the following skills to some degree. The better you are at each skill, the more chance you have of being successful on your own.
Motivation: You must be able to motivate yourself and to not rely on others to push you along. When you work for yourself, there is no boss telling you what you need to do, when you need to do it by, and providing you support and guidance when you need it. You are the boss! Working for yourself, it is all your responsibility. If you cannot take the responsibility, then you are best off staying in employment.
Belief: You must believe in yourself and in your business and / or product. It is very difficult to do well at something you do not fully believe in. Your belief and passion about what you do comes across to your customers. This has a positive effect in building their confidence and in turn, your business. Before starting any business or selling any product ask yourself if you believe in the product and business.
Development Time: It is important to spend time developing yourself and increasing your skills. Many technical people forget to develop soft skills, and vice versa. Aim to attend at least two courses or workshops a year. Also regularly read relevant books to develop these skills. You have to stay one step ahead of the competition in order to be a phenomenal success.
Determination: You must be determined to succeed and not to give up. There are times when it will be tough, but you are the boss and the one solely responsible for making it good again. You may get knocked back on occasion, but a true success just keeps on going in the face of set-backs.
Inter-personal skills: Working for yourself does not mean you will be locked in a room alone. You will often have to interact with other people; your customers. Good inter-personal skills will make this experience more rewarding and help you get the best from people. They will help ensure you have a successful business.
Communication skills: Both written and spoken communication skills are important. Often in the market place today, words are the key to the success of your business. Therefore, spend time developing your skills in this area – it will pay you back many fold to do so.
How many of the above skills do you currently have? Do you feel you are weak in any of these areas? If so, then strengthen them by attending courses or reading some relevant books. Being strong in all the above areas is not necessary for personal success, but will help to make it much easier.
Look at the list of things you are passionate about, and think about how the above skills can be applied to and compliment these.
Finding your ideal career
Now, back to the list of things you are passionate about. Take a new sheet of paper and write the first item on your list at the top of this new paper. Underneath it, brainstorm all the jobs you can think of that involve your passion. Let your imagination run riot and be as creative as you can. Each item you have written down offers you many possibilities. Also use the reasons you enjoy the item to help in this exercise.
Using gardening as an example, you could write down: gardener, author, teacher, TV presenter, landscape designer, tree doctor, and farmer, park ranger, and so on, just to mention a few.
Still on the same item from your list, write down all the ways you can think of to make money from it.
With our gardening example this may be growing and selling plants or vegetables, or doing gardening for people in your neighbourhood. There are of course many other opportunities here. Be creative and imaginative and think outside of your normal box.
Look at all these ways of making money and note the ones you can start right now and ones that you would really like to do. Perhaps you could start on one or two of these now, whilst still working in your current job.
Repeat the above exercise for each item that is on your list. Over the next few weeks keep adding to these lists. This exercise stimulates your mind to be creative, which results in creating many more great ideas – often when you least expect it, so make sure you write them all down.
The results of these exercises will be a list of what you enjoy doing, why you enjoy doing and a list of possible careers and money making opportunities that you would gain pleasure from. You do not have to make a massive move and quit your job right now. You can take your time, and slowly begin building your own business, or just earn a bit of extra money to help pay the bills whilst keeping your current job. You can also use this list to determine what career is best for you and begin planning a move to this new career.
Ask yourself the question, “If I could do anything at all, what would it be?” The answer to this question will help you determine which of the items on your list to pursue first. It is important not to spread yourself too thinly otherwise you may find that nothing ever gets done. Once you have decided which way to go you must do a goal setting exercise and work out your route to your target. Goal setting workbooks and articles can be found at http://www.stateofhypnosis.com.
Pursuing your passion means living life to the full. It means waking up each morning and looking forward to working. It means more energy, more fun and feeling more alive. Sadly today many of us are working jobs we would rather not be doing. Perhaps it is time that you took advantage of the shifting economy and lived your passion instead of dreaming it?