How To Start A Career And Business That You Love- Part 3
I'm so glad you are joining us for part 3 of the How to Start A Career and Business You Love series. If you haven't yet, go back and check out Part One and Part Two first. Then head back over here and finish up your launch plan!
We’re nearing the end, but we still have a fair amount to cover before you are ready to launch your new career.
Over the last three days we’ve talked a lot about the idea behind passionate work, including:
- The reasons why turning a passion into a career is a great idea
- Combining several passions into a profitable business idea
- Finding the courage to pursue the work of your dreams
- How to connect to your audience in a meaningful way
- The exact formula for financial success in your work
- How delivering massive value is a critical key to creating your life’s work
Today we are going to get down to details and create a step-by-step plan for you to launch your new career. This is the time for you to make a final decision on which of the passions on your short list you plan to pursue.
It’s also the day when we are going to set some hard dates for the baby steps in this plan. This is where the rubber meets the road. This is, in essence, your LAUNCH PLAN. It is a road map on how you will get to where you want to go in your career.
Choose the single passion or combination of passions that will become your work.
Decision time. You should have a small list of passions, each with a common frustration, a solution, and a platform type written next to each one. Which one really stands out to you? Which one leaves you feeling a bit excited and nervous when you think about it?
Once you’ve decided on your topic, proceed to the next step.
Create The Road Map For Your Passion Based Career
The biggest thing I want you to understand is that we aren’t planning out every detail of your career in this plan. Why? Because that’s nearly impossible. The truth is, you aren’t going to know every step in advance. You aren’t going to know where each action in life will take you.
Your first big goal for your new career is to simply make a small amount of money doing what you love in the next three months.
This is so important. You aren’t trying to strike it rich right off the bat, and you aren’t trying to take the long road of slowly building up your career over the next few years before you ever make a cent from it.
Instead, I want you to focus on doing everything you can to simply get your first client or customer. Not only will this method teach you a ton (if you can make $1 from your passion, you can make $100,000 from your passion), but it will keep you motivated. Taking the long road is tough. You’re going to need that emotional boost of small successes to propel you forward.
So the first thing you need to do is identify your first goal. This goal should preferably have a hard deadline of 90 days from now, and should show you in a very concrete way that you’ve successfully begun your passionate work.
The second step is to break down the process of meeting that goal into 5-7 steps, with deadline dates.
I’ll give you an example based on someone who wants to teach wedding photographers how to improve the business side of their work.
Goal: Make $200 teaching wedding photographers how to market their work effectively. (Due date- June 1)
- Find a venue to present a seminar to wedding photographers- look into community centers, churches, library business rooms, etc. (Due March 1)
- Promote the seminar- Charge $75 per attendee. Promote on social media, use posters and flyers, contact local wedding photographers directly, and work with the local photographer’s association to find customers. (Due April 1)
- Create the course material for the seminar. (Due May 5)
- Present the seminar, and offer follow-up packages of one-on-one coaching to students who would like further help in their business. (Due June 1)
As you can see from the previous example, one of the most important things to keep in mind about jump starting your new work is this- hustle!
This is the time to make an early initial plan and see it through. Do it scared! Yes, you may feel uncomfortable, out of your element, and unsure of yourself. At one point or another, I guarantee you will feel a bit of the dreaded “impostor syndrome”.
That’s perfectly normal and okay- but see your goal through anyway. Anyone who has ever found and pursued their dream work has started where you are right now. We’ve all felt like we aren’t good enough at one point or another. Just keep taking baby steps- you’ll get there!
Break Down Each Of The Initial Steps Into Smaller Baby Steps
The next piece to creating your road map is to simplify each of the above steps into a series of smaller steps, with due dates. This will help you determine exactly what you need to be doing each week to reach your 90 day goal.
As an example, let’s break down the third step in my wedding photography example:
Create the course material for the seminar (Due May 5)
- Create an outline of the speech to be delivered at the seminar (due March 20)
- Write the first draft of the speech (due March 25)
- Edit and finalize the speech (due March 30)
- Record & edit video footage to present to the audience (due April 15)
- Write the first copy of the student workbook (due April 24)
- Edit and print the final workbooks (due April 29)
- Memorize and practice the speaking portion of the seminar (due May 20th)
Great! Once you’ve specified all of the little steps you’ll need to take to meet your 90 day goal, you’ve got a road map. I highly recommend that you put each of these baby steps in your calendar so that you always know what you should be working on and when it is due.
Again, you aren’t planning out your entire career right now. That is a huge topic that can easily become overwhelming and consume you with analysis paralysis. The ONLY thing I want you to focus on now is completing your very first service, whether that is finding your first graphic design client or teaching your first paid pilates in the park class or speaking at your first cat training conference.
The important part is that you get out there, make some connections, earn a little money, and do the work that you love. Building from there becomes much easier once the snowball is rolling.
Schedule Your Launch Plan For Ultimate Success
Want to know the single most important practical tip you can implement to help you create the career of your dreams? Scheduling!
Without a concrete schedule, it’s all too easy to start your work day unsure of what to do next. You might spend time surfing social media while you “prepare” for your next task, or get distracted by other to-dos in your life.
Don’t let your work become something that you only do after you’ve gotten home, made dinner, checked your email, and spent time with your significant other. Prioritize it!
This is why it is SO important for you to schedule each of the little steps from your launch plan onto your calendar. This can be a Google calendar if that’s easiest for you (use the alarm function!), or a printed calendar that you keep in a place you’ll see it often. You can also use a white board to lay out exactly what your career tasks are for the current week or month. Your choice!
No matter which type of calendar you prefer to use, just make sure you schedule each and every step so that you always know what to work on. This one action will pay you back ten fold in the long run and ensure that you are on track to doing work you love.
Time Management And Productivity Steps For Reaching Your Goals
Plan to do your most creative work when your brain is freshest. For me, this is first thing in the morning after breakfast. For you it might be on your lunch break, late in the evening, in the morning, or on weekends.
I’ll give you an idea of how I manage my time for maximum efficiency:
50% creation (blog posts, course material, newsletters)
30% promotion (social media, guest posts, etc)
15% relaxation (go for walks, spend time with family & friends)
5% administration (email, miscellaneous to dos)
Your efficiency framework will probably look a bit different. The important thing is that you write one up so that you know how to split up your time effectively. Anytime I feel like I’m slipping on my work ratio, I take a peek back at this framework and use it to guide me back in the right direction.
Set Aside Your Fears To Create The Career Of Your Dreams
One of the most common things I see people do is procrastinate out of fear. There is a certain task that they are afraid to do and don’t want to face, and it causes them to push it off over and over. Pretty soon, they’ve completely stalled in their goals and stop making progress.
Don’t let this happen to you! If there is one thing I can promise you, it is that at some point in your passionate career path you WILL feel a bit terrified. It’s only natural and it’s a good sign that you are doing work that you truly care about.
So promise yourself right now that you will do everything in your power to overcome these fears. Be ready to face your deepest insecurities. It will be worth it in the long run.
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And Lastly, Be Tenacious
There is a Ted Talk available online that I want you to watch. It is a presentation given by Angela Duckworth in which she talks all about grit and tenacity. Angela goes further into this topic than I could possibly hope to in this post. The big takeaway from her speech is that the number one characteristic of people who achieve success in their goals is grit.
Success has little to do with talent, IQ, or uniqueness. Instead, the most important characteristic a person can develop is the kind of grit that makes them persist no matter what. Despite failures, setbacks, fear, and uncertainty, a persistent attitude will ensure your success.
Take a few moments to go watch her video- you won’t regret it.
We’re coming to the end of this series, and I’d like to leave you with a little quote I keep posted on my wall where I can always see it. This quote has really resonated with me and motivated me to continue on when I feel unsure in my work.
“You have everything you need to build something far bigger than yourself.”
It’s all inside of you. Be persistent. Educate yourself as often as possible, whether that is through a traditional college or university setting, through online courses, by reading books, or through another means, never stop learning.
And lastly, be willing to do whatever it takes to create the career of your dreams. My sister once told me that any career worth pursuing would be a lot of hard work, so you might as well go for the one that really sparks a fire in you. And this is so true! So don’t settle, don’t wait for the “right time”, and don’t half ass it. You’re only going to live once, so make the most of it.
And if you have any questions or need help on the path to passionate work, send me an email. Tell me what your biggest questions are. I want to see you doing great things in the world and loving what you do. We need more people like that.