In world that keeps telling you to follow your passion and the money will come, but seldom presenting conventional ways to do this, how do you start to build a path toward your ideal job? Do you take the dive and start your own business? Do you go back for the degree and walk away from the slow and steady paycheck? Do you settle into your job and make ample time to do the things that you love on the side?
The good news is that there are a million options out there waiting for you to explore and test. The bad news is that no one can answer this question in its entirety for you. Moreover, you will not be lonely for company on this quest, to find the right balance of fulfillment and paying the bills. Millions sit at their desks, a few years into the work world and attaining advanced degrees and wonder, is this it? Is this what I went to school for and what my unique contribution to the world consists of?
We take these questions extremely seriously. We invested 4-10 years into this career and it is a BIG deal to ensure that we get it right. The weight of this expectation crushes us, making us feel like we can’t take another day in this dam chair dealing with what we are currently expected to deliver.
We want certainty that our life plan is fully vetted in delivering exactly what we expect and previously worked diligently toward. Proceeding from grades K through advanced degrees, often we got the results we worked conscientiously toward. Yet, the work world is different, the rules are less black and white and it is most definitely a marathon and not a sprint. This gives you room to try things, to not take it all SO seriously and explore what the right way to success is for you.
You don’t have to operate by the rules of any “one” way to achieve your financial goals and engage in interesting work. As a blogger and life coach specializing in career/finances goal setting, I’ve been introduced to so many unique ways to make a living, I wanted to share a few to get your juices flowing and excited about the possibilities.
I met Amanda Frances years ago, as a co-blogger on a personal development site. At the time, Amanda was a budding life coach and pursuing her doctorate in Psychology. Now Amanda runs a million-dollar business as a business coach for spiritual entrepreneurs, using her psychology background and online marketing skills to deliver value in a way that uniquely leverages her creative genius. The road from her interest in life coaching to being a successful business owner was winding, every step of the way paved with new actions and risks of vulnerability.
Jessica Joy is another amazing person I met, while she was living out her dream as a fashion designer, creator and seller at Goldyfish fashion purses. We crossed paths, operating art booths across from each other at Summer Fair, a Cincinnati premier art show. At the time, she had recently left a career in small business development for women and started selling her self-designed and sewn purses to fashion forward ladies at art shows across the U.S.
Now Jessica makes a living each year sharing new purse designs, fabrics and enthusiasm/JOY with those who purchase from her. Navigating the art scene to find the right shows, engineering a booth that captures the eye, along with leveraging her sparkling personality, led Jessica to a life she loves.
Beyond people making a living full time, doing what they love, I’ve interacted with countless financial bloggers who saved nest eggs to cover a large percentage of their daily living expenses and have built businesses to augment investment income.
A few of my favorite examples include:
- Kraig at Create my Independence, saved 5 years’ worth of living expenses to take time to develop a “lifestyle business” as a website developer. He now runs a successful website creation firm of one, leveraging his nest egg when business is slower.
- Jason from Free at 33, worked as a service manager at an auto shop in Detroit and saved enough to build financial freedom in 5 years and become a full-time blogger and financial coach in Sarasota, FL.
- Mrs. Frugalwoods from Frugalwoods.com, worked 10 years in corporate communications and partnered with her husband to purchase a rural homestead in Vermont, to live off the land, enjoy woodland activities and work as a freelance writer.
- Justin at Root of Good, a father of three, worked for 12 years as a project engineer along with his wife, to amass enough to be permanently retired at 33 to hang with his kids, travel and write his blog. I love Justin’s blog, here he highlights all the jobs he has held and his thoughts on finding work you have a passion in.
I wanted to share these unique life paths to inspire you to think about creative ways to make a living and live out your passion. If you are employed in a job you love, alas you have found the pearl we all search for. However, if you are not, be open to all the opportunities around you and to unique ways you can add value to this world. Additionally, think about the ways you can leverage your financial knowledge to grant you increased freedom in pursuing your ideal life.
The world is your oyster, go and grab that pearl.