“Do what you love and you’ll never work a day in your life,” they say…
That all sounds fine but what happens when you don’t actually know what it is you love?
What happens when you come to realise that the career you’ve poured your last 15 years into isn’t something you actually want to do anymore?
For me, it was feeling so lost that I could barely see my way. I was so stuck trying to find ‘my passion’ that my business never had a chance to get off the ground.
And when that happens, you can’t get the feedback or the insight you need to know what’s truly right for you.
The endless search for ‘passion’
I knew I wanted to leave the career and industry I was in but I had no idea what else I could do. I was stuck behind the title I’d held and the industry I’d been a part of for so long. At times I felt I had no real value outside of that arena at all.
People all around me seemed to be building a business around something they loved. I knew I wanted that too. The problem was I had no idea what I was actually interested in, or how I could help.
I recall walking in Melbourne with my sister trying to work out what I wanted my business to be.
“So what are you passionate about,” she asked with good intention. I didn’t have an answer for her.
The more I tried to work this out, the more of a failure I felt. I loved wine and cheesecake but that wasn’t enough. You see I didn’t feel passionate about much at all at that stage.
The trouble was I was putting so much pressure on myself to have it all figured out before I really did anything. I was stuck in a holding pattern going nowhere fast. Not great for me or my business.
Too scared to make a move, I wanted the ‘what do I love?’ answer to fall into my lap.
I read books on finding my passion and thought about a million scenarios, but nothing ‘felt’ right. Nothing got me excited enough to call it passion.
I was doing everything but the one thing I needed to do most. Start something.
Is a business without passion enough?
If you’re still looking for your passion, I’ll let you in on a little secret. It’s OK to start a business without knowing exactly what you’re truly passionate about.
If you think that sounds pointless and a little ridiculous, hear me out. I’ve found that just getting started is the best way to find out what really makes you tick and what doesn’t.
Getting in and doing the work is the only way you’re going to see the signs ahead and know which path to take.
Of course, start in an area that interests you, but don’t feel like a failure if it doesn’t feel perfect first go. That’s when a pivot comes into play. (You can learn more about pivots here.)
A little tale about the journey…
Elizabeth Gilbert encourages fellow passion seekers to follow our curiosity and be OK with the journey. (You can watch a snippet here.)
And that’s exactly what lead me to do what I do today. I eventually got over myself enough to start something. I knew it wasn’t ‘my thing’ but I was able to be passionate about the people I was helping.
I followed my curiosity and was able to try things out to see if they were the right fit for me.
Each client I took on taught me something new about how I liked to work and what I wanted to focus on. Paying attention to where I naturally wanted to lead people, and how I wanted to help each person that came to me, allowed me to step closer to the business that was right for me.
I adore the work I do now as a Discovery Coach but I would never have been able to figure this out in my head alone. It’s been the journey from my career in Finance to where I am now that has given me the skills and insight I need to run the business I have today.
Stop waiting for your passion to find you
This is where it’s time to bring out the tough love and tell you to stop waiting for the answers to find you. You have to go and find them.
Your business will not evolve and grow if you’re not willing to try things on for size to see how they fit. You’ll never know what you’re truly capable of and what’s waiting for you if you never start.
Follow your passion with all your heart. But if you haven’t quite found it yet, don’t let that play havoc on your business.