have written about this a lot in my books – this idea of identifying both what you are good at AND what makes you happy AND can make you money. I am always hopeful this will work for all of my students, clients and readers. It is not always so cut and dry, though.
For most people, we “fall” into a profession, industry, job type à what becomes your “career”. It is rare to make massive changes without really being brave. Sure, you can quit your job in financial services to become a chef but will you?
Many times, it takes a traumatic event (such as a lay off or a firing) to get someone to radically change gears. This is ok. Some people spend their careers always thinking about what they would have done differently if they could have – this is ok, too.
Careers are what they are and as we get older and get more responsibilities (kids, mortgages, etc), it becomes harder and harder to “do what we love and the money will come”. I know I have heard that saying forever and I never believe in it. In fact, I have spent years in the classroom debunking that statement – how it is really hard to just go for what you love and assume the money will come when what you love might be something too random to make money from. Let’s say you love drawing – can you be sure you can do that and the money will follow?
I will say that I have learned the hard way that this is actually a potentially true statement but I stand by the fact that for most people it is just something that will not be executed on without a huge push (such as a layoff or a firing). For me, I love to write and I love to teach and with my business, The Next Step, I am making money by doing what I love. It is bizarre and weird that I made this statement work for me and I still have a hard time wrapping my head around it all.
As someone who spent over a decade in Corporate America, I had a plan and executed on it to build my career and once I got to the point I wanted to reach and got to my goal it was at that point I realized it was not fulfilling me and was not making me happy. I always loved teaching; it has been a passion of mine from day one in the classroom back in 2003 and I even attempted to get my doctorate degree, too. I was all over the place – corporate, higher ed and running my own businesses.
It is in running this business and finding my voice that has made me realize that the paths you take can lead you to amazing places if you are brave enough to jump in and do things you never thought you would do. I never thought I would use social media and write books and have a Youtube channel – I certainly never thought I would build out a successful small business as I am doing now- continue to learn with me! Happy Hunting!
Follow me on Twitter
Sign up here for exclusive offers!
Lisa Vento Nielsen