Updated March 1, 2016
Wouldn’t it be great if you could spend a good portion of your day doing something you thoroughly enjoy? Wouldn’t you agree that the best job in the world would be one you love? One that made you excited to wake up? Me too. Do you think finding something like that is possible? I do. I don’t think it’s always easy to find, but I do think it’s possible to find.
So how do you find it? Well, I’d say the first step is to figure out what you’re passionate about, not just what you’re interested in, but what you’re passionate about.
The quickest way to kill your efforts
If you want to kill your online business or blog, pursue something you’re just interested in. It’s true. It doesn’t matter if you think it’ll bring in lots of money, if it’s just an interest, there’s a good change you’ll lose steam and fizzle out.
Ask anyone who has built a successful blog or online business and they’ll tell you it’s not easy to sustain. Coming up with a steady stream of original and compelling content is no small task. It’s even more difficult if you don’t completely love what you’re writing about.
Also, your readers are more likely to pick up on your disinterest and become disinterested themselves. And what’s a blog without readers?
Besides, if you’re hoping your online endeavor will be a ticket out of your current, unexciting job, why trade one boring job for another?
I wouldn’t say it’s absolutely mandatory, but you will significantly increase your chances of being successful online if you focus on what you love.
Interest vs. passion
As I see it, there’s a distinction between an interest and a passion.
For example, I’ve seen a lot of people start a blog about an interest and it doesn’t go anywhere. I’ve done that myself. Many times over.
See, I’m interested in a lot of things. I’m interested in saving money, living debt free, homeschooling and making recipes containing chocolate and peanut butter, but none of those things I spend my free time pursuing significantly. I don’t eat, sleep and breath them (well, except the chocolate peanut butter stuff). I’ve started blogs on almost all those subjects and they’ve all died.
On the other hand, I spent hours and hours and hours and hours learning how to create my own websites before I ever thought about starting one on the subject. I was totally fascinated by the process. Every spare moment was spent on the computer trying to figure out how this stuff worked. It was my go-to pastime for many years and still is. When I am researching and learning about it, I am in my element.
See the difference? You like an interest, you live a passion. Focus on the latter if you can.
When was the last time you dreamed?
What are you really passionate about?
The goal is not to come up with a final business niche or topic, but to come up with a short list of things you totally enjoy—that when thrown into the business-picking machine later, will hopefully provide us with a stellar final choice.
The assignment for today is a simple one: dream.
Here are some questions to get your creative juices flowing. You might pull out a piece of paper and jot down some answers. Many of them are the same idea written in different ways. Be free in your brainstorming. In the end, make a list of 3-5 topics you really, really love. Go ahead, dream!
- What enjoyable activity do you get so involved in that you frequently lose track of time?
- If you were given one week to spend any way you liked (and all your responsibilities were taken care of), what would you do?
- If you had to teach a class on any subject, what would it be?
- If you were given a check for $2000 and ordered to use it on something fun for yourself, what would you spend it on?
- If you were guaranteed a handsome salary no matter what, what would be your ultimate dream job?
- What do you do consistently in your free time simply because you enjoy it?
- What do you purposefully make time for not because you have to but because you want to?
- If money was not an issue, what activity would you spend time doing more regularly?
- What do people say you are good at and appreciate about you?
- What makes you over-the-top excited, angry or emotional?
- What kinds of books do you read, TV shows do you watch or blogs / websites do you visit?
- What’s your favorite hobby?
- What do you talk to your friends about?
- What do you talk to your friends about that they get tired of hearing?
But what if you already have a blog? Is it time to re-dream?
Do you find yourself:
- Burdened by the thought of posting?
- Posting because you feel like you have to?
- Starting your posts off with, “I’m sorry it’s been so long since I posted last…”
- Getting tired of having to come up with new things to write about?
- Saying the same things over and over in different ways?
- Responding to your readers in comments, emails and other social media less and less?
- Getting distracted easily when it’s time to write (hello Pinterest and Facebook)?
- Entertaining thoughts of walking away from your blog?
- Thinking about starting a new blog?
Are you burned out? Tell me, what’s the worst thing that could happen if you just scrapped everything and started over? No one would die, I bet. You might have to put in extra work if you started over, but hey, you’re already way ahead of where you started the first time!
Spend less time doing what you have to do and more time doing what you were made to do.