3 Steps to Finding a Passion That Makes You Money

Dollars & Sense on 08.13.12
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Photo: William Murphy / Creative Commons

Wouldn't it be great if you could spend your days absorbed in your favorite thing to do, and actually make money from it? With a little brainstorming, you may be able to discover what you can do with your talents to bring in some bucks.

1. Name Your Passion

Finding your passion is just the first step. You might have many passions, or you might struggle to name even one. You might already have a passion you pursue without even realizing it. Here are some questions to get your neurons firing.

What's your favorite part of the day? Do you love luxuriating in delicious smells as you whip up all-natural, homemade bath and beauty products in the morning? Is it baking your neighborhood-famous cookies and cakes in the afternoon? Maybe you love catching the perfect snapshot, or taking in some fresh air while walking the dog.

Do you have a hobby, long-lost or something you still do regularly? Is there something you love reading about? Do people frequently ask for your advice about a particular area of life, or do you have an area of interest that you wish people would ask you about?

2. What Other Skills Do You Have?

We all have many different skills beyond the things we're most passionate about. How can you combine different skills in such a way to bring more value to your offering?

Chris Guillebeau of the Art of Non-Conformity quotes Dilbert cartoonist Scott Adams to illustrate this point:

It's unlikely that any average student can develop a world-class skill in one particular area. But it's easy to learn how to do several different things fairly well.

I succeeded as a cartoonist with negligible art talent, some basic writing skills, an ordinary sense of humor and a bit of experience in the business world. The "Dilbert" comic is a combination of all four skills. The world has plenty of better artists, smarter writers, funnier humorists and more experienced business people. The rare part is that each of those modest skills is collected in one person. That's how value is created.

Perhaps you like organizing, communicating, or listening. Your skills don't need to be wildly unique or different; we all have our own special combination of skills and methods of distribution. Remember, you are a special snowflake and it's okay to act like one.

3. How Can You Help Others?

Guillebeau says the sweet spot of making money from your passion is to find where your skills intersect with a service or product you could provide to others. You don't need exceptional talent to succeed, only a willingness to give other people a product or service they care about.

Are you raring to go, or do you need more time to think? You can follow these three steps as many times as it takes: 1) Figure out what you love spending time doing, 2) what other skills you can add to the mix to sweeten the pot, and 3) how your special blend of passion and skill can help your fellow humans. My special snowflake, you might just have a winning formula on your hands.

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