Babystepping your way to make a living off your passion

Is it even possible for ALL of US to have our passions be our main source of income?  Can you make a living off your passion?

Sure, we’ve been hearing a lot of stories about the few lucky people striking their pots of gold, sometimes making us bright red with pangs of bitterness, but is it really possible for the average you and me? Or are those who made it to their promised land really have the grand scheme of the universe going for them?

Well, after years of doing business unusual, I have good news for you…

I’m sure that there’s something that you love doing, or even business ideas you’d been developing that someone else would be happy to pay top dollar for, right at this moment. But if that’s the case then why is it that 80% of the working people are resigned to jobs they can barely swallow?

Why?

The simple truth is that it’s not easy. And most people aren’t really prepared to give up their salary…

Yeah, rockers, following your passions and trying to make a living out of it means not working for those stable employers (though it’s possible) and getting your regular paycheck every two weeks. Instead, you got to figure out how to make money on your own. That’s the hard part. This is why most people would just grudgingly settle for the paycheck.

Of course, I know the why of it all still remain unanswered. Why can some people invite the sort of enviable success, a fortunate few even jumping seamlessly from one passionate venture to the next, achieving all sorts of achievement, while the unfortunate majority can’t even take that first step to find their passions, and build the same profitable careers out of it? Is there some voodoo or mystical mantras behind it all?

As it turns out, passionate people live not by their passions alone but they seem to possess the uncanny ability to know what’s actually possible. They have an open, wide view of the steps they need to take, so they just dive headfirst to whatever creative idea that excites them in any given moment.

But the rest of the world seems too absorbed with bills to pay that the most spectacular ideas are often smothered inside the creative minds of the average Joe without ever seeing the light of day. It’s sad, and it doesn’t have to be this way.

You agree?

Let me start by telling you that you don’t have to give up your day jobs just so you can pursue your passions. By all means, keep your jobs to pay the bills but delegate enough time to tinker around. After all, if an idea or product evokes so much emotion, then you won’t even notice the amount of time you spent perfecting whatever it is that inspires you.

The next step lies in removing the barriers within your mind.  One of the most common hurdles stopping people from living off their passions is the wrong sided belief that you don’t know something well enough to get paid to teach it to somebody else. That’s a lot of bulls—t – you know more than you think. Expertise is largely based on perceptions, and it is always relative.

To my mind, the last and greatest burden is purely cultural. We grew up in a society conditioned to believe that it’s not possible – and downright impractical – to build a career around your passion. I think the only way to get around this negative, collective mentality is to hang out with people already living comfortably by creating value out of their passions. If you spend enough time with people living squarely off their dreams and insanely proud of doing it, then the impossible becomes possible.

Try this; the shift in psychology will rock your world….

Start by doing one small thing to build the empire of you. I started out by booking a lot of unpaid speaking gigs around blogging. It made me aware that I was too geeky in my approach to the audience (but I became known as the danish blog girl).

Then I hit upon this (great) idea of turning companies into rockbands, which I spent 14 nights writing an ebook around that I gave away for free – and later people could purchase it by opting-in to my newsletter.

An empire of you is built on babysteps. Take the first one now. If you should do one tiny step in the direction of having an empire of you in a couple of years, what would that be ?

Business rockn’roll ? total population: one.

 

This morning I read an article on VentureBeat called “Why following your passion is bad for business“. Even though the article had something to it that I see as helpful advice to some of the most blue-eyed and naive entrepreneurs out there, I think for the rest of us, it’s quite misleading. Basically because it doesn’t seem to take into consideration the background and creativity that drives a lot of entrepreneurs. I think the whole “you shouldn’t go into the music business if you’re passionate about music” or “don’t do a sport startup because you’re passionate about sports” – that the article states, is kind of obvious. However enough about the article, here’s my personal brand (and hence a large part of my business)  approach to it.

Use your passion to define you

My background is in marketing, online marketing and online communities, I have done a lot of awesome stuff in the past, but it was first when I started to implement rockn’roll as a part of my business that the rockn’roll chick brand came along – it wasn’t intentional, suddently all of the danish business community was calling me “rock chick” and “rock mama”. Anyway I paralleled “rockbandism” with company structures, I paralleled the CEO as the front singer, COO as the drummer and the strategist was, of course,  the bassplayer avec mystique. It has only been because of my specific creative background and my passion for music, that could have gotten me on this path (and publish business rockn’roll freebies: my first publication was an e-book entitled “why every company should be a rockband“, that since became the core of my book return on involvement and several other publications and products around business rockn’roll as well. See, I am not in the music industry, but I’m in the business rockn’roll industry – inspiring what i call business rockers just as me, that are thinking “god this is boring, there need to be another way of doing this”. An industry of one person that I defined myself =) And frankly if I didn’t have rockn’roll to hold onto I don’t know if I would still be in the middle of this.. well social media shenanigan going on. I hate doing mainstream things, and rockn’roll gives me that crazy cool edge that I need to keep going. And by the look of it, there’s a lot of people out there just like me=)

Use your passion to get the core of your business further

If you’re passionate about sports, I would use that passion to get the core of my business further, use sports metaphors to explain problems to your co-workers and clients, and be defined by that passion. Be the “consultancy that are totally into sport” be the “startup that does productivity apps with a twist of sports”. Publish content that is called ” 5 reason why you can be just as good in your field as David Beckham is at playing football”.

Differentiation is everything – and passion is a huge part of differentiation. 

Don’t kill your passion, follow it and implement it into your background and business. Don’t be blue-eyed and naive and do yet-another-photosharing app. Do a photosharing app with a cool twist of your background, passion and vision and take it to the next level Work your business but do it with a twist of what is cool to you.

breathe out=)

The death of me as an entrepreneur and freelancer

Lately, I have begun to think about my business-self with more clarity where there used to be confusion. I think I have been confused because there were so many things I needed to put into boxes, no matter how I viewed my business-self. Because there were two categories I could fit in, either the entrepreneurial category or the freelancer category. I really don’t mind either, but I guess I don’t see myself as belonging to either one. Oh yeah that – and then all these official blogger gigs at conferences also confused me. Because basically I just feel really happy to be able to work on my own, writing about identity/branding/involvement/tech/tendencies – all these things and actually steer my personal battleship into however way I want to conquer the world.

I’m happy to be able to work on my own dream instead of someone else’s.

I’m really happy to get up in the morning and write stuff down and find out what or who it is I need to channel today, or what part of my internal MOJO needs to come out.

Anyway I can name quite a few people like me. That works like this. Who doesn’t fit into one box or the other? Who are happy being on their own, who advise and consult bigger companies? Who works on generating products and books and changing the world on a large scale? Who are not an entrepreneur or a freelancer but who’s primary fuel is passion, who has no need to grow any company bigger, but just really enjoy where they are. Because they see themselves as having a huge impact on the world. Their trail and footstep are bigger because their agenda is bigger. They want change. They want business unusual. They want involvement.

I guess we are some sort of artists in disguise. Writers. Photographers. Everything is autodidact though. We are publishing everyday to create bigger artworks. More value. More meaning.

I guess it’s just my curly hair that won’t fit inside the entrepreneur or the freelancer box. I can’t really align myself with one or the other. Therefore I’ve decided just to be me, and live up to my own expectations of how to run a business, of how to do sales and accounting and all these things. Because I know what works for me and what I feel great doing =) And in my mind, that’s not as a freelancer or as an entrepreneur.

 

Sending my GGMCPH baton into outer internet space

Geek Girl Meetup Copenhagen #ggmcph is what occupies a lot of my thoughts these days. We got some news last week that made the planning less troublesome (if you are an eventplanner you know that getting the money in to run the event, is where the sweat normally breaks out on the forehead of people (together with finding the perfect location and we already have that in Iværksætterhuset).

Anyway, having attended the Geek Girl Meetup Øresund in Helsingborg earlier this year, I know that the ladies are in for an inspiration treat extravaganza, with so much how to and so much networking. The whole team behind Geek Girl Meetup Copenhagen is working so hard to secure that our own sky-high expectations (accelerated by Geek Girl Meetup Øresund) is met. We are getting closer day by day, and to me it’s like starting out a gigantic puzzle together with a lot of cool ladies. Just to look at the participants list and see what people want to contribute with – is such an honor for me.

We’ve decided to do a baton to get people’s thoughts on being a passionate geek out there. Basically it’s to get people to write their thoughts down on their blog about their geekyness – anyway here’s mine:

For me I don’t know how my geekyness started, I have always been upsessed with changing things for the better – and I must say that there was a lot of things that gotten together for me when I found out that to change the business world for the better (at the time I wanted companies to stop using sweatshop and exploiting poor people) I had to go inside of the companies to make that change, and not stand outside demonstrating. That’s how much I wanted to change stuff. I based my education on it. I base all my writings on it. I make events around it. I base my actions on it

It’s fantastic to me that I get up everyday and do the thing I love. Teaching and learning at the same time, getting other people to pay me for that is something i am truely blessed by. It’s a gift for me.  I want other people to feel that as well. I want more cool ladies to feel that. And I am sure our geekyness and passion will lift the meetup to another dimension. People – this is better than christmas for me =)

I wonder what Julia, Heidi, Camille and Nanna is thinking ?

Passion lucrating on the long tail

These days I think the internet is a true wonderland – more than it has been before. As well as we see former geeky communities has gone more mainstream, we are seeing so many people actually starting to make it into very profitable subscription based services. Two of my favorites these days are Morningcoach.com and myyogaonline.com and they are totally awesome worlds of self-development and Yoga/ Pilates.

It seems to me that entrepreneurs has gotten into the learning curve of the internet and they are starting to use it in ways that support their overall business idea..or even better – for their personal mission statement and passion. If I where a coach or a fitness company I would start to look in the general direction of the internet. The beauty of these services is that they are available when you are, and not the other way around.

That might seem like a small thing. But it’s a huge thing, because it’s so convenient for us (aka the clients) instead of the old way where they were supplied by businesses when it where convenient for them.

Another thing that I think is so fantastic is that it isn’t only people who basically sell software that are doing this – its people who’s in the yoga and personal development business as well