In today’s world, everywhere we look, articles are appealing to our ego.
Lately, it’s hard to avoid seeing people of all ages quitting their jobs to clean bathrooms in Barcelona.
This type of image feeds our egos with the thrill of quitting a corporate job and “sticking it to the man,” if you will.
The more we see someone leave his or her ad executive job to sell smoothies by the road, the more our egos want to take the plunge to engage ourselves outside a stable environment.
As mindful readers, we know that to be truly happy, we must follow our passions.
While that may be true, the one thing that isn’t revealed all over our social media and news outlets is a realistic way to follow our passions without landing on our faces.
It’s easy to quit your job and hope for the best as you write your way through Europe, but it’s also highly unlikely that it will be a successful jump from cubical to adventure land.
Is this to say you're not talented regarding what your heart desires you to do? Absolutely not.
It is, however, a likely chance that demanding your creative outlet to provide for your entire existence before you’re ready might exhaust your talent and leave you penniless on your journey toward happiness.
So, how do you become ready to pursue your passion as a full-time career?
Start by carving out a creative path to your passionate future.
You can begin to slowly create and use your passion to build a creative business that can support you financially and satisfy you emotionally.
This can be hard.
The ego wants to jump and the soul wants nourishment, so we have to give in to both while still including stability.
First, it’s important to note we need to be childlike instead of childish in this process.
Childishness is assuming you should be able to quit your job and travel the world because your job is too corporate, too boring or too unlike you.
Childlikeness is pursuing your creativity, feeding that piece of your soul and remaining light (by not expecting it to provide for you immediately) in your passion.
Here are five steps you should take to pursue your passion without quitting your day job:
1. Identify what it is you love to do.
If you could do anything in the world and make the same (or a larger salary), what would it be?
If this doesn’t yield an answer that resonates with you, try looking back to when you were around 8 to 10 years old.
What did you love to do?
Did you love to build doll houses? Architecture might be a passion to explore.
If you do not yield any results from these two questions, ask yourself, "If I woke up today and could do anything in the world for the day, what would it be?"
Bobbi Brown said that when she was asked this question, she knew she wanted to go to the mall and play with makeup counters.
From there, her passion to create beautiful makeup emerged.
2. Create a space for what you love to do every single day.
Once you’ve identified your passion, begin exploring it for 10 to 15 minutes a day.
If you love to write, start journaling in the morning or evening.
Begin to expand the time you spend on what you love as time progresses, and refine your talent in that area.
3. Dip your toes in the industry and see how it feels.
Once you’ve been exploring and refining your talent (I suggest six months at minimum), reach out for freelance opportunities.
It’s a smart idea to create business cards that are separate from your day job.
Only take on what you can handle at home, while still making time for your work in the office, family and friends.
It’s best to take on just one project at first.
In the next few months, you can try two to three outlets for your work and see how the referrals start to develop through your freelance clients.
I’d recommend exploring these opportunities for the next eight to 12 months.
It’s a good idea to save all excess freelance income and build your safety net to account for step number five.
4. Do the math.
Once you start working in the industry, you will understand the going rate of your work.
If you feel confident enough, you can expand your two to three clients in order to live comfortably.
It’s time to do the math.
Calculate the number of clients you have or can obtain before beginning your process.
Next, calculate the average amount of work you expect to do in a week and subtract 20 percent (as a safety measure for over-estimating).
If I have six clients I work for, I can expect to write about 12 pieces a week.
I charge $100 per piece, so I can estimate to bring in $1,200 per week.
Now, I need to subtract 20 percent from that number to make sure I have a safe estimate.
This brings me to $960 per week, or a little under $50,000 per year.
5. Go for it.
If the number you calculated looks safe and comparable to your current living situation, continue to drum up your business by reaching out to clients and seeing their interest in working with you full-time.
Ask for referrals. Perhaps offer a discount on work per referral, and continue to grow your working network.
When the water looks safe, jump.
With all the emphasis today on creating a worldly, creative life, it’s important to take a mindful step back and identify a realistic approach on how to get there.
When we demand that our creative talents provide for our lives before we’re ready, we can create a strain and end up impacting our gifts in negative ways.
However, when we take time to map out the future and develop our craft, we can ensure a long-lasting, stable, happy future pursuing our true dreams.
Each day, we can manifest and focus on our true dream lives as we travel through our mapped out journeys.
It's important to keep our childlike creativity, while still remaining mature and realistic to create this ideal future.
Here’s to your new five-year plan.