The 3 Essential Secrets to Living off your Passion

Recently, I came across a dumbfounding statistic – only 19% of employees in the US and Canada are satisfied with their jobs!

Can you believe that?

That means that eight out of ten employed adults are spending 40 plus hours a week wanting to be somewhere else. Not only that, they’re spending 40 plus years of their life spending 40 plus hours a week wanting to be somewhere else!

What a waste!


Think of all that lost talent, enthusiasm and ability. What could that 80% create if they felt inspired each day? How much better would the world be if the majority of people living in it felt like they had a purpose?

It makes me think that we’re dealing with a silent epidemic. Sure, the impact of Ebola and terrorism are very visible and real; but what about the effect that the voiceless billions who, to paraphrase Theodore Roosevelt, ‘live in the grey twilight that knows neither victory or defeat’, have on the hostility levels prevalent in society, recreational and prescription drug use and lack of inspiration for future generations?

So in aid of adding a few more positive people to the world, I’ve created the 3 essential secrets to living off your passion.

Here they are.

1. Think Outside the Box

Don’t limit yourself to the current spectrum of jobs and ways of making money. New avenues and fields are being created all the time and there’s every chance that you can mould your passion into something that brings in the bucks.

A great example of this is Blogging or creating a YouTube channel. They didn’t exist ten years ago but now there are thousands of people making a living following their passion through this medium.

Of course, this may not be right for you but its proof that you don’t have to follow a conventional path. In fact, if you want to do work you’re passionate about; the worst place you could search is the job listings in the newspaper and internet or careers advisors and events.

The problem with these opportunities is that they are almost always polluted by the system. You might find a conventional job that appears to be the perfect fit but the system will step in and either a) make it incredibly boring through its endless string of bureaucracy or the unnecessary rules you have to follow or b) make it lose meaning by pressuring you into putting profit before the aspects of the job that inspire you the most.

For these reasons, I suggest to you that the number one rule for making a living out of your passion is be a creator not a follower.

Even if a conventional career path is in line with your passion, this advice still applies. You have to ensure that the day to day work you do is in harmony with the reasons you were drawn to the job.

For example, your passion might be defending the innocent. What better way of doing this than becoming a lawyer. However, upon joining a firm you realise the focus is on getting as many clients as possible to make money for the partners and build your reputation. This isn’t why you got into law but the pressure to conform is intense.

What do you do?

If you’re going to make a living off your passion then you’ll have to make the job fit you rather than the other way round. This is something you HAVE to be aware of if your passion leads you down a conventional path. However, if you’re going to take the road less travelled then you’ll need the following 2 secrets to become a master at making something out of nothing.

2. Passion Opens the Door

Walking an unconventional path means that there is no map to follow. You may have a few ideas, or seen someone on the internet whose footsteps you’d like to follow, but it’s up to you to fill in the dots.

If this is the case then the whole process of turning your passion into a living can seem overwhelmingly daunting (I know, I’ve been there!). However, the good news (and also the fun part) is that you don’t have to know how all the pieces fit into place.

Nobody ever does.

What you need is a clear end goal in mind (retire by the age of 40, have 100,000 subscribers to your website, write a bestselling book) but at the same time, you have to be flexible in how you achieve it.

There is no greater truth than this – Passion Opens the Door.

Start getting involved with what you love and THEN the path will be revealed. Procrastinate, never take the leap through fear of what you might lose or wait for the right time and those doors will remain firmly shut. Therefore, you must do something – right now – that you believe will bring you closer to living your passion.

And then do more of it. Do as much as you can – every day if possible. And if you can get paid for it then you’re pretty much there. And if you can’t just yet, then survive on as a little money as you’re comfortable with, so you can put as much of your time as possible into living your passion.

Follow this advice and you WILL find answers. You’ll learn, discover where you need to be, make new contacts and improve your performance or product.  All of this will happen because following your passion opens doors.

Don’t believe me?

Then check out this link to discover how surf photographer Clark Little turned his passion for taking pictures of waves into an unexpected career.

3. It Takes T.I.M.E.

Did you watch Clark’s video? Did you hear him mention how long he spends each day getting bashed about in the waves taking pictures?

6 hours is the answer and this just happens to fit in nicely with our last step to living your passion – the T.I.M.E factor.

Above all else, you must understand this – a life where you live your passion WON’T just happen. Combined with the 2 factors above, you will have to put A LOT of time into creating it.

How much?

I suggest 2 hours 45 minutes daily. Whether this is research, practising a skill, going on social media, attending courses, answering emails or creating new products, you HAVE to be regularly involved with what you’re passionate about.

This time you spend is about becoming an expert. You’re building your knowledge and skill to the point where people will willingly pay you for advice or help. Therefore, none of it is wasted. Even when the path you’re walking appears to be a dead-end, at least you have eliminated one more route that doesn’t lead anywhere.

So get your stop watch out and run a little experiment. Time yourself, for the whole of this week, and see how much you spend committed to living your passion.

Is it close to 20 hours?

It needs to be!

A Final Thought

I rarely meet people who are lacking in interests or passions. Therefore, the barrier to a life of excitement and fulfillment is NOT a lack of imagination. It’s a lack of balls!

I know you’re afraid by the potential risks of failure, loss of money and isolation – we all are!

But ask yourself this question. Thirty, forty or fifty years from now would you trade all the money you made and the security you created for an opportunity to travel back in time and throw everything you’ve got into that crazy dream?


Joe Barnes
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