Five secrets to making a living while pursuing your passion
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If you frequently wonder how to make a living while pursuing a passionate purpose, you’re not alone.
The majority of Americans are dissatisfied with their jobs, according to an August 2008 Gallup poll that found although U.S. job satisfaction is the highest it’s been for a decade, less than 50 percent of American workers are satisfied.
Here are five practical pointers to derive more meaning out of your work
1. Have another source of income
Who says you need to pursue your passionate purpose full-time as your sole source of bread-and-butter?
Many people who have found and are actively pursuing their purpose work at it part-time and continue to bring in another source of income. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that there are about two million workers who are "second-job entrepreneurs" — those who earn a living at day jobs while building their unincorporated businesses. Or, it may be that your passionate purpose is best left as a hobby that brings satisfaction but not an income.
Build yourself a cushion to fall back on when you can’t yet support you and your family. As a business coach, I recommend that before entrepreneurs sever ties to their current paycheck they can support themselves for at least two or three years. Sounds like a lot? Well, let's hope you won’t have to wait that long, but hope is not a business strategy. When my husband and I launched our first business, Radish Communications Systems, it took nearly two years for us to receive a paycheck. In addition to supporting ourselves, we were providing founder's capital to keep the business afloat.
Get real about what is important to you. What do you value? Is spending more on a new car or bigger house really bringing you happiness?
Modify your lifestyle so that your passionate purpose can support you. If you are sick of trying to climb the corporate ladder or working at a bureaucratic organization, you might find meaning in teaching children, running your own business, or becoming a park ranger.
Getting clear on your values will help you have the courage to "say no in order to say yes" to your passionate purpose. Say no to the consumer mentality with the resulting burden of debt, and say yes to the freedom simplification brings.
4. Be a real business
For-profit businesses make money. Develop a business plan. Get clear on the five "P’s of Marketing:"
- Product — What is the product or service you offer and how much does it cost to produce?
- People — Who needs what you have to offer? How many people are likely to buy?
- Price: — How much are prospective customers willing to pay?
- Placement — What are the channels or means to get your product to customers?
- Promotion — How will you communicate your offering to the marketplace?
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