It’s the night before the beginning of another week of work and you’re not looking forward to more of what you did last week, or who you did it for. You’re feeling like you’re selling a major part of your life ( 40 hours a week or more) in exchange for dollars to pay the bills. It’s the same thing and it doesn’t change except drain more energy out of you. It’s almost like you’ve entered the oldest profession in the world, and you’re thinking there must be something better than this. You’re asking yourself, ‘is this as good as it gets’ and that in itself drains more energy out of you. If only you could do something different to earn a living; something you enjoyed, something that provided satisfaction, challenge, and freedom, that still provided equal or more income than you currently have. Is that even a possibility? Of course it’s a possibility. Anything is a possibility.
Think about it; what do you want to do? What would you like to do if money was not a concern? Go ahead, have some fun with this. Let your mind run free. You can probably think of so many things that the challenge can become which one to do. Think about your life goals. When you think about what you want to do, think about where you want to be down the road, and then think backwards about what you would have to do to reach your life goals. It’s almost like going on a road trip; you know where you want to go, and all you have to do is map out how to get there.
You only have a few choices when it comes to work; 1) keep doing what you’ve been doing with the same company or a different company; 2) do what you’ve been doing with a different company, or 3) do something different. And you’re either working for someone else, or you’re working for yourself. If you’re working for someone else you have the advantage of a paycheck in the form of salary, you may have benefits, and you may have a sense of security, all of which provides a floor to hold you up. If you work for yourself, your income can be lower or higher, you make your own benefits, and your security is only what you can create, you don’t have a floor to hold you up, however you don’t have a ceiling to hold you down. So working for yourself or someone else has its advantages and disadvantages. Again, it gets back to what do you want to do.
A vocation is what you do to earn income. An avocation is what you like to do for enjoyment, pleasure, or fun. Basically it’s what your passion is. Now if you can turn your passion, your avocation into your vocation, something you love to do and earn money doing it, then your adding energy to your life, and life to your existence. Now that’s exciting. So when it comes to what do you want to do, begin to put it in writing. When we put the thoughts on paper it tends to make it more concrete, easier to comprehend, and more doable. It’s a major factor in attaining your life goals.
Maybe you’re fortunate to be in a position where you can simply apply the Nike tag line “just do it” and then just go and do it. However if you’re like the overwhelming majority of us, it’s not that easy. We have responsibilities, commitments, and others who rely on us, so taking those necessities into consideration requires us to think things through. So the answer to turning your avocation into your vocation is to do it gradually. You need the vocation to supply the income, hence that is focus # 1. You can supplement your vocation with your avocation (focus #2) after hours, on weekends or when time permits. It’s almost like having a second job; in fact, it is a second job, it’s just a non-paying job until you can begin to build it so it provides a trickle of income and then builds to a stream of income. Once you reach the desired point of income, you can then seriously think about weaning off your vocation, or eliminating it entirely, and focusing full time on your avocation which is now your vocation.
If your job is grinding you down, it’s time to make a change. And if you know you’re going to make a change sooner or later, you might as well make it sooner. As the tag line says, “just do it”, however do it with a plan in mind. In order to do what you want to do and achieve your life goals, thinking it through with a business plan will help you move in a positive direction.