A few months ago I walked away from the corporate world. I had a cushy job that I could’ve stayed at for my entire working life and then when the time came, I could have cashed in the generous pension package that came along with it. The job was very easy, very secure and paid an above average salary. For most people, landing a gig like this is a dream come true and don’t get me wrong, I felt fortunate every day I was there. It wasn’t enough though, my heart wasn’t in it and walking away was the best thing I could have done for myself.
Although I felt fortunate having financial stability, I also felt trapped. The creative side of my personality felt like it was slowly dying every day. My biggest fear was not finding the confidence to follow my dreams and I used to have panic attacks and nightmares about waking up at fifty-five years old, still working in the same job without ever taking a chance on myself. I had so many ideas and plans and I wrote lists everyday of all the things I wanted in my life. One day, I decided that I wasn’t going to allow my nightmare to come true but rather take control of my life and work towards making my dreams come true.
First, I set a ‘quit my job’ date for myself and began pouring all of my free time into changing my situation. I wasn’t sure about what kind of job I was going to create, but I knew I had to be my own boss. So I turned to my biggest passion (vegan food and healthy living) and two years ago, I started developing recipes. Six months later, I started a food blog and last week I announced that I’m now working towards opening a restaurant in my city. In amongst all of that, I left my corporate job six months earlier than the date I originally set for myself and took a social media manager position for a local organization that supports women entrepreneurs. I feel as though I’ve learnt and accomplished more in the past two years than I ever have before. I’ve pushed myself so hard and although I’m still afraid all the time, I refuse to give up. I am determined to live out my dreams and turn my passion of inspiring people to eat and live healthy into my profession. And you can do the same! Here are some tips:
Figure Out Your Passion
It’s difficult to turn your passion into your profession if you’re not sure what your passion is. Everyone is good at something and everyone has a special talent, so take some time to explore your hopes and dreams and figure out it out. It’s important to realize though, that once your passion becomes your profession, it’s no longer your hobby, it’s your career. I used to spend countless hours every day building my online presence and working on my blog but now that I’m a social media manager by day, it takes extra effort to work on my own in the evening. I still enjoy doing it because I feel so passionate about the message I’m trying to spread, but it definitely takes discipline. Explore your talents, dreams and desires and choose a passion that won’t easily be killed if it becomes your profession.
Once you’ve figured out what you want to do, set a timeline on when you’re going to do it and write it down. This way you can reference it if you need to. It’s important to be realistic about how much time it’s going to take for you to turn your passion into your profession and I always advise to overestimate rather than underestimate so you avoid feeling disappointed. When I decided I was going to leave my corporate job, I didn’t tell myself “okay, next year I’m going to open a restaurant” because at the time, I didn’t know anything about business. Instead, I drafted a plan and made a list of everything I needed to learn before I could become my own boss. After taking a few business classes, I started blogging for profit and taught myself how to manage a small-scale business. Then, I carefully calculated my next move and didn’t leave my corporate job until a position that would enhance my journey came along. I now work in an office with knowledgeable business advisors who give me advice every single day and I’m so thankful for this opportunity. Make sure that the timeline you set for yourself is realistic so it encourages you to work hard without feeling rushed.
After you’ve established your timeline and mapped out what you need to accomplish in order to turn your passion into your profession, set goals on the things you need to do. Your goals can be daily, weekly, monthly, yearly or however long it takes for you to get to where you need to go. My husband used to laugh at me because I write my goals down so often and make so many copies of my lists that from the outside, it probably seems like a waste of time. For me though, writing out my goals is a great exercise to help me remain focused. Lately, I’ve been writing down my daily goals in a journal and carrying it with me so I can reference it numerous times a day. This allows me to remain on track and helps me feel accomplished when I’m able to cross off what I’ve achieved throughout the day. Try it out, it feels really good!
I love the quote by Maya Angelou, “nothing works unless you do” because it’s true! Your passions won’t become your profession without a TON of work and effort. And the work doesn’t stop once you reached that goal either. Be strict with yourself to achieve the goals you’ve set and after time, you’ll start making progress. I can’t put into words how good it felt to leave my corporate job and transition into the next phase of my timeline. Hard work truly does pay off.
Learn from Others
Listening and observing is one of the best kinds of education you can get. Find others who have achieved the goals you’ve set and watch what they do. If you can, reach out to them and ask questions about their journey and how they got to where they are. Also, if you’re able to, find someone in the field of your profession and ask if they can mentor you. Everyone’s journey is different and everyone works at different pace but having someone to help you along the way that knows what you’re working towards is very beneficial.
You’re presented with choices every single day, so choose wisely and always keep your passion in mind. It’s important to be flexible though because life cannot be perfectly planned and sometimes opportunities come along that will change your course. Remain focused and dedicated while being open and aware at the same time. The greatest part about life is that you never know what could happen. Every day is full of surprises. If you’re feeling trapped and unhappy like I was, I hope these points have inspired you to turn your passion into your profession. My initial goal was to become my own boss, but when I first decided to leave my corporate job, I wasn’t sure what ‘becoming my own boss’ was going to look like. I worked very hard and learned so much about myself before making the decision of opening a restaurant. I’m still working towards achieving my goals and I have many destinations on my timeline that I want to reach. This makes me very excited though because in by turning my passion into my profession, the sky is the limit!
What’s your passion? Have you turned it into a profession? Tell us about it in the comments below and link up your blog or business. Maybe we’ll profile YOU next!
ASHLEY WOOD is a recipe developer and writer from Winnipeg, Canada. With a passion for health, wellness and vegetables, Ashley creates simple and inexpensive vegan recipes made from whole ingredients that are often seasonal, sometimes gluten-free and occasionally raw. Ashley believe in celebrating the benefits of living a vegan lifestyle and at the very least, hopes to inspire others to eat more plants, smile and live with some Sunshine.
Photo credit A Marie Photography