Find a way to get paid for your passion and you will not work for another day. That is what I have heard over and over again. You must have too… And magically your Passion and work becomes one and the same. How beautiful is that. Definitely worth trying. I have tried and failed.. not once but twice.
I am not sure if I have mentioned this in any episode before, but I think it is worth reflecting as part of this series on work.
I grew up pretty much without any specific passion. My interest was to be with people, talk to them.. watch movies… tell stories. That for some reason made people think I was good for sales and I went that route. Again imagine going a route not because you thought that was what you wanted… but people around thought it was good for you. Such lack of effort to even decide what you want.
Graduating with an Electrical Engineering Degree from a premium institute I jumped into sales. I was successful in sales initially till it waned out after a few years and I started not liking the job and moved into managing projects and teams and then to Agile practice and coaching and the journey continues. I am at a point where I love what I do. But that evolved over time. It is not that I just got my passion to work…
Since 2000 I have tried doing things on the side.. starting with blogging and thinking about ideas of things to do on the internet… even dabbled on trying to make a buck on Advertising… nothing really worked financially. All the efforts later morphed into Videos, Audios and the label of being a content Creator.
In 2015 I was between jobs when my contract ended. I decided to try content creation as my main activity and work around it…. build something that can earn me a living. This was when I started my Video Creation activity. A few months into it the pressure of income started hitting and the same activity that I loved doing started becoming stressful. I got back into the Workforce after 7 months. I loved the work.
But I kept on doing my passion in the side and it really started growing.. not monetarily but from reachability and new opportunities that helped me foray into education and podcasting in more detail. Again another between jobs in 2019 and I decided may be I should try again to bring Passion and Work together. And this time it was not just content creation, but also movies and education.
I had by then acted in a feature film and also taken classes and spoken in colleges and universities. Not bad and I should try doing this passion+work exercise again. I take a flight and go to India and speak in 40 venues in 30 days and hold discussions with a few directors for upcoming opportunities in films and return to US in 2020 February so I can go back to India in May.. And there comes the Pandemic.
I pivoted to trying to use my plan in an online arena and started an online agile course and a few other things. Again a few months into it.. the pressure of no income and stress got on to me…. Back to work again and continuing it as I write this.
Though I would have failed two attempts to bring passion and work together. I have been able to build a side hustle of my passion that only can grow from where I am. I am making some money to meet my running costs.
Now I have a 5 year plan for the side hustle before I will make another attempt to try making it a full time activity. Unless there is a very compelling reason and real data to do it earlier.
Why 5 years..? I have some financial obligations for next 4-5 years that will need me to go on a steady income. I know there are things on my passion side I cannot do in full fledge in this mode, but I am ok with it, if I can think creatively enough tech can help me find ways.
So Today along with a full time job. I have two podcasts running daily that is faring well on the charts and being listened by people. I also have a Social media Video presence that is helping me put my thoughts out to the Non Podcast Consumers. I am also building an online Community of Active Learners.. that some of you might already be a part of… at Penpositive.com. All on the side… A side hustle.. And I am passionate about that..
My full time job as an Agile Practitioner is something I love… Did my experiments with work cost me anything in my career… I think yes… it has its costs. And I will give you an honest account of that tomorrow… As part of this series I will also do one on Side hustles and even one on how we can tune ourselves to love the work we do… even if it is not our passion.
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