You've heard it before: If you want to find happiness at work, follow your passion. For many people, however, identifying something that they both enjoy and make money at can be an exercise in exasperation.
People are eager to know: "What's my purpose in life? What's my passion in life?" says career coach Deborah Brown-Volkman. She tells them to start by making a list of things they are good at and enjoy doing, and that incorporate hobbies. "It's not the things you struggle with," she says. "It's the things that come naturally to you."
It also pays to be open to new experiences, which can open your eyes to passions that you never knew existed. Exposing yourself to art, sewing or running, as examples, may awaken desires that you didn't know existed. And keep experimenting. Hollis Lewis (pictured above) tried yoga in 1997 but didn't much like it. Five years later, however, he gave it another chance and enjoyed it so much that it became a lifestyle -- and eventually a livelihood.
The next step to uncovering your passion is to do some research and learn whether your interest can be turned into viable business. Some things to consider:
- Do you need any more training?
- Is this a business that you can start out of your home?
- Is it a business that already exists and can you buy it? If so, how much would it cost?
- How much can you make in your new business?
Be sure to give the process time. "People want instant answers," but don't often get them, says Brown-Volkman, author of Coach Yourself to a New Career. The answers will likely come, as the stories of the five people featured in the gallery below show. Each of them pursued a passion and turned them into careers that they enjoy and have better lives to show for it. Or as Brown-Volkman puts it, "If you're doing what you love ... that's what makes it all worthwhile."
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