eBook Excerpt – Living Your Passion – Ver. 1.1

– Excerpt Begins — 

We are living in a time when it has never been easier to choose and create employment that suit our own interests and nature. With the rise of the internet, and the loss of traditional employment security, some would argue this has also never been more necessary to do so.

 

Finding ourselves at the beginning of this unorthodox employment revolution, what has not yet been found are the tools and knowledge to safely navigate these new opportunities. Traditional schools, government programs, and even our families and friends are ill-equiped to guide us.

 

I hope that this resource will play some part in helping you through to your goals – whatever they are – with a minimum of stress and financial difficulties. Through being a master of the principles involved, I hope you can find your own zen in your finances.

 

We have kept this document as brief as possible. We aim to present just the essentials in a helpful, logical order. Further reading can be found at the end of this resource, and updates can always be found at our website.

 

You may wish to print this document out to write your answers in. It will be a useful physical record to refer to if you feel lost or needing to reorient yourself at any point.

Answering These Questions

 

Beware of giving answers that you feel you ought to give. You are only answerable to yourself, so the ‘correct’ answers will not be the same as anyone else’s. They may even not be the same as you would have given a number of years ago.

 

We recommend giving each question some time for reflection. Perhaps mull them over in your mind as you go about other activities, such as going to the movies, whilst hiking, or perhaps reading an inspirational book.

 

Family and friends can still be an invaluable resource. As people who have watched you objectively, they can bring fresh perspectives that you may not have thought of yourself. We encourage you to ask those around you for their thoughts on what might help you – the answers may suprise you.

 

I wish you good luck, and don’t forget to write about your questions and success living your new life. It should be one that should feel as though you were always meant to live.

1. Define What Makes You Happy…and Unhappy

 

 

Your happiness and contribution may be different to even what you yourself think it should be. At the very least, it will be an unorthodox, drawing in a unique combination of different fields, type of work, and ways of doing them.

 

(a) When I imagine my dream day working, it involves:

(eg. me sitting in my small store, greeting people as they come through the door.)

 

Living OSRH, painting in a home studio, with a family around. With plenty of time for daytime coffees, and to meet the various admin assistants and collaborators I need to make my art (and perhaps music and books).

(b) The things I dislike most about my current job are:

(eg. replying to emails, doing accounts, or dealing with customers)

 

1. Fixing people’s problems

2. Getting lots of emails

3. Disappointing people

4. Risk of catastrophe

 

(c) The things I like most about my current job are:

(eg. learning new skills, creating, making beautiful things.)

 

1.

2.

3.

4.

 

(d) Some of my past jobs when I have been happy are:

(eg. teaching, cleaning, working in a library)

 

1.

2.

3.

4.

 

(e) Things I know I dislike doing (perhaps from past jobs) are:

(eg. working full time, fixing other people’s problems)

 

1.

2.

3.

4.

 

Although it may not be clear yet, you should now have a sense of your ultimate aim (1a), with an approximate idea of the types of work that you can use to get you there, that will make you happier than you currently are in your employment. Ultimately a happy worker is one who is effective, imaginitive, and is able to stick with it for the long haul.

 

Feel free to go back and revise your answers, as you reflect on your working week, and your past experiences.

2. How Much Do You Really Need?

If you were given the job of catching every fish in the sea, you would soon give up. However, if you were given a small pond, collecting all the fish is suddenly a very achievable idea. We might even begin to think of creative solutions to reach our goal.

 

Similarly, if we focus on the relatively small amount of money we currently live on, we have a much more finite and achievable. We can grow this pool as we.

 

I encourage you to work through this part coming up with a very modest number, that will not overly stress you. Your dream employment is expinential – the more time you can afford to spend on it, the greater inroads you will make, which will increase your earning potential, and so on.

 

We are looking to begin, not wait for ideal circumstances.

 

(a) What are your costs, by looking at your current total bank account (including PayPal) debits over the last 12 months?

(eg. $40,000. If you recieve non-financial benefits from your employment, such as healthcare, include them in this total.)

 

For me this is the lowest (or highest) OSRH amount required, ie.

$XX,000

 

(b) Divide this amount by 12, to give you an (approximate) monthly amount:

(eg. $3,333)

 

$X,000

 

(c) Depending on you support network add a contingency figure for unexpected expenses:

(Somewhere between 10% – 20%, so $3,666.)

 

$X,000

 

(d) Make a list of cuts you can make. The more you can do, the faster you can begin your dream job. Remove this from your monthly amount. You can add these amounts back once you have reached your happier employment.

(eg. $3,200.)

 

$X,XXX

 

Congratulations. You now have your target income – the amount you need to make from your interim new activities. While not likely insignificant, it is an achievable amount. We will now start to work out how to make slow and steady inroads into it.

 

2. Multiply Your Options

 

In section 1 you wrote down some of your likes, and dislikes, about your previous jobs. You also wrote down your dream job, and you likely have already thought about some opportunities for income related to your dream industry.

 

For this next section I want you to take off your critical hat, and take part in some “blue sky” thinking. Your aim is to come up with the longest, not the smartest, list of income opportunities that

 

(a) You enjoy more than your current work, and

(b) Gets you in some small way closer to your dream activity.

 

You will go through this list later in a more critical way. Because it is supposed to be a large list, I will not supply you with a limited amount of space to fill in. Fill in a whole 48 page notebook, if you can!

 

Bakery Example

An example here might be useful. Say your name is Alex. You are currently in an administration job, but your dream is to own your own gourmet bakery. You have already identified that there are some parts of your job that you enjoy – such as getting the details right, and researching and organizing information well for others. You also have an accountancy background, and don’t mind sorting out the financial side of things for others. You also have a creative flair, although you have never used it in a job.

 

Alex’s list might look something like this (only many times as long).

 

All my possible more enjoyable income opportunities include:

 

- Working in a bakery for somebody else. List of all possible bakeries to ask.

 

- Doing the books for a bakery (list them)

 

- Starting a blog on gourmet baking (list possible income sources)

 

- Collecting recipes and self-publishing it (list the full possible types of titles)

 

- A Kickstarter campaign to start my enterprise (list people you could ask for support)

 

- Running cooking classes (list all the places where)

 

- Making niche cupcakes (eg. vegan or gluten free) and offering them for $2 each to small grocers each week

 

- Starting a catering business (brainstorm clients)

 

- Going back to study baking, perhaps getting government aid (note programs)

 

- Teaching a further education class on cooking through local organizations

 

- Taking on more creative roles in my current workplace, for instance doing the design for the email newsletter and printed material

 

- Making the best cakes in the world, getting the attention of a famous chef and/or reviewer, and being offered my own line of cakes, to be sold in high class grocery stores

 

- Working in a restaurant or hotel (list)

 

- Finding a job in a similar organization that gives me a more creative role (examples)

 

- Offering to make regular frozen meals for busy colleagues in the workplace, buying ingredients wholesale (Jan, Steven, Peter, Lyn)

 

- Doing the same job as now, but in a large, baking related company

 

- Looking for jobs in a Gourmet or Cooking magazine or book publisher (itemize)

 

- Buying and selling tools related to my industry I see online, at a profit (small list of possible items, sales platforms, and import, secondhand, or wholesale opportunties)

As you can see, there was a wide range of answers given, including pie in the sky type ideas, modest ideas, ideas that open out to many other opportunities, full time jobs, part time jobs, hobbies, and ones that required only a small talk with a boss to bring about.

 

At this point you should write all of these, and more, on your list. Keep in mind you may have to talk to others further along in your career, or read helpful blogs, books and sites, to get more ideas than you currently have. Ask family and friends for ideas, and don’t discard any at this point.

My answers here…

 

3. Pay Your Dream First

 

IMAGE HERE

 

It is here where we get to the “zen” part of our approach. The word zen is thrown around a lot these days, and it has become corrupted to mean a type of calm or ease.

 

2,500 years ago, the Buddha dealt with the issue of wanting something very badly (for him, a meditation breakthrough), and the temptation of not doing very much at all. It was customary for people to fall into two camps – either living in a state of sensory pleasure (eating and drinking, and ignoring problems if possible), or else severe aesceticism, which often meant starving and punishing the body, in an attempt to reach a spiritual goal.

 

Buddhism is called the “Middle Way” because the answer was seen to be neither of these extreme approaches. Instead of denying one’s physical requirements, they were acknowledged. The extremes of doing nothing, or doing too much, were avoided.

 

I want you to find your own zen – or middle way – approach to reaching your goal. We are now going to arrange our options in a prudent, and gradual, path, that will nevertheless get us eventually to our hoped for destination.

Ranking Your Opportunities

 

Go through your list earlier, and mark the following letters on each item that the apply to

 

T – Items that can be done with little time, or would be enjoyable activities in your evenings or spare time

P – Ideas that pay well (per hour spent)

S – Sensible ideas, that hold a good chance of success (ie. would you recommend your own child do it?)

 

Ideas that get a T, P and S get circled. Ideas that only get two of these are left blank. Ideas that only have one are braketed, and ideas that have none recieve a line through them. (You may label these four categories otherwise as best makes sense to you).

 

Now you are going to work on the best paid, most sensible, and quick forms of new income that you have come up with, as time and opportunities allow. Furthermore, you are going to prioritize those new types of income, “paying your dream first”, as it were.

 

Two Trains Theory

There is a “two trains” theory, which appears in X’s book Y, Z ($100 startup?). The thinking goes…. (explain).

Paying Your Dream First

The way we are going to make sure of this is to take advantage of the work we have already done, in Section 2.

 

We know how much money we need to be making, and we know that it is a finite amount.

 

Go ahead and rule up some line or grid paper, that represents this goal amount, filling in from the top. I like $400 increments (as that is how much I used to earn for writing assignments after college), but you might like $100 increments, $500, or whatever makes sense to you.

 

eg.

 

April

 

$400

$800

$1,200

$1,600

$2,000

$2,400

$2,800

$3,200

Filling This In

 

The first step of our new employment is to try to fill up that first box each month from one of the #1 placed ideas on our list. Remember, this is something that has a reasonable chance of success, is paid well (at least better than the other things), and doesn’t take too much of a time commitment or distraction from our busy weeks.

 

Say the item Alex chose for this was asking the boss for more creative jobs, perhaps adding up to just over half a day a week. This would represent close to $400 of Alex’s income derived from more enjoyable work. If successful, this could be filled in straight away – for this month and hopefully for future months.

 

However, Alex’s boss may say no, so the item might be crossed off and the next most likely and well paid item might be tried – taking a cooking class on a Thursday evening, again for $400. Then this will be filled into this first place.

 

You might be thinking – Alex suddenly has a busier week, and more money than is strictly required. This is where the ruthlessness of the two trains theory (and the middle way) comes into play.

 

- Firstly, Alex has chosen this activity because it is more enjoyable than the day job, meaning it is likely not a “chore” in the same way as a job is. Being happier, it may make the regular job easier.

 

- Alex is now, in a very small way (one eights) less reliant on their job for

 

- Alex is also building up a small amount of “safety income”, as well as a repuation and connections in a new field.

 

With all of this in play, Alex is encouraged to slack off in the day job, if it is at all required. Perhaps Alex could slip away a little earlier on thursday afternoon, or take a little longer at lunch to prepare. Perhaps Alex doesn’t work so quickly on Friday mornings. Amidst a busy week, such a slight slackening off is probably not noticeable. But the important thing is Alex is putting their dream first, not the dream of Alex’s employers.

Further Steps

 

Once this has been successfully integrated into Alex’s week, second and third items on the list may be tried. Perhaps Alex’s students are enthusiastic about the recipes, and would like to find out more. Or perhaps somebody asks Alex to cater for an event, which encourages Alex to create a blog or Facebook page for such services. The point is, Alex’s options in section 3 are now being updated and expanded.

 

Perhaps these new opportunities are good, but not as good as an existing one – perhaps doing the books for a bakery Alex frequents, at an average of $400 a month (reasonable?).

 

Whatever the calculus, Alex has now earned one quarter of their income from things more closely related to their interests, attributes, or chosen career. You can see how such a process could soon lead to a half an income, which could necessitate (or open up) the opportunity to ask to go part time, or look for a part time employment opportunity elsewhere.

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– Excerpt Ends –

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