Everywhere you look—Amazon, Indie Bookstores, blogs, and so on—you’ll find advice on how to discover your career passion. One blogger advises that you write whatever comes to mind, without stopping, until you hit upon something that makes you cry. Several books laud personality tests as the key to uncovering your passion. And the advice goes on and on.
However, the simplest way to find your career passion is to give things away. What are people always asking you for advice on? Give your advice away. What knowledge do you have that people need? Give it away. What are people always asking you to do for them? Give it away.
Right now you might be thinking, “Marelisa, free is not a business model”. And you’d be right. However, by giving things away you’ll discover three vital things:
- What you enjoy doing.
- What others value.
- What others are willing to pay for.
Your career passion is where those three things intersect. Once you’ve discovered something that you enjoy doing, which others value, and which they’re willing to pay for, you’ve discovered your career passion. In this blog post you’ll read about three people who discovered their career passion by giving things away.
The three people are the following:
- Ed Waller
- Rebecca Fine
- Ashley Qualls
Read about their experiences below.
Ed Waller – Gave His Advice Away
Ed Waller was a financial advisor who woke up one morning experiencing heart failure and a stroke. He miraculously recovered, and then he asked himself what would have happened if he had died. Like many other couples, Ed and his wife, Penny, had divided up the household responsibilities.
- Penny was responsible for running the household.
- Ed was responsible for the finances and paying the bills.
If Ed had died, Penny would have had no idea where to find important documents, when and where to pay the bills, what assets they owned, and so on.
As soon as he recovered, Ed created a booklet which he titled “My List for Life”. The purpose of the booklet was to help people to organize and document their financial affairs to make sure that their loved ones would know what to do in case of an emergency. The booklet allows you to fill in information including things such as the following:
- How to access bank accounts;
- Where insurance documents are located;
- Web sites and passwords;
- When and where to pay bills;
- Where the will or estate plan is located; and so on.
Waller began giving the booklet away to his friends and extended family. Then, several people remarked that the booklet was very valuable and that he should make it available to the public at large.
That’s when Ed started selling “My List For Life”. What began as a labor of love for his immediate circle turned into a product that he began to sell. Ed feels that through his product he’s making a valuable contribution to society; at the same time, he makes money from it.
Rebecca Fine – Gave Knowledge Away
A few years ago, Rebecca Fine stumbled across a book titled “The Science of Getting Rich” by Wally Wattles. She began applying the principles that she read about in the book, and she started getting great results. After a year and a half she was thoroughly convinced that “The Science of Getting Rich” really worked.
That’s when she decided to begin sharing it with others. She invited the readers of one of her e-mail newsletters to read “The Science of Getting Rich” and to participate in a month-long discussion of the book via the internet. Over 500 people took her up on her initial invitation.
The experience was very positive, and Rebecca was soon flooded with requests for the book (the book is in the public domain, so she could send an electronic version of the book to anyone who asked for it for free). Here’s a quote from Rebecca:
“Before I knew it, word was spreading and my email inbox was stuffed with requests for the book from all over the world. I confess: The main reason I set up this site — back in 1999 — was so people could download the book themselves and I could stop spending hours emailing it!”
That’s when Rebecca decided to create an online course based on “The Science of Getting Rich”. She created “The Science of Getting Rich for Practical Geniuses” and has been selling it very successfully for years. Rebecca started out sharing a book that she had discovered, for free, and she turned this into a business.
Ashley Qualls – Gave Away Her Expertise
In 2004, at age 14, Ashley Qualls was playing around with a hobby: she wanted to be a graphics designer, and she loved designing MySpace page layouts. She started out designing layouts for her friends. She then borrowed $8.00 from her mother to start a website–which she called Whateverlife.com—and started posting her layouts there.
The layouts were free, and girls loved cutting and pasting the cutesy layouts onto their MySpace pages. By 2005 her traffic had gotten to the point where she needed a dedicated server. In order to be able to pay for the server, she decided to incorporate Google Adsense into her site. The first check she received from Google was for $2,790. The next one was for $5000, and the one after that was for $10,000.
Things just continued to grow from there, and eventually Ashley turned her web site into a business. She dropped out of high school to devote herself full time to her business. Ashley started giving away what she loved to do: graphic design. Today, she’s a millionaire.
What can you start giving away to others? Your objectives are the following:
- Test what it might be like to start a business in an area you’re passionate about.
- Ask for feedback to improve your product or service.
- Figure out a way to monetize your offering.
- Get testimonials for when you’re ready to start charging for your product or service.
- Shift out of analysis paralysis mode: instead of just thinking, you’ll be doing.
- Fuel your creativity by seeing what a difference your contributions can make to the lives of others.
Experiment with different things until you hit the holy trifecta of careers: something you enjoy doing, which others value, and which others are willing to pay for. And there you have it: your career passion. Live your best life by discovering your passion.
1. Finding the Work You Love: The Intersection of Passion, Talent, and Opportunity
2. How to Turn Your Ability Into Cash
3. Seven Essential Ways to Build Wealth
4. Prosperity Tips: 18 Ways to Increase Your Wealth
1. How to Live Your Best Life – The Essential Guide for Creating and Achieving Your Life List
2. Make It Happen! A Workbook for Overcoming Procrastination and Getting the Right Things Done
3. How to Be More Creative – A Handbook for Alchemists
4. The One-Hour-A-Day Formula: How to Achieve Your Life Goals in Just One Hour a Day
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