A lot of people have asked me, over the years, how they might find what it is they really want to do. While there are no simple answers, there are usually indicators as we progress through life. Perhaps my story below will serve as an example of discovering your passion.
This year marks my 25th anniversary as a writer. It’s interesting that I never set out to be a writer. I pretty much just evolved into it.
One day, back in 1992, I decided to write a short, two page, newsletter.
At the time I was writing and designing marketing communications and advertising for local businesses. I had started an marketing and advertising agency as a way to earn a living, after leaving the video industry. While this was something I was good at and enjoyable, I knew I wanted to do something bigger. At the time however I had no idea what that was to become.
I was also, as part of rebuilding my own life, studying personal development so I wrote the newsletter as my way of sharing some of the ideas that were helping me.
I chose a name, Jim’s Jems, created a logo, mailed my first issue, and uploaded it to AOL and Compuserve (remember Compuserve?).
I had no other agenda and gave no thought to earning income from it. I simply wanted to share ideas which I felt would help people. And I was really enjoying being able to write what I wanted, as opposed to marketing copy for clients.
Little did I know that this one simple act would totally change my life and launch me into a whole new world as a writer and author.
I was drawn into what would ultimately become my passion, mission, and purpose by simply following my instincts and being willing to step out of my comfort zone.
The other thing I did was apply a “powerful question,” one which challenged my subconscious mind. In this case the question was along the lines of, “How can I do something I love and have a bigger impact, while helping more people?”
This led to my starting a small business newspaper, the Small Business Gazette. I wanted to help small businesses do better. All the while I kept writing Jim’s Jems. I knew that, as much as I enjoyed the newspaper, I was destined for something else.
Interestingly enough, being a publisher put me in touch with quite a few authors, many of whom were contributing articles.
How you can use this idea in your own life
If you’re trying to figure out your purpose and uncover what it is you were born to do, trusting your instincts and following your heart is a great way to begin.
Few of us, who have been fortunate enough to be doing work we absolutely love, were give a flash of insight and knew right away what it was we were destined to do.
More often, it’s a result of doing something you enjoy and seeing where it takes you.
For example, only after several years of publishing my newsletter each month did I realize I had written a good amount of material and began seeing it’s possibilities as a book.
While I did not know exactly what I wanted to do with my life, I knew it would be something that would help people be happier, feel better, and live the life they were born to live. I continued along this way for several years, always asking myself positive, empowering questions.
I even wrote out a statement of Purpose, as best I could not knowing exactly what I wanted to do but wanting to capture the essence of what I felt I was here to do..
“I am here to create and communicate information which will have a massive positive effect on people’s lives, empowering them and helping them reach their full potential as human beings.” That was in February 1992 and it’s remained pretty much the same since.
Four years later, in 1996, I self-published my first book, Handbook to a Happier Life.
I was very fortunate and, with the help of my coach Beth Meininger, sold a lot of books my first year as an author. And, because we were selling directly to corporate buyers, copies of the book were circulated all over the world. This led to my receiving translation offers from publishers in several countries. The rest, as they say, is history.
In 2005 New World Library, one of the most respected publishers in the business, purchased the rights and we expanded the original self-published edition. It was republished in 2005.
It is my belief that we all have something unique and special to contribute and we owe it to ourselves to discover what it is and go do it.
I’ve always felt I was born to do something bigger than myself, something that would have a positive impact in people’s lives. I just had no idea what it was until I began writing about what I was learning and experiencing in my own life.
The great thing is that, sitting here twenty five years later, I can honestly say I am even more excited about the work I do and am looking forward to continuing. I believe my best work is yet to come. Stay tuned.
What about you?
- Are you living the life you feel you were born to live?
- Have you found a way to express your unique gifts and talents?
- Do you have a particular gift you’d like to earn income from?
- Are you too young to retire and want to start a business of your own, doing what you were born to do?
What is your “Next Act?”
Are you someone who wants to start their passion driven or lifestyle business doing what you love to do?
If so, take a look at our new coaching program for people starting their Next Act.