Every now and then I'm fortunate enough to work with coaching clients that are so talented I find myself wanting to invest in their ideas and become a business partner. Fortunately, the coaching partnership gives me the privilege of sharing in the journey of many amazing people. When you believe in people's potential you become inspired by ideas that are finding their form before your very eyes. Magic happens on the couch in coaching and I love collaborating and being part of it.
I happen to work in an affluent part of Melbourne where people have the freedom to explore creative ideas and reflect on how to maximise their life success and this isn't always just about money. I spend a lot of time helping integrate and organise ideas into structured pathways for balance, creativity and purpose-driven lifestyles.
Local business opportunities are everywhere and as a woman who juggles four daughters, a life partner and a small business of my own, I am a big advocate of balancing family and work life in a way that is both meaningful and satisfying but it's not always easy. By this I don't just mean spending equal time doing one or the other, I actually mean making your work meaningful, fabulous and a source of inspiration or why would you even bother getting out of your Peter Alexander's other than for school drop off and to spend time with your loved ones outside the house?
Enter the passion project. You're never too old to start a new passion project; did you know Arianna Huffington started Huffington Post when she was 50 years old and Thrive Global was her response to feeling burned out and in need of promoting health for herself and others. If you're a mum who has kids in your 30's and now wondering what you can do with your spare time (if you're lucky enough to have any), know big things can start off small and you can do both "mum and passion project" without neglecting either. There's a lot involved in starting a passion project but if you have some ideas, self-belief, lots of energy and persistence; your passion project could be an organic extension of who you are at home.
I always tell my clients looking for a career change to start with your WHY. Knowing why you do what you do will give you an insight into your motivation and desire. What sparks you up and gets you out of bed in the morning, other than your alarm clock? Even if your answer right now is happy times with your kids or family, holidays by the beach or walking your dog in the nature park, search these events for the joy, happiness and good vibes and really think about what it is about these events that you truly value and how can you make more of it.
Starting with your why builds on a solid foundation that is grounded in the very thing that you really care about and that is why we call it a "passion project", it comes from the heart and is energised by love and connection. Once you have a founding story, start researching and creating opportunities to start doing it. Make space during your week and build a commitment just like you would for traditional type work, turn it into a goal and it only has to be a few hours a day but this is your special time to get the project started. Whether that means making something, speaking to people, writing a book outline, researching, setting up meetings or building a start up plan.
As you find you make time for the passion project you will realise your happiness and fun increases and your project is beginning to take shape. The best projects are the ones that make you happy from the process. rather than the outcome or result. Quite often passion projects involve creativity so really allow yourself to colour outside the lines and explore every aspect of your passion project giving yourself permission to take the risks involved in trying something new. Add your signature strengths and talents to your project and try to bring your whole self to this passion project because the more integrated you are the more fulfilling it will be. Don't be afraid to look at developing new skills and abilities through the passion project. Quite often people who pursue a dream or pathway are doing so not because they are an expert at it but because they love learning about something new.
Once the passion project is underway and you're ready to test if has "legs" and make it a start up business you will want to develop a business plan and costing analysis so you know if the passion project can actually make money and be a viable business. This might be a challenging proposition but there's heaps of resources online to help you do this part and it's worth knowing before investing yours or someone else's money into your business.
Best not to get overwhelmed with too many details but starting a passion project is a reward in and of it itself, especially when you find that one thing that lights you up and you're committed to. Start by setting your goal, making the time to engage in everything that you need to get started, write the steps and plan the journey and then begin implementing things step by step. You might like to down load some of our coaching worksheets to help focus you on what you need to do. Last of all don't loose momentum after the initial excitement, get a coach like me to help you stay motivated and clear about structuring the steps forward and keeping you accountable.