I recently finished Gary Vaynerchuk’s book “Crush It! Why Now is the Time to Cash In on Your Passion… for the third time.
It’s a short read and a book that I recommend everyone to pick up. Not just because there’s a lot of hype around Gary and the things he says (which are awesome by the way), but because I have found the words in his book to be 100% true.
I used to hate it when people would say that anyone can make a living from what they love.
What a ridiculous thing to say! Have they ever heard of student loans? Have they ever lived in an expensive city like Chicago? Do they know how competitive things are nowadays? No one is interested in what I am passionate about. Sorry man, but doing what you love doesn’t really pay the bills and no one really cares. Off to my 9 to 5. See ya.
Over the past two years I have put Gary’s adage to the test. I didn’t necessarily do it consciously with a tangible goal in mind, but I started to explore where my interests could take me by asking myself the question…
Is it really possible to do what you love to the point that you can eventually make a living from it?
This is what I learned.
The context for creating a lifestyle around and making money from your passion is quite simple. It’s all about the 24 hours in each day that we each receive.
The average adult works 8 hours a day.
The average adult sleeps 8 hours a night.
OK, so that leaves 8 hours a day/night to do whatever the heck you want. Most people don’t even sleep 8 hours, so that leaves even more time.
7 pm -2 am? That’s the sweet spot.
I have learned that this is where you take your passion from hobby/interest to profit. How?
By becoming valuable.
To make money from your passion, you have to show others that, relative to your passion, you are the best.
You are the best damn artisanal cheese sculptor in all the land!
You make the most killer hats for cats!
How do you become that? Simple. You invest time in learning or as Tai Lopez would says…. knaaaaaawledge.
Spend your time reading books on the subject, watching videos, meeting and talking with people who know about it, and attending events. You have to fully immerse yourself in the topic and with the internet, there is no limit on how much you can learn until you yourself become the expert.
But Case, how do I figure out what I’m passionate about in the first place? Well, that is easier said than done and I don’t have a great answer for you. It is relative to each person, their upbringing, influences and friends but my biggest advice to you would be to stop forcing yourself to find your passion.
If you like carving faces in cheese. Run with it. If you like training homing pigeons. Vamos! Whatever it is, just go with it. Don’t think about if it is profitable. If it makes you excited, follow it… because chances are, there are others just like you who jump out of bed thinking about four-leaf clovers, or fly-fishing, or ride-on lawn mowers.
But owning your passion and becoming an expert in it is only half the battle. This is your passion project, but in the end,knowing and executing are two very different things.
The next step, I take from Gary V himself. Once you invest your time in learning and mastering your craft, you have to create great content around it. That is how you ultimately becoming valuable.
Content means a million different things in this day and age but what it really boils down to is this.
Do what you love and tell its story in the most authentic way possible in a format that people enjoy.
If you can convey your expertise in your passion area in an authentic manner and ALSO in a way that conveys feelings and emotions, it is only a matter of time until you reach a tipping point.
Content is all about story telling. It is an emotional trade craft so you must know your audience and where they gather. Think about some of this era’s most popular content creators – on Youtube for example. They all have very unique personalities and they convey this within their passion content.
On Evantube (3mm subscribers), Evan reviews toys.
On LilyPebbles (350K subscribers), Lily does makeup tutorials.
On Stampylonghead (7mm subscribers) Stampy records himself playing Minecraft.
Whatever you’re passionate about, use your personality to your advantage and let it shine through. That is how you break through the noise and create a real connection with other people who are passionate about the same and similiar things.
The next step is to know where to tell your story.
But for you it can be anywhere with whatever medium you choose. The above folks settled on Youtube.
Pick your medium
Is it writing? Video? Images? Photography? Animation? Live speech?
Do you like to blog? Podcast? Create videos on Youtube? Vine? Twitch? Snapchat?
The world is your frickin’ oyster in this day and age.
Have a passion and expertise in competitive dog grooming? Soap carving? Skipping stones across lakes? Tying knots?
No matter what it is, convey that passion authentically across whichever medium lends itself to your personality. Not great in front of the camera but have a booming baritone voice? Maybe try a podcast or on Soundcloud. Not very well-spoken but you are great at teaching others? Maybe try instructional videos.
Just run with it.
Run as far as you can but here’s the reality of this all. Even if you take your passion, become the best at it, create killer content on it and distribute it across the internet, it still takes time. Sometimes, a lot of time.
You must, must must have both dedication and patience when it comes to making your passion your lifestyle.
Here’s the good news, though…
Patience is easy if you are passionate.
Contrary to what you might see in the media, success does not come overnight. It might not even come the first year. And that is OK, because if you are passionate about something and it makes you happy, you should have no problem waiting (after all, your passion was always your passion even before you started to consider creating content around it).
If you continue to hone your craft while creating great content, I am confident in saying that good things will happen.
There are countless stories of content creators who struggled along their first months and years even, only to reach a tipping point one day and then BOOM! Things start to happen.
Can you spot the tipping point?
It might be a chance encounter with a fellow passionate person. A big piece of press. A viral piece of content.
Whatever it is, this your moment, so when it comes, make sure you’re ready to commit.
I’d love to hear about what your passion is leading you to create online! Email me and we might even feature you next: firstname.lastname@example.org
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No fluff or "pie in the sky inspiration." Just real stories.
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