A friend recently posed the ultimate career question: “How can you make money doing what you love?” My grandpa always said, “If you do what you love, you’ll never work a day in your life.” He was a bartender. I don’t know how you can make money doing the specific activity you love. I don’t know who you are or what you’re doing here. But, I can share my story with you and tell you about what worked for me and others. If you don’t know what you love yet, then I recommend going out and trying as many endeavors as possible. See what sticks!
Step Zero: Lose Your Job
This step is completely unnecessary. Your love interest can start as your side gig until it is profitable enough for you to quit your job. For me, losing work has always been the catalyst in my pursuit of doing what I love. In 2012, I was fired from my desk job at an insurance company. Within four months (and with some prodding from my pregnant wife), I was making decent money writing for the Internet. Earlier this year, I lost 90 percent of my work. That’s when I decided to launch Brains Report…which isn’t making money…yet.
Step 1: Start Creating Content
In the Information Age, content is king. The more content avenues you pursue and build a following in, the easier it will be for you to monetize your work. Popular content options are:
- YouTube – It’s amazing how the most vacuous crap on YouTube gets millions of views. I might be a little jealous. I’m not suggesting you should create junk. I am saying that if the terrible content is getting viewers, your quality content is sure to attract subscribers. Every day, YouTube makes it easier for average people to produce excellent content. Once you build a following, you can make money on YouTube through affiliate marketing and advertising.
- Podcasts – Not everyone wants to sit through a YouTube video. While commuting, jogging, cooking, doing dishes, and just about everything else, I listen to podcasts. Podcasts make money from advertising once they have a significant number of downloads per episode. You can get started with a decent microphone for less than $30. If you want to learn more, there are tons of resources out there.
- Blogging – This is my jam. There are several ways to make money blogging. The key is to get started, write what you know, and keep at it. Blogger is a popular free blogging platform. I recommend getting a custom domain.
- Tutorials or Online Courses – I have no experience with this, but if you are knowledgeable about a topic that people want to learn about, then I recommend trying to make an online course. Here is a helpful resource.
Or, you may have a particular widget you like to create. Get to work on making it. The more you do it, the better you will get. And, everyone appreciates quality.
Step 2: Research What Others Are Doing
Are others making money what you love? You can learn from them. When you learn from others, you cut down on the time it will take you to become an expert. Even Malcolm Gladwell will tell you that. Are there communities of people doing what you love? Join those communities. Pay attention to the specific pain points these individuals have. This will guide you in where to make money. All the entrepreneurial blowhards like to say, “There are riches in the niches, b#$%hes!”
Step 3: Carve out Extra Time to Work on What You Love
“Make time for what you love, and love what you make time for.” You need to make time to do what you love, even if you have a family and work full time. This may mean getting up an hour early each day or staying up after everyone goes to bed. It might mean giving up television time. Ugh. Successful people don’t watch TV. Just get rid of your television. You will save money and time. End rant. (I still watch too much TV. It’s addictive!)
Step 4: Find a Mentor
Who is successful at what you want to do? Try reaching out to them and asking questions. I do not recommend calling them your “mentor” or using that phrase with them. This is because the word “mentor” suggests responsibilities, such as regular meetings that take away valuable time. Instead, this is just a person you can reach out to with questions whenever you may have them.
Step 5: Start NOW
“The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time to plant a tree is today.” What are you waiting for? You could spend the rest of your life waiting for the right time to start pursuing your bliss. Why not just start now? The sooner you start, the sooner you will start making money at what you love.
Step 6: Be Persistent and Patient
Whatever you do, you need to stick with it. I listen to entrepreneurial podcasts every day to stay focused and motivated. They keep telling me it could take years before I am successful. But, if I stick with it, it will happen. You need to be persistent and patient. Good luck!
What questions do you have? What advice would you give someone hoping to make money doing what they love? Please comment below.