It's finally spring here in Toronto (can I get a 'it's about damn time!'?). With spring tends to come those feelings of renewal, growth, and wanting to 'spring clean' our lives - personally and professionally. For we solo business types, that means we start to think about ways we can change things up with our work. Should this be the year we take on that really big project we've been thinking about? Is this the time to redo our website to really laser focus in on the people we most want to work with? Is this when we'll finally go from struggling to get by to having that amazing career doing what we love?
I'm always so inspired by people who are willing to take a major leap in order to follow their dreams. People who move to new cities, make major career changes, or open their own businesses (hey, that means you!). Some might think we're crazy, but for us, having a career that we love is not only important, but totally achievable.
But let's pause a second and get real about what that truly means. Can you have a 'happily ever after' in your professional life?
"Do what you love, and the money will follow."
I'm going to bet that every single one of you reading this have heard that before.
Here's the 'getting real' part: Doing what you love is only doing what you love. The money is only going to follow if the circumstances are right, and if you do the work to make it happen.
For example, if your passion is designer clothing and you've always dreamed of having a wardrobe consulting and personal shopping business, that's great! But, what if no one in your area is interested in that sort of thing? What if no one has the budget to buy designer clothing? Or, what if there are already a lot of folks doing that, so you've already got a lot of competition?
Those aren't necessarily deal breakers, mind you. You can move somewhere that would support that type of business, or change what you are offering so it matches what people are looking for. You can work hard on finding your niche in the market and get out there and meet people so they know you and your fabulous services are available. But if you just blindly follow your dream, it's not likely you're going to make much in terms of income. The money isn't just going to magically appear.
"If you do what you love, you'll never work a day in your life"
Did you hear my eyes roll out of my head just now? Sorry about that. But seriously, there is no such thing.
But here's the 'getting real' part: Every career will have frustrating days and frustrating tasks.
No matter how much you love what you do, there will always be the stuff you don't like that much that needs to get done in order for you to be successful. Maybe it's marketing (if it is, I can help you with that!). Maybe it's accounting. Maybe it's paperwork. Maybe it's your taxes.
And there will always be those days where you're dealing with a difficult client, or having a disagreement with a sub-contractor, or heck, days where you woke up on the wrong side of the bed.
It happens because we're all human, and to expect anything else is to be unrealistic.
"We all deserve happiness in our lives and businesses."
I'm 100% on board with that one - yeah, everyone can have a happy life and run a business that makes them a sustainable income and that they love.
BUT here's the 'getting real' part: Just because you love to do something, doesn't mean it's the right career for you.
We're all multifaceted beings. Most of us have a bunch of different things we enjoy doing. Do we really have to put dollar signs on every single thing we do? Of course not!
It's absolutely ok to have fun hobbies you really love to do that are just that, hobbies. In fact, that's totally healthy. I have a bunch of them myself: vegan cooking and baking, circus aerial arts, running, and travel. Once in a while, I dream of what it might be like to be a professional chef, or travel writer, or running coach. But am I serious about pursuing those as a career? No, I'm much happier leaving those as hobbies.
So can you have a "happily ever after" in business? Absolutely. But you need to be honest with yourself about what that is for you, and how to make that happen.
Do you have a story to share about your own "happily ever after" in business? I'd love to hear about it, and feature it in a future post! Just pop a comment below, or email me and let me know.