Updated: Aug 27, 2019
One of my big downfalls as an entrepreneur is that I see opportunity in everything! Many would see this as a strength and, to some extent, it is. But, I literally see opportunity in everything. I was walking through Hobby Lobby a couple of months ago and, at this point, you should know that I love all things artsy and crafty. I walked past these cool looms. I HAD to have them, but they were expensive. So, I did what I always do, hit Amazon Prime and had the same looms at a cheaper price, two days later.
I set out to learn how to use the loom and made my first hat, then another, people got hats for Christmas and loved (or pretended to love) them! You know what I thought? This serial entrepreneur thought, hhhmmm...maybe I could sell these! My brain kicked in and scolded my spirit and explained in no uncertain terms that we did not have the time or energy to create a loom knitted hat business...thank you, brain! BUT, that didn't stop me from setting a goal of making a hat a month and creating Blessing Bags to hand out to the homeless on the streets of Milwaukee and Chicago this winter.
I simply struggle with investing time into things that do not offer a financial ROI. And if I want to do something, because I'm interested in it, I usually figure out a way to make money from it!
I recently went to a networking group and the topic was...What is Your Passion Project? I had never heard the term before. "A passion project is something you work on that gives you satisfaction, happiness and puts you into a state of flow. It's what you do to escape it all. Its your tiny (or huge) contribution to the world. " This definition came from this great article... https://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-13884/10-reasons-to-find-your-passion-project.html
What I learned from that day and subsequent research is that having a passion for something doesn't HAVE to lead to financial increase, but can, instead lead to an increase in, well, peace, creativity and flow of ideas.
I feel better about everything when I'm helping others. I feel better about the stress of running a business, being a parent, even paying bills when my passion project game is running strong. It was hard to justify at first. There was almost a feeling of guilt. When you run a business, there is no 9-5, there is only 24/7. I work whenever I need/want to and as much as I can. So, stopping to do something I enjoyed, that made me feel good, but did nothing for my bottom line, and, as sad and selfish as it sounds, it almost seemed like a waste of my time.
But, I persisted and continued making those hats and turned that into my passion project. I've found that knowing I'm helping others has provided me with a different angle and I approach business differently.
My "down time" is more focused. I spend less time scrolling social media. While I'm looping the yarn to make those hats, I'm often watching a motivational or educational video. I'm a lifelong learner and always taking classes to make myself better. I've found myself having to stop the knitting process to jot down notes or ideas that have entered my ever operation brain. It's a sort of meditation. It takes me away from everything else and I find a new rush of ideas when I'm supposed to be focusing on something else. And the best part of this experience, is I have learned that there is such a warm feeling that warms me when I see the smiles of a person receiving a gift and feeling special, if only for a moment, that money could never replace. My heart and willing to give has grown from adopting this project.
How do you find your passion project?
-Look around your community. Are there areas in your community that need your service?
-Think about your skills. What are you good at? How could you put those skills to use helping others?
-Check out volunteer websites. Are any of the organizations in your niche area?
-Look to churches, schools and service organization.
-What can people learn from you?
-What drives you?
Think about these questions as you search for your passion project. Think about how they apply to you and how you can turn them into a project that not only helps others, but brings you peace.
Let's all work to make this world a little better.