TheAndySon is a new entrepreneur, and shared this in his comment to my article, “Waiting for What May Never Come”:
“I quit my job at Wal-Mart almost a month ago and have been feeling like the days are slipping away from me. I feel lost.
“The first week was great! After that, however, I’ve been spending many hours online trying to connect with people and looking for my “a-ha” moment.
“Maybe I’m afraid that following my passions won’t give me enough money to live off of. Maybe I’m afraid that I don’t know enough or have enough experience with my passions to turn it into a source of income. Maybe I’m just lost.”
My response to TheAndySon is as follows:
Entrepreneurs can walk a solitary path; this is why I’m a big believer in -
- peer support network and
- SMART goals
Peer support network can be made of people who are your age, in your area of interest, and mentors (who may not be “peers” but should be part of your support network). These are the people you can call to check in periodically, ask for advice, brainstorm with, and vent if you need to.
SMART goals, as you may already know, are goals that are specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-bound [see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SMART_criteria ]. Each element is crucial in part to keep you motivated yet rewarded, and on track.
What you are describing is also a question I’ve been wondering – can everyone truly follow their bliss and make a living off doing what they love?
Those who can are blessed and should count their blessing every day. Those who cannot shouldn’t discount what they do to make a living to support their families and responsibilities. What’s important is for us to connect with what we love on a regular basis as a way to replenish ourselves and feel most alive.
Your 3 “maybe”’s are common – and experienced by many who take a risk to make their own path! I have had those fears too, and while I don’t think those fears will ever “go away” (they are a reaction to being in the unknown), you can manage your reaction to these fears by connecting with your support network and by creating SMART goals for yourself.
One of the best ways to manage fear and feelings of being “lost” is through ACTION.
There’s something else, too, something that Sam Keane said: “There are two questions that must be answered. ‘What will I do?’ and ‘How will I earn a living?’ And the order in which one asks oneself those two questions is what makes all the difference.”
It’s one thing to find your passion and that is critically, crucially important. Now you have to figure out a way to share that passion with the world in a way in which the world is willing to accept it – and that can sometimes be the hardest part.
Because, if you’re passionate about it, it can sometimes be difficult to imagine that anybody could NOT be passionate about it, let alone figuring out why they aren’t passionate about it.
You may be fortunate to discover that the world has been unknowingly thirsting for what you want to offer for generations. Or you may learn that the set of folks you thought would value what you have to offer are not interested, but this other set of folks over there wants to eat it up.
Try to cultivate the detachment you need to figure out where your market is. That’s not as easy as it sounds.
That is where Jane’s truly excellent advice comes in.
I’ll only add that it’s important for you to be good to yourself right now. Give yourself what you need, especially the support of the kind of friends who can be genuinely, unambiguously glad for every small success you earn. Your confidence will grow the longer you keep at it.
Don’t spend too much time thinking about it. Jane is right, you need a “Nike moment” here. JUST DO IT.
I wish TheAndySan courage and opportunities along his journey. As of this writing, TheAndySan is creating movement and making decisions: he has decided to become a blogger for hire, and set a goal of at least $270/month earnings in order to continue his online ventures; otherwise he plans to look for a job. I’d advise TheAndySan to set a time frame to this goal, and create an action plan that would create opportunities netting $270/month.
If you recognize yourself in TheAndySan’s predicament, and feel afraid, disconnected, and lost – the first things to do is to ACT.
Note: Some of my Twitter buddies offered helpful, bite-sized advice, please see the first comment to this article. Thank you Walter, Shwen, and Cody!
Image credit: Lonely by Chrisss s