G.I. Jobs Virtual Job Fair   |   June 27

Virtual Job Fair   |   June 27

Turning a Passion Into a Paycheck

passion into a paycheck

“Do what you love and the money will follow.” You’ve likely heard that before, but how do you figure out what you love to do?

What if you’re passionate about more than one thing, or some of those things won’t allow you to make enough money? You can start to find the answers by looking at what you do that makes you feel more fulfilled about your life.

I’ll give you an example. When I was medically discharged from the Army, my planned career had been cut short and I didn’t know what to do. I did enjoy teaching others about self-defense and self-reliance, but didn’t know how to turn that into a paycheck. While I worked a job in construction in order to pay the bills, I also started volunteering with youth organizations and shooting schools in order to expand my horizons. Now that I have my own training organization, I have found that teaching makes me feel good about the work I do, and I can see the positive change in those who I teach. I look forward to going to work for the first time since I left the military.

So how do you find your passion? Start with what you know you enjoy doing. Whether that’s teaching, working on cars, stopping bad guys, or constructing buildings, find something that you can see yourself doing for the foreseeable future. Stay on that path, take every available opportunity to improve yourself, and allow yourself to explore every new possibility that will take you deeper into what you enjoy doing. It’s important to understand that the money may not come immediately, or may not be exactly what you need, so you may have to find supplemental means of income. But never lose focus on your mission. After all, do what you’re passionate about, and the money will follow – it’s worked for me, and it can work for you.

Here are five things to consider when you’re trying to turn your passion into a paycheck:

  1. Be realistic. Not everyone can be an astronaut. This is not meant to say that you shouldn’t go for the gold, but it is meant to say that if you set realistic expectations then you have a realistic chance of reaching them. Know yourself and what you are truly capable of.
  2. Embrace failure. Get ready to step outside of your comfort zone. Learning from your mistakes and adapting because of them is vital to mission success. In the words of Thomas Jefferson, “If you want something you’ve never had, you must be willing to do something you’ve never done before.”
  3. It’s not enough to be good, you need to be different. There are probably a lot of people who share your passion, and they all want to land that great job or start up their own business. So figure out what makes you different, not just better, and capitalize on that.
  4. Appreciate the critics, the haters, and the naysayers. Remember that those who criticize have often never laid it all out on the line, but appreciate that their notice of you means that you are doing something right. If you have no haters, then you’re not trying hard enough.
  5. Don’t surrender. Ever. I often tell my instructor team that it’s not about who wants it the most, it’s about who wants it the longest. There’s a lot to be said for persistence, so when the going gets tough, when everything seems like it’s against you, knuckle up and work harder.