A funny thing seems to happen when you find yourself doing something you love as work: the universe decided to help you on your way. Obstacles seem to evaporate, the right people cross your path and everywhere you look is another great opportunity.
It’s a very sweet place to be.
But what if you’re not there yet? Are there things you can do get to that sweet place yourself?
There sure are. I have seven things to offer:
1. Be grateful
About six years ago, I was introduced to the concept of being grateful. This experience changed my life and the way I saw the world (I will write about that story another time). In the meantime this is what I would like you to do: list 100 things that you are grateful for. This simple exercise will change your life, I guarantee it! It will show you how there is very little actually lacking in your life and change your worldview to one of abundance.
2. Search for Your ‘WHY’
There are a few different ways to search for ‘your why.’ A good place to start is Simon Sinek’s book or, at the very least, watch his TED Talk. Another resource I found extremely useful in helping me find my purpose was a video by Glen Carlson. He showed me that a great way to find your purpose is by creating value at the intersection of your highest values.
Your highest values are things you might not even have noticed because you just do them automatically – you love to do them, they give you energy, it’s not a chore. Things that are low on your values are things you avoid or procrastinate over.
3. Find who you can help
When you are grateful for what you have and you have figured out your ‘why’, the next thing to figure out is who you love working with. Who would absolutely love you for who you are and the value you can provide them? Who are the people that would love to have you around and pay you to deal with their biggest problems because you can solve them most authentically. Outline what these people look like and where they hang out.
4. Start talking to ‘Your People’
A very good friend of mine, Andrew Griffiths, said to me “Ronsley, if you do the 1% that other people aren’t willing to do, that’s success”. When you know where your people are hanging out and how to get hold of them, start chatting with them. One of the easiest ways to do that it to have a platform you can invite them to. Like a YouTube channel, a periscope video or a podcast episode. It doesn’t matter what the channel is (or if there is a channel) but it is important to start having the conversations.
5. Collate and collect what they want
After a few conversations, you will start noticing trends and common traits. Make a note of all of these. Understand what hurts them and what makes their life difficult. What are they doing as a result of these problems? What are their secret fears and what they wished they had more of? Make the list.
6. Create ‘Their Amazing Solution’
Now, that you know who you love working with, what their biggest problems are and what your purpose is – you can create a product that provides the solution. Admittedly, this is easier said than done. Start by working out a way to bring your value to the people that matter the most to you. Create a beta product and see whether it does make their lives easier. Test and re-test. Quick iterations is key to getting your work out there. Be prolific versus perfect.
7. Be accountable
The seven steps above seem like a lot of work. Especially if you look at doing them all at once. Which means you will need the right people around you to make sure you don’t get in your own way; people who allow you to see things from new perspectives.
So create an accountability group that meets weekly. (I always prefer weekly to any other duration because it allows me to pivot and turn based on perspectives that my closest peers offer me.)
If these steps look like a mountain to climb to do what you love and get paid to do it, that’s because it is. We have been trained to take the easy way out, and the easy way usually has its own set of problems. I would rather deal with problems doing what I love doing … and I imagine you would be too.
Do you get paid to do what you love?