I was an advertising major in college. I am not exactly sure why I chose to study that, but I probably thought it would be cool at the time. Looking back, I have realized that I have a fascination and passion for understanding people. I went on to study media criticism for my master's degree and interpersonal/gender communication for my Ph.D. But at the root of it all was a passion of mine - understanding communication and helping people.
Early in my teaching career, I felt called to expand my "teaching" in different ways. First, I tried doing communication training for businesses and schools. I figured, "Hey, it's just the same as what I'm doing now - just not in the college classroom!" But as I did more and more of it, I realized I suddenly didn't have a passion for it. I thought I did, since I do have a passion for teaching people communication skills. But I finally figured out that what I liked about teaching college classes was that I got to form relationships with my students. I usually have many students in at least several classes before they graduate. So it's great to get to know them and see them grow. But I didn't get that chance when I went into a business or school to train employees for a half day, whole day or even two. Lesson learned.
Another example comes from a good friend of mine who joined a network marketing company about 4 years ago. At first, she was gung-ho. It seemed like an awesome opportunity because her sister was as smashing success in the company and reached the diamond level in a little over a year (amounting to over $500,000 a year). While she didn't advance as quickly as her sister, she did get to the level just below diamond and then realized that she didn't have a passion for it. She was gone 5-6 nights a week doing mixers in people's homes. She never saw her kids. And she got to the point to where she no longer believed in the products nor the lifestyle associated with this company. So after this realization, she decided to give that up so she could follow her passion.
And guess where it lead? To collaborating with me on a new project. She knows that I do a lot of motivational "teaching" by not only writing for the Huffington Post, but also with many other outlets like television. She had recently started a blog called "Single Mom Winning" (we're both single moms), and she wanted to expand it and reach out and help as many single moms as she could. That's where I came in. She suggested that we team up and start a new website and community to help fellow single moms. Since I consider myself a "yes person" (I almost always say yes as long as it sounds like it's something I want to do), I quickly agreed that it was an amazing idea.
The passion we both have for this project is just electrifying! Many single moms feel isolated and overwhelmed, so we are determined to bring us all together to learn and laugh! So, over the past several weeks, we have been doing a lot of research on things such as website design, how to manage a forum, and even the science of posting on social media. We thought we were somewhat familiar with these things, but we have learned so much from gathering all this information. We want to do it right and make the website a haven for single moms to connect.
As you can see, both my friend and I are now following our passion. And not only are we passionate about helping other single moms, we are also passionate about doing videos too. I have long known that I have wanted to be on TV (or at least in an online show), and so this is just one of the ways that I'm furthering my dream. She is great on camera, and I at least like to think I am (I hope!). And together, we have such an amazing energy that is fun, informative, and entertaining.
It took us both a lot of soul searching and "failures" to figure out our passions. But once we did, there was no turning back for either of us. We are fired up and can't wait to get this business rolling!
What is YOUR passion? You might not think that your passion can be turned into a business. But believe me, these days almost anything can be turned into a money-making opportunity. Heck, if you love walking your dog, you could turn it into a dog-walking service. The sky is the limit!
Take some time to give it a shot. Passion is everything. So turn what you love doing - your gift to the world - into a way to make money and help humanity!