3 — Creating a Living from Your Passion

This blog is also going to be about how to create a living from your passion. Maybe you already are. Then share that with us. How do you live your passion? How are you turning it into a living? Are you doing that full-time or is it still part-time? Would you like to make it full-time? How can those of us in this conversation help with that? … 

As I’m writing this, I see that I’m going to be going back and forth behind finding one’s passion and associated conversations, and making a living and conversations associated with that. I’m sure that other conversations will emerge, as well, and we’ll pursue these when they do or at an appropriate time.

So, today let’s talk about making a living. For those of you who haven’t read my bio, here’s a very brief synopsis of what I’ve done for the past few decades. I spent the first 15 years as a computer systems programmer and managed systems development. The next 15 years were in product management and sales and marketing management in the computer industry. The next 15 years were in business education as a teacher and managing executive education programs. The transition from each of these cycles to the next seemed to go very smoothly. I now realize what I was oblivious to at the time: each was Divinely guided. What I thought were coincidences were not—Note: I no longer believe in coincidences in the universe (this is a topic for another blog!)

My fourth 15-year cycle began about three years ago, and I’ve been asking, “What am I intended to do with my life?” Even though I worked for universities in the last 15-year cycle, it was on a contract basis as an independent consultant for 10 of those years. For most of the past 20 years, I’ve worked out of a home office and loved the independence, the flexibility, and the opportunity to create my own schedules for the most part. I did miss the more intense people contact, but that “forced” me to create my own in the organizations I joined and the colleagues I developed—many of them also working as independents.

So, here I am now with my retirements dwindling and little prospects for employment at my age (70), but with excellent health, lots and lots of experience in a variety of fields, and wanting to give back to others what I’ve been so fortunate to have in my life.

As I went back and looked at the different themes that have flowed through all these 15-year cycles, several have emerged: always willing to help others when they needed it, curiosity, interest in learning and trying new things, hard working, very good at seeing synergies between people and connecting them, and being very supportive of my employers and their success as a company.

But a negative theme emerged, as well. Although I’ve been very good at connecting people, I saw that I then took myself out of that connection. I also worked hard for my employers, often contributing new ideas that contributed to their success. What flowed through virtually my entire career is that I didn’t ask for equal value for myself as I created for others. I devalued my worth. This wasn’t a conscious decision, of course, but it was another a-ha* moment that has made me really look at what I’ve been doing and how I’ve been doing it.

So, in this self-exploration, what has emerged? That’s a topic for probably tomorrow’s blog!

*  a-ha moment: when a knowing, a point of massive clarity, arises seemingly from nowhere that gives you a deeper understanding. A-ha’s may be big or small, but they come from deep within you—from that part of you that is the real you. More about this in future blogs…