We’ve covered a lot of ground over the last few weeks.
We’ve talked about getting on your feet financially.
We’ve discussed embracing simplicity and setting priorities around the things that are most important to us.
And last week we reviewed how to make space in our lives to expand and create something brilliant.
Now it’s time for the final step in the series of getting paid to make a difference.
STEP 4: Begin Experimenting and Pursue Your Meaningful Idea
Before I jump into this topic, I gotta make sure that you have cleared a specific time in your day to pursue your greatness. It’s so easy to allow life to get in the way of pursuing great ideas. This I know because I’ve been there. I’ve made the mistake of opening email first thing in the morning and all of a sudden, an hour is gone! I’ve told myself that I will get to it after work, only to find myself too exhausted to do anything meaningful.
If you haven’t committed to setting aside time to pursue something meaningful, my advice is this.
Commit to waking up two hours earlier in the morning, and going straight to your computer with a cup of coffee or tea. Getting up one hour earlier isn’t going to cut it for most people. Try to sneak in two. I know the prospect of waking up that much earlier sucks, but isn’t the prospect of making money doing something you love, worth it? I’ve tried everything and this is the best time for busy people to work, because the world hasn’t woken up yet and started placing their demands on you. This time is stress free, peaceful, and all for YOU.
With time in your day you can now begin experimenting intensively with potential sources of meaning, passion, and purpose outside of work. Anything from artistic endeavors to starting a charity.
Many people are content to leave things here. They have a career that pays the bills and they also have time during their day or week to pursue meaningful ideas outside of work. There’s really not much downside to this path. It works. Worst case, you have a day job that pays the bills and you get to explore your passions (for starting a charity, learning a language, writing poetry) on the side.
For Those Who Want More
If your current field, industry, company, or organization does not reflect your deepest sense of purpose and meaning, then you’re going to need to take things a step further and begin aligning your money with your meaning. With new hours in your day/week gained from Steps 1, 2, and 3, it’s time to begin experimenting with things that might one day become both a source of meaning and a source of serious income outside of your current job.
This might mean starting a small business on the side, moonlighting in a second “start-up” career, or finding ways to earn money from your artistic and creative passions.
Whatever it may be, if you want to make a living from it and leave your current job, you’re going to have to dive deep into the area of expertise that interests you. You’re going to have to wrap your own passions, talents, skills and purpose – the things you care most about and are best at – into a package with fundamental marketing, sales, and networking skills.
If you know how to do that, you will get paid very well and you’ll be living in your passion and your purpose.
A major pitfall in this journey is that we are so conditioned to thinking of money and meaning as separate, that we overlook creative ways that we can bring them together. If you dig deep enough, you will find endless ways to combine your creative skills, passions, visions, and dreams with the already existing worlds of business and online commerce.
I’m not going to say this will be an easy or risk free task. However, once you begin researching and mingling with others that are living this way, you will have plenty of examples and inspiration to draw from.
Here are some of my favorite resources on how to align your meaning with your money:
- The Art of Non-Conformity
- Danielle LaPorte
- Escape From Cubicle Nation
- Paid to Exist
- The Suitcase Entrepreneur
- The Middle Finger Project
- Zen Habits
- Live Your Legend
These are all examples of people that have mastered the art of taking various components of their skills, desires, talents, and dreams and have put them together to create a thriving business. This is proof that we can make money by pursuing what interests us and create something meaningful in the process.
Are you ready to combine money with meaning? If so, you’re in luck because that’s where we’re headed in a BIG way! It’s going to get a little crazy and a little nutty around here as I move closer to rolling out a new web site and a new web TV show dedicated building a business that combines money with meaning.
That’s all for this week. See you again next week as we dive further into the art of making a living through meaningful work.