Answer by Rizwan Aseem:
At 26 years I was living in the Cayman Islands, making over $100,000 tax-free and surrounded by hot chicks wearing bikinis – yet I couldn't help but think about committing suicide.
It wasn't until I lost it all that I was able to discover the secret of how to pursue your passion without going bankrupt. But before I tell you how you can pursue your passion…
I'd like to talk to you about a few 'fallacies' that are pushed down our throats…
The Fallacy Of A Career Path
The career path with a good paying job is defined.
You do your degree.
You pass with great marks.
You apply for interviews.
And pretty soon you will get hired and start your career.
The career path for your hobby isn't defined.
If you do your degree, you still have to figure out what to do after.
Then you have to find people who will be willing to pay for your hobby.
Then you have to understand the business side of things.
But on top of that you have to explain to everyone why you're doing what you're doing.
How it will pay for your bills, and how you will still take care of everyone.
It isn't the easiest thing in the world. And because it is hard – most people don't follow their hobby.
I thought it would be hard, and that's why I didn't follow my passion.
The Fallacy of Talent
Here's the funny thing though… when I started working in the corporate job I didn't know anything.
Sure I'd done a degree, and gotten the right marks to get in… but from the work perspective… I didn't know anything.
That's true whether you joined a multinational, a local conglomerate or just a small 10 person office.
When you just start out in your line of work… you don't know jack. The multinational company knows this.
So what do they do… they pay you to show up… at least for the first 2 years.
In those 2 years they will train you to do the things that they needed you to do.
You start working and you start learning. The more you work, the faster you learn, and the faster you learn the faster your progress in your job.
To get you to a point where you can actually provide more value to the company than it cost to train you, and that it costs to pay you now.
That's the fallacy of talent. You aren't talented at the corporate job that they are paying you – but because you show up and DO the work is why they are paying you.
Let's say you love to paint… just to make this example simpler… but you can replace painting with whatever you truly love to do.
What would happen if some one paid you to paint for 8 hours every day for the next 2 years?
But that's not all… what would happen if along the way that same person corrected your mistakes, taught you to hold the brush better, improve your strokes, and how to better mix paint.
But then as your skill improved taught you to paint using Canvas, Oil and then all the other tricks and techniques for you to use.
Do you think you would get better at it?
Chances are you would get significantly better at. You would probably get better at it faster than you would get better at doing your corporate job.
So in two years of focusing 8 hours on your passion you would be where it would take 10 years to get in your corporate job.
The lesson here is that you need to DO it to really LEARN it. You aren't talented to do your corporate job, but trained to do it.
Similarly you won't be talented to DO your passion, you will need to TRAIN yourself to do it.
Which brings me to the real question in the question…
How Do I Pursue My Passion
So let's look at the burning question,
How do I pursue my passion and make money from it…
Before you can learn to run you need to learn to walk. The ‘learn to walk’ part in this analogy is you learning to DO what you're passionate about.
The ‘learn to run’ part is you making money from your passion.
We’ll talk about that in a minute but first let’s look at why you can’t quit your job.
You can't quit your job because of two reasons
1. You have bills to pay – and if you quit your job you will probably end up on the street evicted, because you didn't pay your bills.
2. Your skills in your passion aren't really sharp enough to support you. You still have to practice to get these up to speed.
So before you quit your job and go all ‘Fight Club’ on your passion, let’s figure out how you can actually start doing your hobby at a higher level.
So here’s what you do to start DOING what you love to do. aka step 1 to pursuing your passion.
1. Figure out what you love to do
Don't just say it – write it down. Often when we just say things, we'll sway from one to the other. You're different. You will write this down.
2. Take one hour right after you've figured it out to actually DO it
If you love painting – stop reading, go paint for an hour, then come back and finish reading.
This step is very necessary. It forces your mind to realize that you can actually do the things that you love to do. SO DO IT NOW.
3. Figure out what your problem areas were
Chances are there were some things that you did today that you weren't very good at. You had a few hiccups. You didn't have the right kind of canvas, or the paints were dry, or you didn't have any place to actually paint.
Write down all the problems that you encountered in doing your PASSION. Take 5 minutes to write all this down.
4. Setup your environment
Now that you know what keeps you from doing the things that you love to do – go out there and fix those things. Not to make them perfect, but good enough that you can start doing what you love to do.
Get new paint if you have to. Dedicate a space in your house where you can do what you love to do.
Find a space for this hobby, even if it is the corner of your room.
Then dedicate this space to your hobby. Nothing else gets on top of this space, anything else around it gets throw away, or put in another corner.
5. Schedule yourself in
Right now you’re in a place where you probably spend very little time on your hobby. We have to change that.
Remember the corporate analogy we used above. That your employers pays you for the first two year just to show up and learn something… think of this as being the same thing.
You’re employing yourself for the next two years just to learn your hobby.
But since this is a hobby you can’t do this full time, and you won’t be paid in cash. You’re getting paid in your ‘skill growth’.
However, since you are getting paid – you must show up on time every day and do the work.
Or your pay will be exponentially deducted.
What is exponential deduction?
Your skill will become worse with each day that you’re absent. Until you get to a point where you will lose this skill, and the passion for this hobby.
Additionally, you will also lose other skills associated with doing this hobby. The longer you stay away the worse it gets.
The upside is that this is also exponential growth. The more you work on your hobby the better you will become… until over time you will become a master without even knowing this.
That’s where you want to get to. You want to become a master at your hobby.
And just like in the corporate job the biggest battle is showing up in the morning, dressed and ready to go – the same is the case with your hobby.
You need to show up every day to paint and ready to go.
So schedule yourself in – tell your friends to f*&k off when it’s time for your hobby, and then put your head down and work on it.
But you’re still not getting paid for your hobby…
That’s right. You won’t be paid for your hobby at least not in the beginning. Until you become better.
But if this is something that you want to do then you must keep doing this.
Once you’ve been doing this for 6 months you will become good enough – not great, but good enough to help other people.
This is where you will start to make money. aka step 2 to pursuing your passion…
Before I tell you how to make money, let’s look at the true nature of work and money.
What's the true nature of work?
The true nature of work is this; work is anything that you do for which someone else will pay you money. But it isn’t something that you do on your spare time.
Work isn’t something that you do when you’re watching TV. Or when you’re hanging out at the beach.
Sure there are people out there who will suggest that you ‘can’ do that… and show you pictures of them doing this… don’t get fooled by this.
Those are just pictures of their one-off vacations where they did ‘some’ work.
Most of the work is done in a work environment. It can be a studio if you’re love to paint, or a race track if you love to race cars.
But work is done where it is most productive.
Work is also long-term. It is not something that you decide to do for 3 months, then do something new.
What that means is that you will keep working on your ‘hobby’ for the next 30, 40 or even 60 years… so if you skipped figuring out what you really love to do, now would be the time to do so.
Work is also a lifelong pursuit. What this means is that you can’t think about your hobby, as I’ll work for 2 years and make tons of money and then go retire at the beach.
This doesn’t work.
This is the definition of ‘get-rich-quick’ schemes which rob you of true happiness and riches.
If you want to retire at the beach, think about becoming a life guard instead, or a scuba diver. That way you can enjoy the beach all day.
But the second part of work is getting paid. Which brings us to the next question
What’s the true nature of money?
Money is not a ‘thing’ that exists on it’s own. Money is just some paper printed with a bunch of number and a signature on it. It does not have any intrinsic value.
Gold, and silver have intrinsic value. You can melt gold and use it in other forms. You can make jewelry out of it, or you can use it in microchips.
But not money, money doesn’t have intrinsic value.
Money is ONLY a convenient medium of exchange between two people.
So what are the two people exchanging – their work products.
You do some work and get paid for it. The other person does some work that you pay for.
What have you exchanged?
You’ve exchanged your work for his work… and if you go one step further…
You’re exchanging your life to be able to do work. So effectively you’re trading your life every time you buy something.
This is important because every time you ask someone to ‘pay’ for your hobby; you’re asking them to trade their life. If you understand this you will be able to make money a lot faster.
But let’s look at
How To Make Money By Pursuing Your Passion
Here’s how you make money by pursuing your passion… but you can only do this if you’ve been 'doing' your hobby everyday for at least 6 months.
Chances are if it is your hobby, you already have been doing this for 6 months, but if you’re just picking up a hobby – go practice it for 6 months first.
The reason; so you will have gone through the tough times that most newbies go through.
You will realize for yourself what works, and what doesn’t. You will know how to overcome obstacles and be able to speak to them.
But let’s assume that you’ve been practicing your hobby for the last 6 months… this puts you in the 5% of people who actually have taken the time out to learn something.
What this means is that 95% of people who want to do the things that you love to do, don’t know anything about how to do this.
They don’t even know that they need to schedule their time, prepare a space, get ready to do it every day…
Most people just think about ‘winging it’ when the pick up a new hobby. And without a detailed plan for them to learn this new hobby, get nowhere.
Your job now is to help these people learn what you’ve learnt in the last 6 months.
1. Start by starting a YouTube, a blog, a Meetup group, or a podcast. Don’t worry; you’re not trying to the best out there, but the beginner helping other beginners.
2. Start creating one video, blog, event, or podcast each week. Don’t overthink this step.
Your information and knowledge matters.
Not the way it look, or sounds, or the way you look or sound. All those things you can fix later – for now you need to get going.
3. Keep doing your hobby, and teaching other people every new thing that you learn for the next 3 months.
Don’t ask for money.
Just help other people.
If they ask you a question, answer it with sincerity. If they need help, help them. If they want to talk to you, talk to them.
Be super, super helpful.
4. Ask them what their biggest frustration, problem; obstacle is to learning what you’re teaching them.
Then solve this frustration. You might know how to solve this, or you might have to learn.
Either way, figure it out and solve this problem. Now you’ve got their trust, you’ve demonstrated that you can help; you’re a friend, an ally.
5. Create a simple two page website and start collecting email addresses. This website is a landing page that tells them that you can solve their biggest problem in step 4, and then gives them the solution for free as a download for exchange for the email address.
6. This email list is your most important asset. You will use this to build a relationship with your prospects, and find out how you can help them out in the future.
Additionally, now when you upload a new video etc, sent the list an email that you’ve put it up and send them a link to this video. Keep doing this until you get to 100 subscribers.
7. At 100, send out a survey asking them what are their top 3 frustration, and what the top 3 best results they are looking.
Then create a coaching program for them that helps them achieve the result they want while avoiding the top 3 frustrations, ask them to pay $197 to be in this coaching program.
8. Most people won’t take the coaching program – maybe 1 or two will. Coach them, and then ask them for a testimonial.
Use this testimonial the next time you launch the program. Repeat steps 6 – 8 every quarter for the next 12 months. Keep doing this.
9. The more you do this the better you will get, and the bigger you will become. But you have to do this.
It will take you some time to get to 100 subscribers, but from there it will take you less time to get to 1,000 – then to 10,000. And before you know it you will be making more money from your hobby then you do from your job.
10. Now it’s time to quit. But only after you’re making twice as much money from your hobby as you did from your job.
Because your job is paying for the office you use, the electricity at work, the facilities, and still paying you. When you go out on your own you need to think about these things.
So here’s what you do next.
Pick up a piece of paper and write down the 3 things you’re most passionate about, your favorite hobbies.
These are typically the things that you’re currently paying for.
Then figure out which one hobby excites you the most. This is the one that you’re going to focus on for now.
Create a space for this hobby where you will work on it, and schedule it in your calendar.
Up And At 'Em.