Over 40? Make your passions
Work for you!
By Craig Nathanson
The Vocational Coach
Why is this important?
Making your passions WORK for you is important because your
happiness MATTERS and makes a difference in your life.
Waking up to a day you really look forward to can make all
the difference in your world.
It can be even better: Imagine waking up day after day to the
work you love to do. After we turn forty, things change. If
we admit it to ourselves, deep inside we wish we could do more
with our lives. Our concerns usually center around our work.
At this stage of life, we tend to give up our dreams and settle
on doing just a job and hope one day to finally do what we love
when we retire.
But will that day ever come?
Where do you stand?
Do you know what you are passionate about?
Are you working at what you are passionate about?
If you didn’t answer “yes” to both questions,
you have more to do. Many people over forty just assume it’s
too late. They feel society’s pressure to slow down, conserve
Are you saving too much?
Recent research by a small group research institution suggests
that Americans are currently saving too much.
The report suggests that we should get more out of our money
while we are young. Otherwise, we risk losing opportunities
to enjoy what we have vs. saving for when we’re older.
Of course this advice would be frowned on by almost every financial
firm—they have great ideas for using your money! Most
of these firms suggest the average person will need an annual
income equal to 75 to 86% of what he or she earned in their
final year of employment!
When you do what you love and have a lighter backpack,
you never need to retire!
What these firms don’t understand is that with a lighter
backpack, we can, in fact, work forever doing what we love and
come pretty close to the income we require. With vocation, there
is no final year of employment until one stops breathing!
What happens if you wait too long?
Your quality of life decreases. Life feels mundane, and your
goals no longer seem interesting. Your loved ones suddenly become
your scapegoats. You start to feel sluggish and you end up spending
too many hours on the couch watching mindless television.
Meet Joe Kasper of New York City
I recently interviewed Joe on my regular show, “How to
make meaning and money in mid-life”. Joe calls himself
“American’s diet coach”. Joe describes health
as his passion, and it shows! Joe walks his talk and it’s
catching. It is hard to listen to Joe and not feel anxious and
wanting to do something with your own life. Joe explains that
he was fired from 14 traditional jobs until he finally figured
out that he was better working for himself than for other people.
Joe’s excitement was so contagious that he could probably
have had me believing in the Pet Rock again!
This is what happens when you surround yourself with people
who have made their passions WORK.
Meet Jennifer Wright of New Zealand
At age 47, Jennifer moved halfway around the world to make
her passion WORK. On another recent show, Jennifer told me that
her move, while very risky, proved to be the most magical thing
she ever did. It was just the perfect recipe for her, and today
she works with mid-life women to help them find meaning in their
own lives. How appropriate!
As I interviewed Jennifer, it reminded me that when a person
makes their passion WORK, they gain a new perspective of their
lives and what is possible.
Jennifer like Joe, had that extra kick in her voice, that little
giggle when describing what she does.
Yes, making your passion WORK can make you a bit giddy.
The first steps
Evaluate what you want. This is always the easiest and yet
the most difficult. This takes an honest self assessment. Find
out who else shares your passion and actually makes an income
doing what you love. You’ll be surprised what you discover.
For example, let’s say you love building model airplanes
but you need to make $ 75,000 a year. Not enough people to sell
airplanes to? No problem.
You could start your own store and call it, “Model Planes
for You”. You could work for a model plan manufacturer
as a sales rep to get started. You could start an internet site
as a place for model plane hobbyists to gather, getting revenue
from ads and other means. You could start a business organizing
model airplane parties for kids. You could offer team building
events to corporate America that involve building paper airplanes.
Attendees would see which group’s paper airplane flies
the farthest. Corporate America loves to spend money on this
kind of event!
[I can remember once going to a team building event where we
worked on building trust by being forced to fall off a ten-foot
ledge with a blindfold on so that our teammates could catch
us as we fell. When my teammates failed to catch me, I realized
it was time to go, but that’s another story!]
You might have several income-producing activities along with
perhaps working a couple of days a week at a local hobby store
to make ends meet in the short term.
Prepare to downscale
Sorry to disappoint you but I have seldom seen a person make
their passion WORK without some initial downscaling. This doesn’t
mean forever, just initially.
This might scare many baby boomers to run in the other direction—fast.
After all, what would we do without our SUV’s (and their
lease payments), our large mortgages and our retirement nest
Well, I guarantee we would be freer and lighter and better able
to explore new possibilities for making our passions WORK.
There is a difference
There is a difference between working hard so that one day
you can live your passions vs. making your passion WORK for
you right now.
Taking the next steps are, as always, up to you.
I’ll be cheering you on each step of the way!
Craig Nathanson is the author of P Is For Perfect: Your Perfect
and a coaching expert who works with people over forty. Craig’s
Discover and live your passion 365 days a year
is a workshop in a box designed
to help busy adults go insane with their work. Craig’s
the trademark "Ten P" process,’’ helps
people break free and move toward the
work they love. Visit Craig’s online community at www.thevocationalcoach.com
where you can take a class, get more ideas through Craig Nathanson’s
and CD’s, get some private coaching over the phone or
read other stories of
mid-life change and renewal.
Craig lives in San Anselmo, California. You can reach him at
415-457-0550 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Craig's Vocational Passion Newsletters are edited by Anita
Flegg at The Sharp Quill. The Sharp Quill -- www.sharpquill.com
-- specializes in writing and editing for small business. You
can see Anita's vocational story at http://www.thevocationalcoach.com/_vocational_community/_real_stories/story_anita.html
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