Unless you’re EXTREMELY fortunate, it’s quite likely you’ll have had experience of doing a job that’s – how shall I put it…. ‘less than enjoyable’!

Personally, I’ve had quite a few jobs I’ve absolutely LOATHED over the years! I’m talking here about jobs of the mind-numbingly boring variety (I’m thinking of you in particular Wrigley’s chewing gum factory!) where it was very much a case of just ‘going through the motions’ and ‘doing the 9 to 5’ purely to earn some money!

In the main, these were holiday jobs I had when I was a student – so at least they were only temporary! I often look back on these experiences with a mixture of nostalgia, amusement and horror – I STILL vividly remember the scene when the ‘whistle’ went at the aforementioned Wrigley’s factory and the workforce literally running out of the factory gates! The only way to avoid being trampled on in the rush was to join in and start running!

It was then I realised that what was a temporary drudge for me, was the full-time reality of working life for many others. It also made me realise – probably for the first time – how important it was when the time came to get a ‘proper job’, to choose something that provided me with a sense of personal fulfilment.

It’s something that’s stayed with me all this time

Because isn’t that what we ALL aspire to – fulfilling and purposeful work… work we’re passionate about… work that really lights up. Work we love.

Many of us spend a large part of our lives searching for this particular ‘holy grail’ and is what motivates many of us to start a business of our own in order to create an environment that ticks all the boxes of passion, purpose, potential and prosperity.

It took a long time but I now realise that is entirely possible to take a blank sheet and write your OWN specification for that work, based on who you are and what you love to do!

This realisation STILL gives me a thrill!

As a business coach working with talented women in their 50’s and 60’s I see how each and every one of us has amazing gifts and talents, but many of us don’t recognise our abilities as ‘gifts’. We mistakenly think that what comes naturally to us is also easy for everyone else. Consequently, we don’t appreciate how powerful or valuable these gifts are, or that we can use them to create a business we love.

Clarity is key!

I believe it’s possible for anyone to create a business that both honours what you have inside of you AND helps others…. and clarity is the key that unlocks it all!

All too often these things are often ‘hidden’ within us – it simply requires a healthy dose of self-awareness, to bring them out into the light:

  • Understand what’s important to you – your values, what you stand for and who you authentically are.
  • Know how to articulate this and be able to describe your authentic qualities, strengths, your personality, your ethos & style, what you’re passionate about and the vision that you have for what you want to achieve through your work.
  • Clarify, understand and appreciate what you uniquely have to offer: your knowledge, expertise and experience (both in life and work), your skills, your talents, your gifts, your achievements and lessons learned. Know, without doubt, and believe in, the value that you add simply by being who you are, with everything that makes up your unique brand of you-ness! This is absolutely crucial, because if you don’t understand and believe in your value, nobody else will!
  • Be clear about what you’d love to do… and what you wouldn’t! If you could spend all day every day doing something, what would it be? What would your ideal working day actually look? Decide what you want in terms of income, lifestyle, personal and professional development, interaction with other people, environment, hours, etc.

Once you have this type of clarity, it all becomes a whole lot easier

If you’re crystal clear on all of the above, especially with regard to who you authentically are, what you love to do and the value you add, you can then set about creating a work environment to match what you desire. After a lifetime of trying to match yourself to other people’s job descriptions, this can feel like a life-changing revelation!

Right here, right now, you already have something to offer.

You don’t need to be any more than you already ARE. You HAVE all the resources, power and potential within you right NOW, within your particular mix of talents, passion and experience.

Which on one hand is very good news but on the other, this clarity can be a frustratingly elusive thing to ‘uncover’. We cover ALL of this in the Inspiration Incubator programme so if you need a helping hand with this, do check it out.

Inspiration Incubator

It gently guides you through a step-by-step process to help you find tangible inner clarity about who you are and what you uniquely have to offer and shows you how THIS can be the basis of a purposeful, profitable business so you can create a life and make a living doing something you absolutely LOVE doing.

Because having a business in which you get to do the work you love, is not just the stuff of dreams – it’s a very real opportunity to transform your lifetime’s experience into something fulfilling, valuable and purposeful.

So You Want to Follow Your Passion?

‘Follow your passion!’

It has a wonderful ring to it doesn’t it? It sounds so enticing and seductive, it’s little wonder we latch on it as a mantra for the way forward! I mean, just imagine a world where we’re all following our passion and living our passion!

I regard myself as someone lucky enough to be doing exactly that – following and living MY passion – but I know it’s something that many of us think about and dream about without actually doing anything about it! (Been there… got the t-shirt!)

The thing is, when you don’t actually know WHAT your passion is, being told to ‘follow’ it is pretty frustrating advice! And even if you DO know what it is, making it a reality can often feel totally unattainable – and it’s pretty hard to follow something that’s so out of reach!

The world needs your passion!

Yes, the WORLD needs your passion. It NEEDS you to be doing the thing that light you up and makes you come alive.

The world needs you to FIND your passion!

So with such a LOT at stake, here’s a process to help you do exactly that, so you can get on with doing what you really want to do with your life AND make the world a better place at the same time!

It’s time for you to find it and name it so you can start living it.

Set your intention

If you’re reading this I’m guessing you’ve tried the ‘wait and see approach’! Let’s face it, it’s not exactly a reliable strategy is it… and it certainly isn’t fast!

If you want to manifest your dream, your first powerful step is to simply set your intention to do it. By doing this, you instantly make it clear to yourself and others that you’re ‘in the game’. It signifies commitment and announces to the universe ‘I’m serious about this’.

Honestly, it may sound simple but this is a fundamental and powerful first step towards realising your desired outcome. You may have heard different sayings which support this – ‘Energy flows where our attention goes’ and ‘What we focus on expands’ – or you may well have experienced the phenomenon yourself, where the act of simply stating your intentions seems to bring about opportunities to fulfill them. Intention produces focused energy and it is this you can harness and use to accelerate the achievement of your dreams and ambitions.

Adopt an open mind

If you start out convinced that finding your passion is hard or an unrealistic a pipe dream, you put yourself at an immediate disadvantage. After all, how can you expect to find your passion if you don’t really believe it’s possible?

Keep an open mind and be aware of and receptive to all those little signs, nudges and signals encouraging you to explore new possibilities. Be curious…. and be willing to be led by your curiosity and excitement.

Search for the clues

The thing to remember is this – your ‘passion’ is already there within you! Unfortunately, it doesn’t come in box with a label on it – you have to do some detective work and start searching for clues!

Look for clues

And the best place to start is by looking back as a way of helping you move forward.

As you look back over your life, you’ll notice that certain experiences stand out – some because they were positive, experiences… when you felt really happy, fulfilled and ‘in your element’, others because they were difficult and challenging – either way, they will have had a profound impact on the course of your life. It’s these experiences which are so valuable to delve into in the search for clues and insights.

Connect the dots

Make a list of the experiences that stand out and then look within them and try to extract the essential elements that lie at their core. Don’t be despondent if at first glance it all looks like an eclectic mish-mash of disconnected bits and pieces because once you have all the pieces in front of you it’s so much easier to connect the dots and piece it all together to create something unique and new – your very own Plan P.

join the dots

For example, when I went through this process it soon became clear that I was happiest and most fulfilled when I was ‘teaching’ but NOT as a classroom teacher or as an IT trainer (although both were good for a while). When I dug deeper and looked for the essential elements that lay at their core, I discovered things like connection, community, inspiration, support and empowerment. And it’s no surprise that those elements ALL feature strongly in my work now – but without the children or the playground duties!

Who would benefit from this?

Be alert to who might want and need your newly emerging passion, and start getting to know them so you can get clearer on what and how you can serve them.

If you want to generate an income doing what you enjoy and what you’re good at, then these are the questions you need to ask this question:

  • Who would benefit from this?
  • How could you use your passion to help make other people’s lives better?
  • Whose journey could you help shorten?

Get out and mingle

Whoever said ‘isolation is a dream killer’ was spot on! Trying to find inspiration huddling over a laptop is not something that’s ever worked for me! And let’s face it, family and friends aren’t always the best people to bounce ideas off!

What DOES work for me – and what I encourage my clients to do – is to get out and about and surround yourself with people who are living examples of what’s possible. Get yourself along to networking groups and meet-ups with like-minded others. There is nothing quite so encouraging, inspiring and energising as being in the company of those who are out there doing the very things you aspire to do – after all, if they can do it, so can you!

Be courageous!

What’s courage got to do with it you might ask. Well, when you find your passion and decide to follow it, you will, sooner or later (probably sooner!) come up against something with the power to stop you dead in your tracks! And that something is your own resistance. And it will offer you all kinds of ‘reasons’ why you shouldn’t, couldn’t or mustn’t set off on this journey.

So yes, it takes courage to embrace fear and uncertainty and to take the leap of faith required to follow your passion but remember, the world needs you in it doing the thing that brings you joy and lights you up…. that’s exactly what this world needs from you.  And there’s a you-shaped hole out there that desperately needs to be filled.

Need a helping hand to find your passion?

Still grappling to find a sense of direction so you can start creating something compelling for your personal and professional future? Check out details of the Inspiration Incubator (including a free preview!) – an online course that’s been designed specifically to actively help you explore and clarify a vision of what’s possible for you.

Linda’s Business Evolution 4 and a Half Years On

In Conversation with Linda Anderson

None of us know where our business journey will take us when we first set off, but one thing’s pretty certain – the business we start with won’t be the same as the business we end with!

“Part of the joy of the journey is being able to challenge yourself to do something you haven’t done before and see something new be created.”

Linda Anderson

It’s an ongoing evolution

I’m fascinated by this ever-evolving process and I love to watch how businesses develop and unfold over time, which is why I invited Linda Anderson, who first featured in the Prime Time Business Women in Action series over 4 and a half years ago, back for a second interview. (You can watch our first interview right here.)

Linda is an EFT Tapping Coach otherwise known as the Business Mindset Magician. She specialises in working 1-2-1 at a really deep level with coaches, healers and consultants to overcome self-doubt, procrastination and their fears around marketing and sales, so they get their gifts out into the world and build a thriving business doing what they love.

Linda’s business continues to go from strength to strength, so listen in to our conversation as we catch up with how things have evolved in the intervening years. Linda’s reflections and insights are ones we can all learn from.

Share your thoughts…

How has your business evolved over time? Do you have any tips to share about handling change? How have you changed since you became a business owner? What was the key take-away from our interview for you?

Feedback, comments or questions – all are welcome! Please leave them in the box below – I love to hear from you!

Prime Time Business Women in Action is a series of interviews with women sharing their experience of setting up a ‘later life’ business. I believe there is SUCH a lot we can learn from listening to each other stories so please, if you’d like to share your journey and your experience on this blog please get in touch.