When Your Passion’s Unprofitable


 

Abstract:
 

In my work, I talk to a lot of people about their passions. When I point out that in my opinion, passions should be front and centre in life, a lot of them answer with a variation of: “That sounds great, but you see, my passion just isn’t profitable.”
 

Experience shows that a passion-centered life always provides for your needs. If this sounds vague, it’s because the actual path looks different for each individual, as my Coaching clients show. Here are some example to get your imagination going!
 
 

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Essentials in life

 

When people think of essentials, they think about paying bills. Ask yourself if you would still need a big house and car if you were outrageously happy and fulfilled?
 

This is not to say material riches are bad. What I’m saying is that people get the order of things wrong. If you focus on the material first, you’ll get stuck on that level; when you focus on passion, the material will follow.
[bctt tweet=”If you focus on the material first, you’ll get stuck on that level; if you focus on passion, the material will follow.”]
An example is a friend of mine who left a well-paying career to follow her passion for travel and became a tour guide for a few years. Now she considers starting her own tour company, which could potentially be very profitable.
 

passion centered
 

Manifold paths

 

It’s not always as straightforward as selling what you create with your passion, or the service you provide. One of my previous clients followed her passion for the history of her country into a career and now leads a cultural heritage centre. Others reduce the “necessities of life” like jobs to a minimum, in order to be able to fully focus on their passion.
 

Some actually do find their passion profitable. This often requires a lot of work on things like self-esteem so you don’t undercharge people just because you love your work. Earning money doing what you love should be the norm, not an exception.

4 Steps To Take If There’s Never Enough Time/Money

never enough

There are people who always rush around. “Lots going on!” is there every other sentence. They’re involved in a million different activities, and while every one of these activities sounds great, they seem to be piling up to an overwhelming workload.
 

Others are always strapped for cash. I used to be one of those. In fact, I’ve currently taken on a big financial commitment which strains my finances and will continue to do so until June. Sometimes it takes me back to the way I used to feel, all the time. Then I remind myself that I’ve indeed learned my lessons and am doing this willingly! It was different years ago, when I had no control over my finances at all and there was never enough.
 

You probably know at least one person who never has enough time or money. Maybe you’re like that yourself? When you look around yourself, do you perhaps wonder how others manage to make big purchases, or take time to create art or get a lot done? And at the same time, you seem to be permanently behind schedule, disorganised, and a little out of breath? Or alternatively, there seems to be “a lot of month left at the end of the money” every time?
 

It might be time to find the root causes of this phenomenon. Once you know what you’re dealing with, you can take measures to turn things around.
 
 

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Don’t play the blame game

 

Obviously, everyone has had busy times in their lives, and unless you were born with the proverbial silver spoon in your mouth, you’ve likely been short of cash at least once, too. Neither is a reason for worry! It’s just when this becomes a chronic state of things that you should get suspicious.
 

If there’s never enough time or money in your life, it’s an indication of an underlying issue. It’s usually to do with beliefs we hold, either consciously or unconsciously.
 

Before I continue, it’s important for you to understand that you’re not “to blame” for what’s going on. Beliefs are usually formed in childhood and become second nature to us. Most of the time, we assume that what we believe is simply “reality”.
 

There’s a big difference between taking the responsibility to own your beliefs, and blaming yourself for them. Taking ownership means you’re in control. You’re empowered to change things. Blaming yourself is counterproductive and simply not fair. In other words, you couldn’t help creating those beliefs of yours, but you can refuse to continue giving them power over you.
 
 

Taking back control

 

The most effective way to get rid of self-sabotaging beliefs is to replace them with functional ones. You can do this by following the steps below.
 

  1. Identify your belief by watching your thought and speech patterns. Do you always say you can’t afford something? Are you always “in a hurry”? The phrases you most often use around the subjects of time or money, are likely expressions of your belief.
  2.  

  3. Challenge the belief. Ask yourself: “Is this really always true?” Find examples of when the belief clearly wasn’t true. For example, if you believe money is hard to come by, remember the time when you were given money for your birthday or got an unexpected pay raise or tax return. Undermine your dysfunctional belief as best you can.
  4.  

  5. For a space of about three weeks, challenge yourself every time you think or express your belief. Stop yourself immediately. Then speak (out loud, if at all possible) the belief you’d like to replace the dysfunctional one with. Example: “There’s never enough ti… -stop! I mean, I choose not to make the time for this right now.”
     

  6. To speed up the process, you can also use your new belief as an affirmation. At least twice a day, say your new belief out loud. Be sure it’s in the present tense and contains only positive words, as your subconscious can’t distinguish between “will” and “won’t”. For example, make it: “I have plenty of money” rather than “I’m not broke”.

 

Remember, it takes a minimum of 21 days to create a new habit, and the same goes for establishing a new belief. In the beginning, you’ll feel like you’re lying when you speak your new belief. Stick with it, and you’ll notice that it starts to feel like the truth after a while.
 

In order for the changes to stick, you need to follow up your inner work with action in the real work. Learn time management and money management and commit to putting them into practice. Life is too short to deal with a constant state of lack.

Abundant Funds For Your Passions

Funds for your Passion, Money for Passions

Wait – didn’t I just tell you a few weeks ago that my accounts are in the red?
 

Full disclosure: Yes, I did. I also said that it’s no accident and there’s nothing scary about this. Since getting educated about finances, I’ve taken control of my money, and the current situation was very much calculated. I know exactly what I’ll do to pay everything back. What’s more, I won’t have to sacrifice any of my passions for it!
 

Just the other day, I reflected on how lucky I am to have this luxury now. How good it feels to be secure. And I also thought that I should share a few of the things I’ve learned.
 

How would you like to always have funds for your passions, without “frugality” and making sacrifices? How would you like to never worry about money again?
 

It’s impossible to teach you the entire system in one article. What I can do, however, is give you a few concrete steps which will put your finances on a solid foundation. Get ready.
 
 

 
 

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Scarcity or abundance?

It’s impossible to talk about money without talking about mindset. If this sounds a little too “woo-woo” for you, please bear with me! Like everything to do with Coaching, mindset changes are proven to generate measurable results. We’ll get to more hands-on steps in a minute, but in order for those to work, you need to do the inner work first.
 

See, my problem with money-related advice, books, or even Pinterest boards, is that most of them focus on where to save and how to use coupons and the like. They share advice about a frugal life. My goal has never been to live frugally – I want to enjoy abundance!
 

This is why my approach is different. As I suggested in this article, learn to receive money with gratitude, even if it’s just a few cents. Spend without grudging; send out money with your love instead. It really makes a huge difference. Mindset is all about habits, and if you habitually associate happy, grateful, abundant emotions with the handling of money, your money will become more abundant and happiness-inducing.
 
 

Funds for your passions

 

Let me make one thing clear: When we’re talking about passions here, I don’t mean just hobbies. It’s fashionable these days to talk about anything you vaguely enjoy doing as a “passion”. What I’m referring to is something which truly lights you up, which connects you to yourself on a deep level, something you could do all day.
 

The distinction is important because only a true passion will stand the money-test. It works like this.
 

Part of your monthly budget is a “Passion Fund”. Now if you need to learn about budgets, then really look no further than my Wild Money program, which includes a tailor-made budget for your unique financial situation. The short of it is that you budget something like 10% of your earnings to your passion. It won’t be a problem because you’ve also got at least 5% “Play” money to blow on silly things and spontaneous purchases, whilst necessities like clothes and food are taken care of by a different part of your budget.
 

Here’s an example: I’m currently saving up for a new bow (archery is one of my main passions). If I get tempted to spend that money on, say, a blouse, all I need to do is ask whether I’d actually enjoy the blouse more than the gorgeous bow. The answer is, of course not! It’s almost laughable. This is why it’s so important that your passions are true passions and not just hobbies. That way, you can be sure they’ll pass the test every time.
 
 

Your passion budget

Remember, you’re supposed to create abundance, not frugality! So include some Play money in your budget and also something to give – if you’re stuck for cash, start with something like 5 or 10 bucks a month. Donate those to a charity of your choosing or buy presents for a loved one. Play money is for yourself.
 

Together with the above mindset exercises, this will create a general feeling of abundance and financial security in you. It takes a while to shift, but you’ll definitely feel the difference. The passion budget is another step in the right direction, as it allows you funds for your passions to pay for equipment, tuition, even travel, depending on how much money you dedicate.
 

Money that’s cherished and enjoyed, tends to attract more money. If you’re truly trying to build abundance in your life, try joy and passion, rather than frugality. The results are dramatic every time.

3 Steps To Dramatically Change Your Finances Through Focus

finances focus

I’m not exactly rich right now. Two years ago, I’d finished paying off old debts and made a conscious decision to live and to pursue my passions. What followed were a few major expenses. I got my teeth fixed (around 3,000 EUR) and enrolled in business courses (2,700 EUR). I finally got into traditional archery and swordfighting (for which I bought equipment far exceeding 1,000 EUR).
 

Add to that the fact that I took a substantial cut in salary when I downsized my life, plus a few unforeseen expenses, and you have a fairly skint Sibylle who once again owes some money. Yet when I think back to the time I went broke in 2004, I realise it couldn’t be more different this time around.
 

For one thing, I owed a lot more back then. But the main difference is that I had no idea about finances and no idea how to deal with the mess. I was scared and helpless. Now, while my finances are a little strained, I still know exactly what’s going on. I went into this knowingly and don’t regret a single expense, because they were all necessary for my well-being and/or happiness. Most of all, I know without a shadow of a doubt, how and when I’ll have every last penny paid back and a comfortable financial “cushion” once again.
 

In short, I’m now educated about finances. I’ve also developed something which enhances everything in life, including finances: focus.
 
 

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Finances revolutionised

 

To learn about finances, I spent years going to workshops around the world and doing every program offered online. I read dozens of books on money management and found through trial and error, which of the systems I learned made sense. Therefore, I regularly write about money in the newsletter, and I hope with all my heart that it’s helpful.
 

The most important thing about finances is to tackle them on two fronts: Money management, which is about knowing where your money goes and how to budget it, is step 1. Step 2 is a mindset which is as free as possible from learned ideas about money being scarce, or only coming to bad, greedy people, and all these other things we pick up from childhood onwards.
 
 

Where is your focus?

 

You’ve probably heard about the law of attraction, which states that you manifest in your life whatever you focus on. Focus is what occupies your mind most of the time. Now with an average of 6,000 thoughts that each of us has every day, it’s practically impossible to police this process. Fortunately, there’s a shortcut: Your emotions, which are caused by your thoughts.
 

Ever felt pretty good, and then you remembered something awful someone said to you, or your child being bullied, and after a minute or two you feel awful? Nothing outward happened, you just thought of something negative, and it changed everything.
 

To find out where your focus is, check in with your emotions. Set 3-4 alarms on your phone throughout the day. Whenever you hear the alarm, ask yourself how you feel. If the answer is anything other than: “Wonderful!” at least half the time, your focus is not on things that make you happy.
 

If you consciously adjust your thoughts 3-4 times a day, you will form a habit over time. Think thoughts of gratitude, or think of someone you love. It takes a while, so stick with it for at least a month or two! The change will be dramatic.
 
 

Make it work for your finances

 

Here’s how you can use the above process in relation to your money situation.
 

1. When you “check” in, specifically ask yourself how you feel about your finances. If you feel awful, or even just uncomfortable, your focus is likely on bills, expenses, or debts. Adjust this towards thinking of the money you receive, however little it is.
 

2. Create a “giving” fund of ideally about 5% of your income. If you can’t afford it, start with 10 or 20 bucks a month. Donate these to a cause close to your heart. Whenever you do this, send along your love.
 

3. Also check in with how you feel whenever you spend money. If you feel anxious or worried, stop yourself. Say: “I happily give xxx EUR/$ for this” or, as Marie Forleo suggests: “There’s more where that came from.”
 

These may seem like small steps, but they will turn around your focus. You’ll move away from scarcity and regret, and towards abundance and security. Your cash flow will follow.

One Question To Ask If You’re Always Short Of Money/Time

Short of Money and Time

One thing I love about Coaching is that it’s a gentle discipline. It’s the most powerful tool I know of to completely revolutionise and transform a life, but it doesn’t usually need to use harsh methods to accomplish this. Very occasionally, though, my Coach can be a little in-your-face about things.
 

There was one time when I hit a wall with my beliefs about money, beliefs I’d carried since childhood, which were seriously limiting my financial abundance back then. I had worked on them before but like a boomerang, the beliefs came back around and hit me in the face. Then my Coach asked something monumental:
 

“How does being broke serve you? What about it makes you so reluctant to let it go?”
 

My first reaction was protest. This was ludicrous: Being broke is awful, I don’t choose to be short of money! As I sat and thought about it, though, I realised that parts of me were ashamed to rise above so many of my equally skint friends, and worried I’d lose them if I became wealthy. I also felt like I was trying to be more than my family have ever been.
 

Ouch!
 

Of course, you may not have these beliefs at all. However, if you’ve been struggling with your finances for more than a year or so, chances are you’re getting something out of it. The same goes if you’re constantly pressed for time, always stressed, always busy.
 
 

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The hidden benefit

 

A heads-up before I say any more: You’re likely to feel a lot of resistance about this, just like I did that time with my Coach. I invite you to bear with me for a moment and just remain open to the possibility. Can you do that?
 

With this openness, look at your life. Is there anything that you know doesn’t serve you? Any external circumstance that just seems inevitable, that you’ve been unable to shift? There might be “really good reasons” for it, but don’t dismiss it, please. If you know it doesn’t serve you and it’s still there, it’s a candidate for what I call hidden benefits.
 
 

Which one is you?

 

Ask yourself how this annoyance serves you. Here are some examples of what you might come up with, but in truth, your reasons might look completely different, so simply take these as inspiration:
 

  • Always being stressed and having too much on your plate makes you feel accomplished and in charge. It gives you the good feeling that you’re doing something in your life, that you’re going places.
  • Having no time keeps you in that comfortable place where you can say you’ll pursue your passion just as soon as the “busy period” is over (though in reality, it never seems to be over at all), without having to face the scary aspects of actually going for your dreams.
  • Being short of money can have the same effect: You’ll pursue your passion and live your dreams once you can afford it. By staying broke, you won’t have to actually step up and do it, risking failure, disappointment, and change.
  • You may have grown up in an environment that looks down on people with money, so you’re subconsciously making sure not to become one of the “filthy rich”.
  • You may have grown up with values that include hard work, and internalised the belief that you’re only a successful human being if you always keep busy.
  • You’re afraid your friends will think you’re greedy and not really passionate about what lights you up, if you start making money from your passion.

 

Discomfort is your friend

 

How do you move past these ingrained beliefs? I have to admit that I wouldn’t be able to do any of this without my Coach, so if you’re having a hard time with it, I warmly recommend getting some support! In any case, finally leaving behind what doesn’t serve you will require you to leave your comfort zone behind.
 

Find actions which make you uneasy around the area where you’re stuck. If you’re downright afraid to do something, or simply “don’t feel like it” for no obvious reason, although it might advance what you really want, you need to buckle down and do it. Warning, this is really, really uncomfortable! It’s also the No. 1 reason why so many people get stuck in situations they hate.
 

It requires discipline, a lot of self-love, and persistence, but you can change your finances and how much free time you have. Stick with it, and you’ll surprise yourself with how much easier it gets after only a short time.