When I wrote the book ‘Love your Mondays and retire young’, the idea was to help business owners and corporate employees feel more fulfilled in their professional lives. I met so many corporates who felt ‘stuck’ in their lives. The idea mentioned in the book was simple – find what you love to do and then find someone who will pay you to do what you love to do.
I totally believe that only a few people indulge in self-education and live an aware life. Most people are chasing entertainment to escape from the problems in their professional and personal lives.It is human tendency to avoid people and situations that make them think about life. Instead, they’re happy to talk about movies, sports, scandals, scams, shopping, vacation, dating and celebrities.
For those willing to change their work-philosophy, and those who want follow their passion without struggling financially, I believe the knowledge on how to build systems will surely help them.
1. Find what you love to do: Finding what you love to do is as important as finding who you love. Our parents and previous generations were not that lucky when it came to choosing the profession they wanted to pursue. The economies were not so open and the world was not as connected. Today, there is a job or a business for everything under the sun. As long as your goals add value to the society, you should chase them. People who do what they love to do, lead a happier existence. To find what you love to do, think about the things that come effortlessly to you. They could be as diverse as painting, dancing, photography, mathematics, physics, economics or music, etc.
2. Build skills around it: Just because you love something does not mean you will be successful at it. Finding what you love is just the first step. What determines your success is how skilled you are in implementing your passion. Sign up for coaching to master the skills you need to monetise your passion. I can say this without any hiccups that we all are just three or four core skills away from success in our respective professions. The problem is, we never bother to find out those skills and even if we do, we are lazy to master them. Make sure you are not lazy with mastering the skills of communication and selling. Nothing works till you learn how to sell or market your ideas. Get all the possible education you need related to your industry.
3. Build a system around it: It’s sad to see talented people suffer financially. Have you ever seen any singer, actor, dancer or photographer who are great at what they do and, yet, are broke? I bet you have. Money is needed for survival. It does not matter whether you get it by doing what you love or by doing what you hate, what matters is that you need it. Artists usually struggle at the concept of commercialisation because our education system rarely touches the topic to the extent it should.
Do you think Salman, Shah Rukh and Aamir Khan are the best actors in our country? Do you think Starbucks makes the best coffee in the world? You know the answer, right? All these successful megastars and billion-dollar corporations have figured out the system formula. They may not be the best, but they have the products and selling mechanism ready. They own the value chain end to end and, thus, make a lot of money.
Shiamak Dawar and Ashely Lobo are dancers, but they are entrepreneurs too. When you build a system, you control the game by designing the rules in your favour. The system is fair only to the owners not the participants. Build products that can fetch you recurring income. If you are a business owner never, I repeat never, stay self-employed. Self-employed people burn out faster than any employee or business-owner. Do what you do best and then delegate the rest.
4. Get your work ethics right: Be street-smart, but also be known for your ethics. It does not matter what profession you are in, always aspire to belong to the top 1 per cent group. I know a lot of people who work only as much as their profession demands. They never go the extra mile, thus, they stay in the crowd of average performers. Never be part of the average, and always try to raise your game. If your current employer does not reward your hard work, never stop working hard. If you keep improving yourself, you will outgrow your current role and move to the next role within or outside your company. Read as much as possible about your profession and be known for your work.
5. Understand the megatrends: Automobiles killed the rail road, mobile phones killed pagers, computers killed typewriters, smartphones are killing landlines, aggregator taxis are killing traditional ways of transport, emails destroyed postal systems, Whatsapp killed text messages, e-commerce is killing the brick and mortal business models, it goes on. Be cognizant of the disruption in your industry. People who do not innovate their business models or upgrade their skills, get destroyed by disruption. Smart people bring their hearts and heads to their passion and, thus, become successful. Be agile and quick in decision-making. Learn what the top earners in your profession are doing. Place bets on the future, not on the past or the present.
6. Be patient and never give up: You must learn how to stick to what you love in life. The relationship will not always be hunky-dory. There will be phases when you feel like quitting. You prove yourself right whether you expect little or more from yourself. You cannot solve any problem or challenge, if you think you cannot solve it. It does not matter how easy of difficult it is in reality. Once your brain sanctions the ‘shut-command’, nothing moves. A couple of bad years in your professional life does not mean you give up on your goals forever. Life is a marathon, thus, learn to prepare accordingly. Have fall-back options, part-time options in place. A warrior does not mind losing a few battles to win the war. Survival and self-preservation is your first duty. If you cannot follow your passion for 10 hours every day, make sure you at least follow it for 1 hour every day. If you cannot follow your passion on weekdays, make sure you follow it on weekends. Keep the momentum and keep moving forward. You never know when the next opportunity will show up. Be prepared for it, when it comes.
If you remember these six principles, your passion will reward you with the dream life you want. But remember, follow your passion but do not be an emotional fool