5 Ways To Make Money AND Keep Your Passion Going

Passion versus money — The ongoing struggle

Have you been struggling with trying to make money from your passion and risking losing that very passion along the way?

In my former life (about 6 years ago) I was exposed to the world of Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP). It changed my life, helped me work through some stuff that was going on for me in my life leading up until that point, and I consequently certified as a master NLP practitioner and trainer.

I then went out to the world on a mission to use these newfound life-changing skills, and a crazy passion for personal development, to try and help others by being a life and career coach.

I got some clients, had some wins, and then asked myself “can I really do this full-time?”

So I tested it.

I took on 10 pay-what-you-can clients and was coaching a few times a day, a few days a week, for an entire month.

I learnt a few things:

  1. I could make money coaching and I did.
  2. Coaching multiple people on the same day, although energising during the session, took a heck of a lot of energy out of me, and I felt deflated at the end of the day.
  3. I liked coaching but I didn’t like being someone else’s accountability (and also the excuse for why they might fail to make progress, which actually happened with a client I had to fire — and that really sucked bigtime). My belief is that somebody who has a powerful enough “WHY” (see step 1 below) will be motivated internally so will hold themselves accountable to their vision and results. These are the clients that I choose to work with. (It’s ok to get an accountability buddy for support but don’t completely rely on one for your own success is all I’m saying!)

After it was all said and done I got burnt out during that experiment.


Fast forward 8 months and good friend of mine Dev Singh, a really great branding expert and business coach, asked me a question:

“Do you love the act of coaching or do you love building a coaching business?”

I realised that my passion was in sitting down and coaching people, talking about their challenges in business (specifically marketing) and helping them move past it.

I did not like the business side of it — specifically chasing potential clients, doing 30–120 minute “discovery” sessions that had most people walk away feeling better and gaining clarity about themselves but most of which did not become paying clients.

So be honest with yourself now:

Do you love your passion or do you love building a business around that passion? (tweet this)

To be successful making a living doing what you love you’ll need both.

I did not enjoy the administrative side of the business — fooling around with wordpress for my website, invoicing clients, managing emails, and everything else that you have to somehow do when you’re a one-person team.

So I realised when Dev asked me that great question that my ideal situation would be to have someone else (or company or system) handle the business growth and admin side of things, and they would simply put clients in front of me so that I could do what I enjoyed — serving people with my wide array of skills (coaching being one of them).

This was a huge wakeup call for me.

Living your passion, and creating a business around your passion are two different things. (Tweet this)

It’s been a few years since that experience and I’ve since been hanging out, and working for an amazing coworking space in Sydney, participating in hackathons, interviewing small business experts on my podcast, and learning from hundreds of entrepreneurs over the years about what it really takes to grow a successful business.

I also want to make it clear that there is a psychological price of entrepreneurship that I feel isn’t talked about nearly enough, and that working for yourself is NOT freedom in the way that many Instagrammers would have you believe.

… if you’re building a startup because you want a work-life balance and total freedom and hours of R&R time, I have some bad news. You’re not going to make it. ~ Jon Westernberg

So keeping all of this in mind, I can now truly say that I’m just as passionate about the process of building my own business as I am about helping creatives get better quality clients online by working through their marketing challenges.


So how do you make sure you don’t kill your passion by trying to monetize it? Here’s what I’ve learnt…

5 Tips For Making Money AND Keeping Your Passion Going

  1. Connect to your WHY and become a great leader who inspires action.

2. Surround yourself with amazing people who can help you create your vision because it’s their vision too.

This is why I created my own online community of like-minded creative entrepreneurs, career changers, rebels and absolutely inspiring people who I interact with on a daily basis. We support each other, share our challenges and wins, and push each other to become better.

Supercharge Your Business Workshop April 2016 — Team work makes the dream work. A big thank you to my amazing team — without you life & business just wouldn’t be the same, and nowhere nearly as fun or rewarding. You’re all superstars!

3. Create and leverage systems, tools, people and processes. Take the pain and frustration out of the various parts of doing business that frankly you shouldn’t be doing because you’re not the best person to be doing those things. Learn to delegate and outsource.

4. Get clear on who your ideal client is and then be laser-focused with your marketing. When you speak to everyone you’re actually speaking to no-one.

5. Test, challenge and validate all assumptions on an ongoing basis with the actual people who are going to pay you to do what you’re on this planet to do (and are passionate about doing).

6. BONUS Tip: Create side projects that nobody will ever see. Why? Because passion comes from doing things that we are compelled to do, and often it has nothing to do with money.

Challenge yourself, the next time you feel a creative impulse around an idea, to tinker away with zero intention of sharing the end result. What would you write, build, or develop if you knew no one was watching? If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound? When it comes to creative side work, the answer is yes. ~ Belle Beth Cooper

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