Make What You Love What You Do: Earn a Living from your Purpose

Are you living your true purpose or are you following a path set by someone else? Sometimes it is difficult to know. Maybe you just fell into an occupation and haven’t had the drive to leave it, or maybe you’ve been told since you were young what you should be when you grow up, but that doesn’t quite fit with the person you have become. Quite often what we are doing to make a living is hard to change, even if it isn’t providing the fulfilment we desire. We think we have no other choice or we don’t have the self-confidence to try something new.

Some people seem to have a well-defined sense of purpose, while others struggle to find out what it means to them and how they can best express themselves in this life. In this article, we will define purpose as doing the thing you love, the thing that feels, well, right. It could be something as clear as being a healer- a doctor maybe or a counsellor. It could be more abstract, such as creating beauty in the world. The feeling that binds us all to our purpose, though, is love. When we are living it, we are loving ourselves and loving those around us- we are bringing love into the world. Possibly this is why many of us struggle to make money from our purpose. How can Purpose, which is often intangible, be turned towards the mundane task of making money, basic security, survival even?

It can be a big jump to finding our true purpose and the decision to make a career out of it, but if we do not make that jump life can often feel rudderless and the feeling that something is missing dogs us.

That is what living our purpose brings- a sense of meaning, of direction, an innate feeling of life clicking into place. To find your purpose doesn’t mean that it is plain sailing all the way, but when we are expressing our true selves through what we do in the world, the challenges and setbacks become a part of the process rather than feeling like insurmountable burdens.

I spoke to Carrie Smith, a vocal coach who runs the Secret Vocal Academy and BrightSky member. She took the plunge twenty-one years ago to live her purpose. Stuck in a bad marriage and a job she hated, but with an interest in self-improvement and inquiry, she read a book on how to change your life in seven days and then actually did it. She realised, after reading the book that she was a singer, that was her purpose. She left her job, joined a band and ended up with top ten hits and international tours. But the music industry came with its challenges, and after doing this for ten years, she left the band to teach others how to sing.

“I’m a strong believer in the idea that you should only do things that make you happy as long as you’re not hurting others. I was sick of the politics within the music industry. Being a woman was always a fight, and I wanted to do something that would make me happy every day. I have always loved teaching as much as I loved performing, so I took the plunge and changed my life again, teaching the thing I loved to others and helping them to use their voice to improve their confidence.”

Carrie’s story is one of courage and commitment, and these are the two things we require most to live our purpose. We need to know ourselves well enough to envisage what we want and not what the world tells us we should want, and we need to believe that we deserve it. It can take some self-exploration to reach this point and is not always an easy journey, but once you’ve done the work the rewards from finding your purpose are invariably worth it. At BrightSky, we can help with that journey. We have support groups and a listings site with numerous life coaches and therapists to help you find your path and stay on it. Having a community around you to support you in living your purpose is one of the most important elements to success.

While you are finding out what the best path to take is, here are some tips on how to make a living from your purpose.

Spend some time to work out what your purpose is

Talk it through with a friend or a therapist. A great tool to finding your purpose is to do an Ikigai exercise, using a system akin to a four-part Venn diagram Ikigai is a Japanese concept that means, ‘a reason for being.’ And the simple task of filling out the chart can give deep and meaningful insights into who we are and what we should be doing in life.

Find a job in your chosen field

This may sound difficult but could be easier than you think. Do you love painting? What about a career as a graphic designer? Do you love cooking? There are a lot of home bakery businesses popping up during lockdown. Once you know what your purpose is it can be simpler than you think to find a career in that field.

Teach it

The purpose might be something that isn’t as easily transferable to making money. Not all of us can be like Carrie and have a top ten album, but her switch to teaching the thing she loves could be a viable option for you too. The act of teaching itself can be a rewarding purpose, especially if you are teaching what you love.

Write or Speak about it

If teaching isn’t for you, there are other ways you can impart your knowledge. If you love writing, what about creating a blog on how you’re living your purpose or if you’re good at talking and have a story to tell then plenty of companies are now bringing in inspirational speakers to talk to their employees.

Selling products

Selling products online is easier now than it ever was, sites like Esty can be a gateway to a global market, and they promote handmade products from artisan sellers. You can also promote your online shop in BrightSky Business Directory. So if you are an artist, you could design gift cards or sell handmade jewellery. Be creative with your creativity!

Study it

Your purpose may be something that you need to study before you can earn an income from it. For example, training to be a counsellor is now easier than ever. Courses can be taken online and outside of the daily working hours. Build on your knowledge before you take the plunge to have your purpose as your career.

Find a Support Network

Starting up your own business or changing your field of work can be challenging, but if you have a network to support you in the journey it makes it all the more possible. At the BrightSky Virtual Networking Meetings which happen every Friday at lunchtime, you get to hang out with like-minded individuals and at the same time advance your professional development and business. Plus it’s free!

Find out more about what Carrie does: https://www.secretvocalacademy.com/

Find out more about the BrightSky Events HERE

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