“Live your passion. Do what you love. Help people. The money will follow.”
Important Note: The below post is a free chapter from Live Your Legend’s award-winning course Live Off Your Passion: An Unconventional Guide to Finding Passion and Building a Career around Doing Work You Love. I thought it’d give you a feel for what I built for all you. You can learn more about the full course here.
Creating Money from Passion…
Last night I watched a 20/20 episode on Generation Youtube.
I was so inspired I could hardly sleep.
Any of you looking for an adrenaline shot of inspiration for what’s possible, the above is very very worth your 38 minutes.
The show got me thinking, there are so many freaking ways to make money from things that interest you.
In fact, do you know what the most important ingredient was in all the case studies they profiled of people killing it on YouTube?
Was it experience? No.
Was it fame? No.
Was it education? No.
The most important ingredient was that these people were massively interested and passionate about what they were broadcasting.
Whether it was the hot Czech woman giving Crossfit lessons, Salman Khan teaching algebra, an 18-year old teaching girls how to properly apply mascara, the Boston College grad doing comedy or Obama Girl talking about her crush on the President, they all had an unstoppable fire in their belly.
Seeing all this got me thinking two things:
1. The world is drawn to people sharing their passion – We have got to spend more time doing the things that excite us. The world will be better for it.
2. There are so many damn ways to make money doing what you love. You just have to pick one and go after it.
To give you a feel for what’s possible, I wanted to provide some ideas with the goal of getting you to immediately start making money from what excites you – I’m talking like tomorrow. These are not suggestions to get you to retire early or to kill it online. They are simply ways to make some form of money from your talents and interests.
The first hurdle in Living Off Your Passion is realizing it’s possible to get paid to do what you enjoy. To show yourself that you’re capable of helping people and they are willing to pay you for it. Whether it’s $1, $15, $100 or $1,000, the point is to make the massively huge leap from earning exactly ZERO from what you enjoy doing, to earning something.
People will find value in what you have to offer. But you’ll never know unless you start offering it.
10 Proven Actions You Can Take Today to Make Money from Your Passion Tomorrow (seriously, tomorrow):
1. Charge for an hour of work as a consultant. Find the people or businesses who desperately need your advice. Whether it’s social media, knitting or business strategy. People start businesses every day who don’t know the first thing about, well just about anything other than their specific business topic. Look around.
2. Charge for an hour as a coach. To be honest, there’s not much of a difference between a coach and a consultant but in our case let’s consider a coach someone who helps with personal, life topics, and a consultant someone who does more strategic and/or business work.
Go out and help someone declutter their house, maximize their schedule, get on a few more dates, lose 15 pounds – anything is fair game. Personal topics like these are massive pain points for just about everyone you cross paths with (no one’s perfect). People are very willing to pay for a solution. Who wouldn’t be?
Find the ones who genuinely need it. Send out an email to a group of friends asking if they know someone who needs help (people often won’t nominate themselves), call some of your passionate people and connectors, ask around your office, put up an ad on Craig’s List or mention it on your blog if you have one. You don’t need to mount a massive marketing effort, we’re just looking for one client.
The only difference between you and a coach or a consultant is they have a client. You can change that.
3. Host a seminar or workshop. Pick something that excites you or grab one of your most life-changing books. Outline the key messages and actions and make a simple powerpoint deck out of it. Then make a workbook to go along with it. I once did this for one of my most impactful books, How to Win Friends and Influence People. Everyone could use a refresher in stuff like that.
Promote the event the same way as mentioned above. Choose something really close to your heart that you constantly talk and learn about so that you don’t have to do much preparation (the more prep, the more likely you’ll put it off). Ideally a topic you could stand up and speak passionately about right now if asked to.
Worried about not getting enough participants? If you only get a few, then make it intimate. If you only get one? Looks like you got your first coaching client. Nice work.
4. Create a video interview series. Start interviewing inspiring people. Not only is it something other’s want to watch but you getting to interview and connect with rockstars is the best part. David Siteman Garland has done an exceptional job with this at The Rise to The Top. These could later be packaged up and sold as a stand alone product.
5. Create an online course. Have some fun with it like Jules Clancy’s Virtual Cookery School over at of Stone Soup. Or maybe make it simple and creative like Mondo Beyond’s dreaming big classes. Or go really deep like Jonathan Mead has done with Trailblazer or Corbett Barr with TrafficSchool, Adam Baker with You vs Debt and Lewis Howes with Video Traffic Academy. Develop these once and they make money for a long time to come.
6. Teach someone one-on-one. Tutor someone on a topic you know inside and out. Parents are always looking for the person who can provide a breakthrough for their child. Do it in person or better yet, get virtual with it. Check out eduFire, TeachStreet or Mindflash for teaching folks one-on-one or one-to-many. Start teaching one person at a time and then grow from there. You could also use these as a platform for the seminar you developed above.
7. Write a guide. Maybe it’s a PDF report or eBook. It doesn’t have to be that long as long as it is massively helpful. My buddy Leo of Zen Habits has been known to write a short, very specific, and super helpful eBook inside of a few hours. He can have it online in a matter of days and in his case, making big money from it.
You might even already have a lot of the content from what you’ve written on your blog, journal or elsewhere. If you have good stuff, use it. Don’t dwell forever on making it super long. Just focus on helping with one specific topic. Package it up and sell it. That’s exactly what I’m doing with How To Live Off Your Passion (although mine does happen to be a bit more in-depth).
8. Create a podcast. Put together a talk or interview and put it up with a price on it. Then promote it a bit. Either do this with new content or take your existing work and turn it into audio and upload it to iTunes. Pat Flynn has done a great job with this at Smart Passive Income.
9. Outsource yourself. Showcase your talents. Get a seller’s account on sites like Elance, Odesk and Fiverr.com. Fill out your bio and get your services on the market! Fiverr could be a fun, very easy and unintimidating place to start – everyone sells their services for five bucks. Even if someone doesn’t hire you right away, being on these sites is a huge credibility builder as you reach out and talk to others doing the things mentioned above. When you market your services, be sure to provide a link to your profiles on these sites (and any other work you have online). It will impress.
10. Film a video. These are best for visual tutorials like fitness or computer instruction. Amber Zuckswert has knocked it out of the park with her virtual pilates classes at Epic Self and Laura Roeder built a seven-figure business inside of two years by teaching non web savvy folks how to use Twitter and Facebook.
So there’s an idea or two to get you going…
“But I don’t have a massive blog following or audience!”
I know. I know. A lot of what I mentioned above involved the web. I couldn’t help myself with how much more leverage and reach you get online. But by no means do you have to start online. In fact sometimes it’s better not to so you can get a better feel for your audience and offering via face to face work.
Leo Babauta hammered this home in his recent post Become a God of Learning Your Trade. Online or off, the key is to throw things at the wall as fast as you can. See what sticks. Let the world tell you. Build accordingly.
But still, you say how is this useful if I don’t have an online following? Who will buy my stuff? First off, I bet you can find at least one person to buy what you have. Second, when it comes to the Internet, you don’t need an audience. You just need to know someone who has an audience.
If you’ve surrounded yourself with passionate people and found the right models I bet you know someone with an audience. Offer them 50% or more of the sales of your digital product and ask them to promote it. Do a free webinar or Q/A with their audience to get them fired up.
For just about every reason you come up with for why you can’t do something, there’s always someone who can figure out how you can. Be the optimist and get creative.
It all comes back to that first dollar.
Remember, the key with this exercise is not to make a fortune tomorrow, it’s to build confidence that you’re more valuable and in demand than you think. It’s designed to inspire and motivate yourself to take the all important first step.
Force yourself to make yourself marketable.
You’ll never start if you don’t ASK.
It’s time to start charging people.
A couple years ago I was a on a call with my business coach and we were discussing plans regarding growing and starting to make more money from the things I was creating.
I asked her for some ideas.
She calmly responded, “Scott I think it’s time for you to start charging people.”
My stomach immediately dropped as I spewed out all these fears and reasons why I couldn’t… and people wouldn’t… and what if…
She stopped me and said, “Scott, you’ve been spending the last 10+ years learning about these topics and helping everyone that approaches you. They’re getting results and they appreciate it. It’s time to start charing people.”
Eventually I started to get rational and began thinking through what this meant.
I had no idea what to start charging people. Or what specifically the offering would be.
She told me “just charge whatever you think will be a fair price for what you’re offering. The people who really need and want it will be happy to pay for it. If to you that means starting by charging $5 then so be it. If you think you’re worth $500, that’s fine too. You will know what’s right.”
That night I did some research on coaching rates from friends and mentors of mine and I wrote up a list of ways a I could help people. Then I listed it on this site.
Do you know what happened?
People began to sign up. Almost immediately they were writing me asking for help. Within a few weeks I had more clients than I could handle.
Suddenly I became a coach.
Something I had dreamed about for over five years suddenly came true. Not because something magical happened. Not because I won some award or passed some test. But simply because I decided I wanted to be one and I had the training, experience, understanding and most importantly, the passion to help people.
Then I asked if anyone needed it.
Many of the people among Generation Youtube are making $200-$300,000 a year. Not because they were trying to but because they started offering their talents to the world. That’s it.
So like I said, it’s time to start charging people.
Who are you going to help first?
Please share with us in the comments…
Need more help on how to Live Off Your Passion?
The above post is a free chapter from Live Your Legend’s latest course Live Off Your Passion: An Unconventional Guide to Finding Passion and Building a Career around Work You Love. It actually recently won #1 Personal Development Product of 2011 too! You can learn more about the full course here. I’d love to hear what you think!