The 7 Questions a Life Coach Asks to Get to the Bottom of Your Passion
Here are seven questions you can ask yourself:
1. What am I doing when I'm slacking off at work?
My client Dave is a great engineer. When he got an unexpected bonus he spent the entire thing on photography equipment. His weekends are spent taking snapshots of Manhattan and Brooklyn. He follows only photographers on Instagram and reads photography blogs and articles online whenever he is bored in work meetings or has a quiet hour or two to spare in the office. In fact, he spends hours at the office researching photography exhibitions and even planned a trip to a European show. His photography passion was undeniable. When a friend paid him to take artsy photos for his company website, Dave said to me, "Susie, is this what dying and going to heaven feels like?" Um . . . yes! Disclaimer: I certainly do not suggest you slack off at work, but let's face it, for many of us there is a lot of idle time—and what we spend that idle time doing could be a great indicator for what our side hustle passion is.
2. What blogs and books do I love to read?
Think about the top five websites you peruse once you power up your laptop. For example, I worked with a Realtor who spent hours reading recipes in cookbooks, websites, and natural food blogs. He now has a decent following as a food blogger himself and earns a small revenue stream from it. Look at who you follow (aside from friends) on Facebook and Instagram.
3. If I could be anyone for a week, who would it be?
Who we admire is a huge indicator of who we secretly would like to become. Do you look up to Abby Wambach, Sophia Amoruso, Victoria Beckham, Erin Burnett? Review who you obsess over—it's a bright, shining clue.
4. What do I feel least insecure about?
Human beings are funny. We are inordinately hard on ourselves, quick to point out our flaws and slow to recognize our skills. I once coached a very high-achieving CEO, and getting her to share her leadership strengths with me was like pulling teeth!
If this sounds like you, instead of thinking which qualities you most value in yourself, ask, "What parts of me do I dislike the least?" Allow yourself to remember past accomplishments or times where you've really helped others. Let the parts of you that you might secretly feel proud of truly shine.
5. What's pure and simple fun for me?
Ain't nothin' like a consistent hobby to reveal an awesome hustle idea. The only difference between a hustle and a hobby is that a hustle pays—meaning it provides a service for others, not just for your own enjoyment. Take note: If you love to paint as a hobby purely for your own pleasure, great! That might not be a hustle idea. But if you'd also love to paint for other people and have your work in other people's homes/offices/beach houses . . . you may just be sitting on a jackpot!
I have one friend who loves Krav Maga and teaches it to families, and another friend who adores planning parties for her entrepreneurial friends. Bingo! They love the work they are doing, they are good at it, and they can be paid for it. What do you love to do that you are really good at and can be paid for?
6. What conversation topic never gets boring to me?
What subject brings on that "I could talk about this all day!" feeling? My husband, for example, loves talking about real estate investments—if he had a second job, it would be flipping homes, he always says. It's a total snooze fest for me, but luckily he has a brother and a couple of close friends who share his passion.
It's important to ask yourself not only which topics energize you but which people can get excited about them with you. It's critical to nurture relationships where a common passion unites you. Which leads us to . . .
7. Who is my tribe?
Your tribe consists of people who get you. It might not be your colleagues, your college pals, or even your siblings. A close former coworker of mine found her tribe at a popular local fitness class. When I see her around her tribe, she is the brightest and most energized version of herself. It's awesome!
If you don't have a "tribe" already, you can find one. Use all of the clues above to pinpoint your interest and then locate a group that shares it. Join a book club. Take a cooking class. Learn to code at a local college. Volunteer at an animal shelter. Opportunities and people are everywhere when you open your eyes and look. I found some remarkable tribal pals at New York University, where I spent my Saturdays with people of all ages and professional backgrounds training to become certified life coaches.
Now that you've asked yourself these questions...
Is a path clearer to you? Once you have some clarity, you have to take action. Nothing, nothing, nothing changes without action.
Ask yourself: What are three things that I can do over the next seven days to bring my passion to life? Then do them. Set up that YouTube account so you can start posting your instructional videos. Tell your friends and colleagues you're available as a Halloween party planner in exchange for a testimonial. Ask the woman you look up to in marketing if you can buy her a latte for 20 minutes of her time. The options are endless.
The following week, do three more. Then three more. And then watch what happens. Keep doing this—never stop doing. The results will astound you once you get busy.
Adapted from What If It Does Work Out? by Susie Moore, published by Ixia Press. Copyright (c) 2017 by Susie Moore. All rights reserved.