I’ve been asked what it took for me to realize my passion and figure out how to turn that into my career. Here’s the 10 steps that it took for me:

1. I identified specific needs that I was moved in my soul to meet.

2. I volunteered my time (many evenings and weekends) to meet those needs.

3. I surrounded myself with leaders who were further along than myself in that field of work.

4. I sacrificed luxuries and some necessities in exchange for opportunities to do the work without extra pay for several years.

5. I built relationships with specific people that were “door openers” or enablers to give me opportunities to grow in my passion’s field.

6. I focused on skill development to ensure I stood out from others in the field I was passionate about.

7. I listened to and welcomed those who gave wise counsel without taking offense to their advice or criticism.

8. I moved quickly to establish my commitment to any opportunities that were presented to me.

9. I reminded myself daily why I was passionate about my work and who was counting on me living that passion.

10. I refused to allow what I was doing to ever take the place of why I was doing it. I made sure my why equaled my what.

Let me end by pointing out the not so obvious…you don’t have to quit your job to do any of these steps. As a matter of fact, I’ve been able to take these steps in addition to my current work. So many people I speak with feel they have to quit their job and go work for a charity to be charitable. Others say their current employer doesn’t value their personal passion enough to afford them this opportunity. Here’s what I believe, and I challenge you to speak over yourself daily as a mantra:

“My passion is making room for me…right where I am, with what I have, doing what I do.”

Keep speaking this over yourself and believe that your passion is making room for you today.

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