4 WAYS TO KEEP YOUR CREATIVE PASSIONS ALIVE

If you’re reading this, you probably are passionate about something in your life. For me, it’s design. And specifically, how I can help businesses reach their goals by designing their marketing strategy. But any passion is just as awesome – love for cats, photography, baking, making music, carpeting, the list is endless.

Why is it important to follow your passion?

Well simply, because it’ll make you happy. You won’t feel like you are working. Work isn’t work when you’re passionate about the thing you do. Time will pass by quickly and you’ll wish you had more time in a day, as compared to waiting for the clock to hit ‘go home time’. More importantly, if you’re passionate about what you do, you will do amazing work – work that matters.

So here are 4 quick tips on how to keep it alive, in case you ever find your passion waning.

1. Be influenced by passionate people.

You don’t have to surround yourself with people who are in the same business as you all the time. The thing is, you can see passion in people. You can feel it through the air around them. Listen to how they talk about the things that move them. Rekindle your fire with the sparks that they give off. I once attended a talk by an illustrator who spoke about her work. Even though it isn’t 100% what I do for a living, listening to her talk passionately about her work made me want to go back to the office and design some awesome graphics for my clients.

On the other hand, if you hang out with people who keep complaining about their day and their work, you will probably feel lousy and think that your work does not matter.

2. Unplug and get bored.

A lot of people will advise this; when you’re burning out on your creative drive, just take a break. Go out for a walk or sit by the beach. When you’re refreshed and the ideas start coming in, get back to what you’re doing.

But I say, stay off work longer. I know the ideas are going to be great, and you will feel highly motivated. But resist. If you succumb to going back to work every time you feel the slightest hint of inspiration, it’ll cause you to burn out very soon again.

Stay out there, stay disconnected, until you start feeling bored. Do other stuff until you can’t wait to be back at your desk or wherever you work, to start creating something again. You will come back with a much stronger drive to work on what you’re passionate about.

One way to discover if you are passionate about your work is to take the following test: When you do take breaks, do you feel like you  just do not want the break to end? Do you rather sit and stare at nothingness than go back to work? If your answer is yes, it’s probably because you are not passionate about your work.

3. Keeping a day job that allows you to work on your passion

Not any day job will do. You will want to find a decent paying job, that allows you to knock off on time and pursue your passion in the off hours. It also needs to be a job that will not drain you off completely when it’s time to go home. Alternatively, find a job that has flexible hours and is objective driven, and understands that creative pursuits will only lead to a happier and more productive employee. But that’s a rare find. However, if you are lucky enough to work in such an environment, hold on to it tightly until you are ready to go all out in working independently.

The reason for this is so that you do not have to worry that much about finances. It is hard to stay passionate about something when you are worrying about what to eat for dinner, or if you will have enough to pay for your mortgage next month.

Get a job that can take care of your basics, then go crazy with your passionate pursuits!

4. Hire Experts

This is particularly targetted for business owners who love doing what they do. Running a business isn’t easy. There are so many things you need to worry about. But is that always the case? If you are doing reasonably well, and have a steady revenue, wouldn’t it be a wise move to hire experts to work on the different aspects of your business that needs to be attended to? You can then move on to doing what really matters for your business, or keeping your employees and clients happy.

For example, you know you have to get your accounting done. And it’s always a headache for business owners to tally their accounts. Why not hire professional accountants to do this for you? With the time that it frees you, you can possibly earn more, thus justifying the cost that you expense for the accountant. I know for fact that I became more engaged in running my business once I invested in an accounting service – as I don’t have to worry much about my accounts and can focus on building beautiful brands.

What about marketing? You have a hundred ideas how to market your product or service. Why worry about the details like creating the graphics and content, blasting it out to your database of prospects, or tracking the outreach of a specific campaign, when you can get an agency to help you with that. Again, when you get leads from the marketing effort, and those leads convert to paying customers, you’ve justified your marketing spend.

In Conclusion...

Hopefully, the few tips that you’ve read can help you stay focussed on your passion. These days, the belief is that if you follow your passion, the money will come. Opportunities will come knocking when you do great work. Once you’ve got something going on, and you love doing what you do, it’s time to monetise it.

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• 12 SEPTEMBER  2014 • 
FERDAUS AMZAH

PHOTO CREDIT: MELINA SOUZA

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