I met a prospective client for the first time on Saturday. She’s a Star profile in Wealth Dynamics and she introduced that rather shyly before announcing her heart’s desire. Suffice to say that there could be no more appropriate profession for a Star – involving such words as passion, performing, acting, am-dram, singing, voice, auditions, drama school and improv.
I have started to draw people like this to me. And it’s changing me.
If this client had turned up in my life even a year ago I might have wondered what to do with her. Her passion was immediately obvious. How we turn that into a business for her was not. And in the “olden” days, that might have worried me as I always like to look for the nearest money for clients. But, this time, all we got bound up with for 122 minutes was her having a wonderful life, emerging into her real authentic self after years of sensible and sacrifice and fear and lack and a distinct absence of passion, creativity, self-expression and joy.
It didn’t take much encouragement from me for my client to decide not to do the sensible thing by growing her existing part-time occupation into a full time (dull) business. Instead she’s going to pursue her passion and some of that is down to me fanning the flames. She’s going to be “heartfully engaged”. Her words. Gawjus.
And yet, I’m a business coach. Where do I get off encouraging all and sundry to follow their dreams and their passions? Where’s the profit in that? And, while were’ at it, where’s the old Judith gone and can we have normal service restored round here as soon as possible? I think the short answer is no. Soz.
So then, what’s changed?
I am starting to see evidence all around me that following your passion can turn into something which makes a profit – or doesn’t – and that either is entirely fine as part of your wonderful life. But I am seeing people doing this, monetising their passion (no jokes please, Frank). The answer is you have to be prepared to set off without knowing the middle or the end of the story. You have to set off in trust, like the intrepid entrepreneur you are, because immersing yourself in your passions is what you intend the next phase of your life to be all about and to hell with the profit. Maybe. Maybe not. And isn’t that half of the fun?
Here’s a couple of examples…
1. Read the story of how 366 Hearts was created. And then notice how it has been monetised. I suspect that wasn’t part of the plan at the beginning. But we like the hearts so much that now we can buy them and commission them and enjoy them in books and on mugs and T-shirts and iPhone cases and who knows where this might lead in future or how it might develop except that their creator is now intent upon 1000 hearts. Gorgeous website, gorgeous art (to me) and a wonderful business which came out of one simple idea, to follow your heart. Literally.
2. And what about Lynne Scrivens who just decided to log 365 concurrent days of grateful status updates on Facebook. Look where that took her. What a simple idea! Gratitude changed her life. The simple ideas are the best. But carrying them through, that’s the key. And doing that with no idea of where you might be headed, well that’s not easy for a lot of people I know. But I shall be encouraging more clients to do that, for sure, even more than I already do.
Does this mean that henceforth I shall be irresponsibly encouraging folk willy nilly to pursue all sorts of idiotic crap? Definitely not. As I said to my client on Saturday, if she had turned up with some madcap idea about painting chickens pink, I would not only not have pretended to think that was a good business idea, I might have felt compelled to shop her to the RSPCA. There’s passion and then there’s just plain (criminally) bonkers.
All this is doing is serving to take me back to a place of being obliged to do a little light life coaching – and some great listening with all my heart – alongside the business stuff. When a client turns up who only takes seconds to lock onto what she should be really doing with her life, who I am to stand in her way? It must also be noted that not one but two previous “coaches” had told and taught my client to do the sensible thing and, taking them at their word, all that had done was cause her to lose two decades of her wonderful life. OK, it didn’t turn out so bad, but neither of us will be making that mistake again.