As a multi-passionate creative, it can be extremely tough to narrow down what you want to do. How do you choose which idea to pursue when you have so many, and when they all sound so interesting?
Since we obviously can’t pursue every idea all at once, we need to practice patience. Then, I believe, we need to follow our curiosity.
In my eight years (thus far) of self-employment, I’ve done just that — followed my curiosity.
I originally started with what I knew: I’d gone to school for office administration, and had worked as a secretary for several years. I’d also been a book blogger and independent book reviewer for the previous eight years. So, my first business idea was to be a Virtual Assistant for authors.
Yet, as I spoke to the various authors I met, I discovered that what they most needed help with was marketing and promotion. So, I shifted my business to help these authors get their books seen.
After about a year, I was restless. I knew that doing this kind of work wasn’t the best fit for me, so I questioned what I’d rather be doing. And, with some journaling and self-reflection, I decided to try being a professional blogger.
This didn’t really take off, though, as I would’ve needed a larger audience in order for the ads and affiliate programs to even be available to me, or for them to produce a worthwhile income. So, it was back to the drawing board.
After more self-reflection and journaling, I realized that I had always felt drawn to things like coaching, advising, and mentoring. So, I figured I would try coaching, especially since people seemed to be able to get started in this fairly easily.
Much to my surprise, I landed my first client within the same week! (I had made mention of my new services on Facebook, inside of a group, during one of their promo days, and found someone from that).
Turns out, I had found a piece of my puzzle (the bigger picture of how I was created to serve, using my innate gifts). Coaching felt like what I was meant to do.
Part way through my first year of coaching, however, I got distracted when a friend (re-)introduced me to network marketing (NWM). [I’d been an independent consultant with The Pampered Chef years before, but hadn’t realized it was part of the larger industry known as network marketing].
Thus began three (3) years of trying to continue building my own coaching business, while also chasing the network marketing opportunity. And, in that same time frame, I ended up testing out seven different NWM companies, looking for one that fit me best… to no avail. (I have since come to realize that it’s because marketing isn’t one of my core strengths.)
My time spent pursuing that industry did teach me a lot about running an online business, mind you. And it helped me to learn more about what does and doesn’t work for me. Plus, as an added bonus, I met a lot of amazing people through NWM — including my own coach, Crystal!
As of 2020, I finally stopped trying to force myself to fit an ideal I’d held in my mind’s eye, and I admitted to myself that NWM wasn’t where I was supposed to be. I also realized that I couldn’t properly build 2 separate businesses at the same time — especially not if I wanted to do things well. Instead, I needed to devote all of my time, energy, and attention to growing just one of them, first. And once that business was running successfully, then I could choose to take on something else, if I still wished to do so.
Sure enough, once I began to give all of myself to my coaching business, I started to make progress, again.
Now, has it been completely easy? No.
Have I decided on a single idea to pursue, at the expense of all the others? Also no.
I still get new ideas all the time! And some do seriously tempt me to change my course.
However, I have done so much self-reflection, searching, and journaling in the past eight years, in order to understand who I am and how I am wired to best use my gifts to make an impact & income, that most of the new ideas that cross my path, now, just aren’t appealing enough to pull me away from the business model I am currently focused on pursuing.
If you need help getting that same level of clarity, so that you can be content with the path that best fits you, check out my “My Unique Blueprint” mini-course. It will walk you through the same process I went through, and help you to find your best-fit path to making an impact and an income (but it won’t take you seven years, like it took me!).