How To Choose Which Passion(s) To Pursue

October 26, 2013

How to choose which passions to pursue
Here are the options for how to deal your passion(s):
1 – Ignore them (not a good idea!),
2 – Enjoy them as a hobby
3 – Turn them into a business.
Let’s assume that you’re not up for option 1 since you’re here reading this. This leaves only two possibilities; hobby or business.
This post will help you figure out how to evaluate your passions so you can decide in which category each of them falls.
[tweetshareinline tweet=”How to evaluate your passions so you can decide if they are hobbies or businesses.” username=”sigruncom”]

What is your true passion
Since I have multiple passions I found it challenging to decide which passion I should choose as a foundation for a business and which I should keep as a hobby and would there be any that I should ignore, at least for a while. Many of my passions could have potential business ideas and I felt I needed a bit of outside feedback. I decided to ask my friends and family as well as a few previous work colleagues some questions. I put up a survey with Surveymonkey and sent out a questionnaire with the following questions:
What would you generally thank me for?
What would you ask me to help you with?
What are my three best qualities?
What do you think is my passion?
I sent the questionnaire out to 25 people and got 19 answers back. In hindsight I was not surprised about the results but still in some ways I was. Following are the results, displayed with word images, the bigger the word the more often it appeared in the results.
Thank for…
Wordle - Create-3

Ask for help on…
Wordle - Create-5

Best Qualities…
Wordle - Create-6
Sigrun’s passion is…
Wordle - Create-7
The last image blew me away. I did not expect it to be so strong in people’s minds but I guess a few factors play a role here. I have lived abroad (again) the last five years so what my friends and family and former work colleagues see and hear from me is mainly photography. Everything that I have done in business during this time has not been so public so people wouldn’t know about it as much. I also only asked people to name a passion which means one passion but of course most people (I think?!) have more than one passion. Still it is clear from the last picture that photography  is a very strong passion of mine, almost everybody assumed it was my main passion.

How do you feel about your passions
What helped me most after doing the above survey was to envision the future. I asked myself the following questions:

  • How do I feel when I pursue this passion now?
  • How would I feel after 5 years if I could pursue this passion?
  • How would I feel after 5 years if I could not pursue this passion?

[tweetshareinline tweet=”Three simple questions that tell you a whole lot about you and your passion.” username=”sigruncom”]

Three simple questions that tell you a whole lot about you and your passion. Try it out. Isn’t it clear which of your passion give seem strongest? Trust your gut feeling, your intuition is more clever than you think. If you are in any doubt about your intuition and its cleverness then I encourage you to read Blink by Malcolm Gladwell. I read it many years ago and then reread it not so long ago and I am still amazed how clever our gut feeling can be.
Asking yourself how you feel and how you want to feel is also the new way of settings goals and planning your future. Why should we want to pursue our passions? Because they make us feel!
But what do you feel? Energized? Excited? Alive? I often lack words to describe my true feelings, not just in English but also in my mother-tongue. That’s when a list of words for good feelings helps. Check the list and see what feelings you connect to your passions.
Explore all the options
Knowing my feelings about a passion did not help me decide whether it was one for the business or the hobby category. So I had to become more specific what I wanted to do with my passions. For some passions this is quite clear but for others not as much.
I am a visual person so when I am not working with a clear to-do-list I use a mind map and brainstorm. I write down everything that comes to mind on the topic I am thinking about, in this case each of my passions. I explored every possible angle of every idea I had and not just once but a few times, in case I had some new ideas a few days later.
Making a decision
All my brainstorming yielded a number of business idea for my passions but I was still not clear which one or two to pursue. At some point I realized I was thinking too much and doing too little about my passions. It was decision time. I decided that I had to do them all.
My business idea became about being authentic about who I am and what I am passionate about. This was the only way I could be fully alive and help others do the same. The best thing I did after making this decision was to give myself a limited time to put up this website and my portfolio and start blogging (see my very first blog post).
Once I started blogging I learned more about myself and my passions that I ever could have done without writing my thoughts down. I am not just a visual person but I also think by writing or talking so just thinking doesn’t help me as much as sharing. I need to share. I want to share. And in the process of sharing I have been able to categorize my passions into two categories and this is of course best displayed with a word image.
Things have become clearer and more balanced now – with passions and feelings in one map. I will continue to modify this map when I feel it needs an update so that it always accurately reflect my desired feelings and passions. A decision has been made on the passions or at least the first draft.
Wordle - Compose

Share your thoughts
Have you decided which of your passions to pursue? Sign up for my free video series on helping you find your true passion and right business idea for you.

Follow ME