One of my best friends on Earth, we’ll call her “Jessica”, has an unwavering desire to help animals in need. She also enjoys the fashion style of Pinup. Jessica has begun the initial process of combining these two things into a great idea for a non-profit: to raise money to help no-kill animal shelters by hosting Pinup events. No matter how big our goals are, it may seem like a daunting task to follow your desires, especially if it provides no income, which can always be a concern. This post is dedicated to her, but it’s also for anyone who has the desire for something bigger, but may not be sure about an effective method to acheive the results they desire.
1) Find something part-time that provides you income. Jessica has already accomplished this step. She’s a (damn good) bartender, which affords her plenty of free time to work on her non-profit. Make sure that you do something that you don’t hate. If you’re only gonna work 20 hours a week, at least make sure it’s something fun. Burnout in the workplace will lead to burnout in the rest of your life. Occupations like bartending, serving, or valet service offer decent compensation and also polish your social skills. Pretty good combination.
2) Don’t burn yourself out with your project. I recall one instance where I attended a “how to be successful” workshop, and it was hosted by a former pimp and drug addict who worked his way out of his addictions and became a contributing member of society. One of his keys was: “to constantly think about your goals from the moment you wake up to the moment you fall asleep.” Bullshit; that’s more like trading one (or several) addicitons for another. Truth is, most creative people procrastinate. You don’t have to spend every waking moment working on something to be successful with it. Two to three hours a day, most days, is adequate enough. What do you do during those times?
- Brainstorm: come up with five ideas on how you can improve your approach, how you can attract sponsors, etc. The important part here is to write down everything, even if it sucks. It can always be polished later.
- Plan: What, When, Where, How, Why. Write it all down.
- Read articles about what you’re passionate about: In this instance, find blogs about no-kill shelters, and learn about what challenges they face, so you can be prepared for…
- Volunteer: Get hands-on experience with the area you’ll be working in. For Jessica, this would include both time in a no-kill shelter AND working behind the scenes for charity events.
- Network: Get involved in social media, get your name and your cause out there. Jessica has already done a great job getting those who also have similar interests as hers involved in her cause.
That’s it. It all boils down to thinking, reading (or learning), and doing. And it only requires about 15 hours a week. When you’re not working, enjoy the rest of your day.
3) Execution. Once you’ve put in the work described in step two, it’s all just a matter of following through and executing.
“Now wait,” I can hear some of you saying, “this is all fine and good, but what if this is just a hobby? I have other, career-oriented goals. How is this going to help me in that regard?”
Good question. And it’s also something that Jessica has concerns about, too. In my next post, I’m going to explain how something like this can translate into something you enjoy doing from a career standpoint. Stay tuned to find out.