How To Figure Out What To Do When You Grow Up
Darling, today I’m sharing a really great exercise that I promise will get your creative neurons firing, Especially good if you’re trying to think up a business idea, or you simply need a change of direction.
It’s something that’s come up for me a few times over the years in biz courses I’ve taken. Online and off.
It involves making two lists:
- What you love doing most
- What you’re especially good at
The third step is to check out how you can combine the two to come up with your Sweet Spot.
My list of things I like doing is always very long. There are so many thing I love doing. Like traveling, singing, acting, writing, cooking, talking and listening to people, communicating ideas, dancing. It goes on and on.
And a few of those things I’m sorta good at too.
The key here is to pare down the list of things you like doing to things you really, really, really like doing.
Like what you can do all day without noticing time passing. That kind of thing. By the way I didn’t even work out until last year that writing is that thing for me.
Contrary to popular programming, we are not meant to spend the bulk of our waking hours doing things we don’t like, so other people can get rich. The Universe would actually prefer you to have a good time.
If you have a variety of talents it can get tricky. Many people follow the most obvious path early on in life then realise down the track they’re doing something they’re good at, but not particularly happy doing.
Not me. For better or worse I’ve never been able to stick at something I didn’t like. I’ve never had a full time job for more than six months. And the shortest job I ever had was a telephone market research job. Which lasted about two hours. At morning tea break I said thanks, jumped on my bike and headed home.
For years I tried being a singer and used to beat myself up terribly for being so lazy about it. I absolutely love singing and being on stage but I couldn’t force myself to do the work to get anywhere with it.
Years later when I fell into cooking I realised singing was never meant to be a career for me.
Because actually, I didn’t like hanging out all night in smokey recording studios. Or sitting in squishy vans drinking beer with mostly men, in mostly black clothes.
What I thought at the time was laziness, was really self preservation. I was never going to be happy as a rock singer. Not full time anyway.
Cooking felt much easier and for 30 years food has been my bread and butter. Sorry, that was a very cheesy pun. Oh no, there’s another!
But food wasn’t the thing I was destined to find success with either. I’ve had several opportunities to do well with food businesses, but always pulled out when they needed more energy from me.
In fact many times when I’ve been at the point where I could have made a real go of something, I’ve suddenly changed course. Like leaving Australia when I was just starting to get some attention as an actress.
And heading to India instead of staying in London when my cafe when I was making breakfast for people like Sinead O’Connor and members of the Clash.
I often thought it was fear of failure. Others said fear of success.
With hindsight though none of those things I’d tried were THE thing. But I did need to do all of those things to get me to where I am now.
And I couldn’t possibly have done what I’m doing now, 1o years ago. I wasn’t ready.
Maybe it’s the same for you?
So if you’re giving yourself a hard time about not getting anywhere or making the wrong choices, please stop! And please stop telling yourself you need to make a decision about what to do with your life.
The thing you decide to do tomorrow doesn’t have to be the thing you do for the rest of your life. It just has to be something you enjoy now that people will pay you to do because you’re helping them.
Honestly we’re living in the age of ideas. Opportunities are endless. There are so many professions that haven’t even been created yet.
And no limits to the ways you can combine your talent with what you love doing.
We have access to everything you could possibly need to get almost any idea off the ground. Information, technology, business, marketing knowhow.
It’s all out there people. Much of it for free.
So quit thinking self limiting thoughts like – everything’s been done already. It hasn’t. We’re only just getting started here! And if it has been done, it hasn’t been done by you, for your people.
It’s futile to complain that the world is changing and people don’t buy books anymore or read newspapers or the yellow pages. Or shop in stores.
We also don’t ride around in horse drawn buggies or send handwritten notes via carrier pigeon either.
I tell you there are some crazy niche businesses popping up everywhere answering some very specific needs.
Why can’t it be you that comes up with one?
Like the other day I when I was talking to my friend Kim who’s moving to Switzerland soon.
Having just come home from my retreat planning mission in Bali, and knowing how much Kim wants a business in travel, I heard myself say – let’s make a retreat in Switzerland where we take people walking in the alps and they learn how to make cheese. And they’ll get a yodelling lesson and learn how to dance in lederhosen!!
Sure enough when I googled later, people are asking where they can learn yodelling in the Swiss alps.
So just get cracking and find your Sweet Spot. Also do the Perfect Day exercise I wrote about yesterday. And be generous and grateful and keep your heart open.
Maybe your next big idea won’t come immediately. But I promise, writing those lists will plant seeds that will sprout at some point.
And maybe what you come up with won’t be the thing you do for the rest of your life. Or even for the next 10 years. Who cares?
Trust that by writing things down you’re not only strengthening and creating new neural pathways. You’re engaging the universe. And trust me the universe is your ally and likes being asked for help.
So get cracking.
What are you good at? What do love doing the most? Write it down!
Thank you, thank you, thank you for reading this far!!
And please pretty please,if this has been helpful or you just enjoyed reading it please leave a comment below. And be generous and share with if anyone you know who may be ready to find a new path.