How To Find Your Muse
If there’s one thing I love about working with entrepreneurs, it’s that there is never a shortage of passion. Especially in the context of PIE, Jumpstart Foundry and the clients I am privileged to serve through BubbleUp Interactive, these are individuals that have taken an idea far enough to jump off the cliff and give it a real try, but are often early enough in the process that every little success is a major accomplishment.
I want to take it back a step today and focus on readers that may not know what they want to create but know that they can be something more than what they are.
How many of you know someone that hates their day job? (Har! har!) There’s not a human alive that doesn’t know someone that hates their current career circumstance, and in many cases, that includes their own. Ironically, this also applies to people that may have seen a great deal of success in the past but are challenged by what to do next. Believe it or not, these folks may be just as depressed as those that have never seen those thrilling heights.
I have two things for you to work on if you find yourself in either one of these camps.
Step One: Do This
If you know you’re destined for something greater than your current life condition but have no idea how to find it, lend a hand to someone else. I don’t care if you’re in the 6th grade, you know something about life that a 3rd grader hasn’t even considered. We ALL know something that someone else may find useful. I have written many times about the power of sharing coffee, a meal or a beer with your peers to develop your own professional abilities, but I haven’t said enough about the impact it has on the person sharing the information itself.
How do you find these people in need? There are a million ways, but some of the easy ones are at local networking events, from Chamber of Commerce groups to more specific things like technology, marketing or other meet-ups. Don’t think of those things as just a way to find someone that can help YOU out, think of them too as a way to find people you can help, with or without a profit-motive in mind.
But that’s probably making this process more complex than it even needs to be. Look through your list of contacts, for goodness sake! Start with people you know. Look through your inbox. Look around your immediate sphere of influence, however “minor” you may think it is. This isn’t some bigtime board meeting we’re talking about here. This is an hour or two with someone you’d like to learn more about, plain and simple.
And a final note on this point – this isn’t a one-time deal, folks. This could be a daily exercise if you want it to be. I try to book happy hour meetings Monday – Thursday (my beautiful bride gets my Fridays & weekends). If you’re on a budget, mid-morning coffee meetings are great. It’s rarely even necessary to pick up more than your own drink. A house coffee will cost you a buck or two. The relationships these meetings lead to could be worth millions in time, and I mean literally.
Step Two: Answer These
I don’t remember where I got this list a couple of years ago (Godin, maybe?), but taking the time to honestly answer each of the following 25 questions can be a great way to get to the heart of your true passions and professional desires. Share your answers with others or keep them completely to yourself, but DO write them down. I did this back in 2008 and was almost shocked to see how similar my answers are today, even in a profoundly different place in my personal and professional life.
25 Passion-Inspiring Questions
1. If you could do just one thing all day long and get paid well for doing it, what would you do?
2. If you could only give one speech, for one hour, for one million people, what ONE WORD would that speech be about?
3. If you could only have one section of the bookstore to visit, which section would it be?
4. If you could only subscribe to ONE publication for the rest of your life, what would it be?
5. If you could only work 2 days a week, what would you do?
6. If you could only work 2 hours a week, what would you do?
7. If you could take a sabbatical for one year, where would you go and what would you do?
8. If you didn’t have to work, what would you do all day long?
9. If you were the last human on Earth, what would you still do every day?
10. What activity always makes you lose track of time?
11. What activity gives you the most energy?
12. What brings you to life?
13. What could you talk about forever?
14. What things are you able to do, without even trying?
15. What do you like to do, just for the fun of it?
16. What do you love to do that (you can’t believe) people actually pay you money to do?
17. What do you love to talk about?
18. What do you most enjoy making?
19. What have you always found to be easy?
20. What is the one thing that people couldn’t pay you NOT to do?
21. What pictures from your phone do you show people the most?
22. What questions do you look forward to be asked?
23. When you don’t know what to do, what do you find yourself doing to find your way?
24. Why do you admire the people you admire?
25. You, yourself, are at your best when you’re acting HOW?