I recently received this question from a reader:
How did you find out your niche in life, and what lead you to your current profession?
I really love this question because she didn’t ask how I found my niche in business, but in life. I really feel like what I do is a calling, not just a business or a way to make money. I’ve found a unique way to combine my passions and talents and have the opportunity to work with such amazing people.
Here’s my answer…
When I was younger, art and writing was everything to me. I made things just to make them. I wrote because I needed to. When I was in high school, one of my art teachers let me dig through her PILES of Print Magazines and I fell in love. I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life until I discovered the amazing world of design!
Right out of high school, I attended the Art Institute of Colorado to get my bachelor’s degree in graphic design. I loved every minute of school. The program was solid and taught me so much more than just design… they taught me how to work with clients, start a business and be a professional. I had several freelance jobs and internships while in school, one that led to an AH-MAZING entry level position at a local design firm in Denver. I worked with some of the most talented and creative individuals and learned so much about design and branding. Then my quarter-life crisis hit.
In an effort to figure out who the heck I was and what I really wanted in life, I started job hopping… eventually moving to freelancing full time. In 2008, I decided to move to Hawaii and start a design business. I looooooved working for myself, but for some reason, building that design business just wasn’t fulfilling me. It was slow moving, I had no idea about the power of online marketing and it wasn’t supporting me financially.
I ended up taking a job at a local company doing data entry and reception type work. I wasn’t willing to give up on having my own business, so I refused to get another “real job” in the design world. This job was soul sucking in so many ways, but the women who ran the company introduced me to the amazing world of personal development.
One of them had this amazing library of books right next to her desk that we were free to borrow from and I instinctively picked up Jack Canfield’s book, Success Principles. This book completely transformed my life. The short is that I learned how to take 100% responsibility for my life, trust my intuition again and take the steps I needed to take to create the life I really wanted.
It wasn’t until a couple years later, when I won a ticket to an event in NYC for women entrepreneurs that I really started to discover my niche in life. That weekend, I applied and was accepted into a phenomenal mastermind program. During the 9 months that I worked with my coach and 20 other amazing women, I really, truly found my calling: helping unconventional women transcend “the quarter-life crisis” by translating their passions into profitable online businesses.
It comes down to personal responsibility, my passion. Women (and men) who take personal responsibility for creating the lives (and jobs) they desire are happier, healthier and have a greater impact than those who don’t.
I love design, branding, online marketing, personal responsibility, self help, writing, speaking and coaching. Rediscovering who I really am, uncovering my passions in life and combining all of the above into one business model has been one amazing journey. I’ve found a way to take the work I love doing and pair it with the things I’m most passionate about… and I LOVE helping others do the same.
So how do you do this for yourself?
1) Start by getting honest about who you are and what you really want.
For many years I tried to build a design business without getting honest with myself that I wasn’t “just a designer” and I didn’t want “just another designer business.” I wanted to do very specific work in the world, with very specific people. Once you get honest about who you are and what you really want, you can start making it happen. But until you get honest, you’ll just keep spinning your wheels doing something that doesn’t truly light you up inside.
2) Know that it’s possible.
Far too often, when I coach women, they start off telling me about their dreams with, “I know this is unrealistic, but…” STOP THAT. It’s NOT unrealistic, unreasonable, undoable or ridiculous if it’s what you truly want. In fact, quite the opposite. If you have a dream, you’re already equipped to make it happen. Sure, you might need some training, mentoring or experience, but you have the drive, passion and talents on some level to make it happen. You just have to believe it’s possible and…
3) Start doing the work.
Start taking steps towards creating the life or business you really want. The only way to make it happen is to get out there and do the work you need to do. Get the training you need, find the mentor, connect with the right people and start doing it so you can gain experience. Every single person out there doing amazing work in the world, started off as a beginner with no experience. We’re all beginners at some point… the difference is that some of us take action and make things happen. Be one of those people.