Is it possible to do what you love for a career?
There is a simple answer to that question. Then again, EVERYTHING IS SIMPLE, when you know the answer…
Have you ever said this? “I’d love to find a better job, but there are no other jobs.”
If you haven’t said it, I know that for sure, you’ve heard it.
What about this one? “I just can’t find a job at all…”
The world is changing. Maybe there are fewer jobs available. I’m not saying that’s not a problem. But I am saying that for you, it shouldn’t be. For you, perhaps there’s not a better job. No worries. There is still tons of work to be done.
Most people refuse to THINK DIFFERENTLY in order to THINK BEYOND the nagging challenges of everyday life that they see everyday people experiencing every day. (Got that?)
Amazingly, the fact that most people seem to be as fearful and confused as they are gives them an odd degree of comfort. “See?” They say to themselves. “It’s not just me. It’s everybody!”
It’s sad, but true. Most people refuse to THINK BEYOND what they have already decided they know. They never understand how critical it is to THINK WITH SPECIFIC PURPOSE if we ever hope to achieve more than general results.
Allow me to be blunt. If there is a problem, it is your thinking. Fortunately, the answer to the problem can be found in your thinking as well.
For instance, HOW YOU THINK about the world around you does a great deal to determine how much money you earn. Don’t believe me? Check this out…
About twenty years ago, the value of individual little items you would have normally thrown away changed overnight. Literally overnight. All those things increased in value more than fifty times. Sometimes by more than one hundred or two hundred times! But for twenty years, you’ve continued to throw it all away. Yes?
The world is different now.
There was a precise moment that the world changed. It happened on September 3, 1995. Lots of people know it had happened. Today, virtually everyone knows that it happened. The secret however, is this: to this day, VERY FEW UNDERSTAND WHAT IT MEANS.
When eBay was founded by Pierre Omidyar, even he thought it was just “a neat little online auction.” His own understanding changed a few days later with a broken laser pointer. I still contend, however, that while many now understand the power of eBay, most of us have never connected the dots that redefine our own value within that context.
One of the first items Pierre saw go up on eBay was a broken laser pointer. To his astonishment, Pierre watched the item bid all the way up to the closing price of $14.83. Nervous about the possibility of a misunderstanding, he contacted the winning bidder to ask if he understood that the laser pointer was broken. In a responding email, the buyer explained, “I’m a collector of broken laser pointers. Apparently, there are several of us…”
Let’s say that today you finally clean out your garage and you find the handle that cranked the window up and down on a ’57 Chevy Truck. That is a throwaway to a lot of folks. Heck, I wouldn’t have known what it was! But I just checked, and somebody has listed one on eBay. True, as of this writing, there is still 1 day, 8 hours left in the auction…but so far, twelve people have bid an old window crank up to 61 dollars!
Here’s how this applies to your life:
We live in a world now where you can connect with people who will pay for what you know or the things you can do. You MUST UNDERSTAND your knowledge, passion, skill, or talent has massive value to the right person.
There may not be a million people who want your services, but there are enough people who will pay for what you love to do…if you can PROVE THE VALUE of what you love to do.
There are three questions you have to figure out in order to make this work. That’s it. Only three. They are:
- What is my passion?
- What value does it have for other people?
- How can I PROVE it?
Let me tell you one of my favorite stories:
My long-time friend’s son was having trouble in college. Blake was majoring in engineering. His grades weren’t thrilling anybody. I had known Blake since he was a little kid. Like his father, I too, was surprised Blake wasn’t doing well. We all knew his potential. The problem wasn’t his intelligence. He was plenty smart. Long story short, Blake was not interested in engineering. There was zero passion for the subject.
I sat with Blake and his dad, a hugely successful businessman, in TGIFridays at the Atlanta Airport. I laughed at my friend’s discomfort. I understood this situation, because I had been just like Blake when I was in college. So, I asked Blake, “If money did not exist… if money was not even a factor in society… and you could do anything you wanted to do…all day long without penalty… what would you do?”
His answer shocked me…and HORRIFIED his father to the degree that I laughed out loud. (remember…he is a friend!)
Blake said, “Magic.”
“What?” I asked.
“You know… magic. Like, to be a magician.”
Well, Blake happened to be incredible. And why wouldn’t he have been? It was his passion. Not cheesy magic either. Blake does the close-up stuff. He can make something appear or disappear in his hand, with no sleeves on his arms, and do it right in front of you. Understand, however, that Blake does not have a particular talent. He has developed an unbelievable SKILL. That skill was born of passion, but seriously long hours and hard work yielded the skill he uses today!
I said, “Ok, then you’ve determined your passion. Now, what value does it have for other people, and how can you prove it?”
As we sat there, I found out he was doing birthday parties for 25 dollars and fraternity parties for 50 dollars. In Blake’s mind, that’s all his magic was worth. Sound familiar? I explained to Blake (and his dad, while the paramedics sorted out his heart attack…) that he only thought that way because everyone else thought that way. Someone a long time ago set those prices for that work and we’ve all lived with that valuation ever since.
Now this is where it gets interesting.
Polly and I have a close friend who owns an awesome interiors store in Orange Beach. (See M2 by clicking here.) Melanie Martin is one of the nation’s great decorators. She does huge properties all over the country, but chooses to live here.
Her store is as much a showroom as anything and it’s full of very cool, unusual items—many of them one of a kind. She mentioned to me one day that if it weren’t for men, she would sell a lot more. Melanie is funny and she was laughing when she said it, but I never forgot her answer to the question, “Why?”
“Most men are in a hurry,” she said. “They stand around half-interested, looking at their watches, and sighing a lot. Their wives get the message and hustle through the store. If I had five to ten minutes with every woman who came through the door, they would leave a lot happier.” She laughed. “And I’d be a lot happier too!”
I told Blake the story and added that I was certain there were “Melanies” in one form or another where he lived. I added, “By the way, don’t go in some place and ask if you can do a magic show in their store. The answer to that is no. Be smart. Prove your value. Explain. At first, do it for free.”
He stared at me. I knew what was coming. “Do what for free?”
“There are an infinite number of versions of this that you will develop. Here is one: ‘You have an awesome place. I’ve noticed that the guys hang around as if they are ready to leave. I wonder how much pressure that puts on their wives to actually leave faster than they normally would… I wonder if you would sell more if the ladies weren’t rushed. I wonder what would happen if you were able to spend a bit more time with them… Tell you what, why don’t we set up a table in the corner with three or four “man” kind of chairs. We’ll give them a soda or something to drink. And I will do close up magic for them. 10 minutes? 15? How long do you want the men occupied? I can do it…’”
“At that point,” I said, “they will ask how much you charge. Do not give an answer that contains a number. At that moment, only you know how this is going to go. So, at first, do it for nothing. PROVE YOUR VALUE. Then you can name your price.”
Blake smiled and the rest is history. Trust me, there are victories piling up in this kid’s life that you will not believe. In fact, soon I will write a bit more about Blake and catch you up on what he is doing now.
This is how you create value for people. Find your passion, figure out how it helps other people, and then prove it.
Now here’s my question to you: What’s your passion?
Let’s brainstorm together how you can find a way to make money doing what you love! One last note: If this is the first you’ve heard about this from me, then you haven’t read The Noticer Returns. Get the book today. Jones explains it all in much finer detail.