In the search for a career that feels like home, people often start with their passions. They look to things they love, and then try to figure out a way to monetize them.

I’ve gotten many emails that go something like this:

“I paint and make soap and am into aromatherapy and think I want to be a life coach. Can you help me combine my passions into one business?”

No. No, I can’t.

The Problem with the Combine Your Passions Model

Imagine trying to cook a meal by using only your favorite foods as ingredients.

I would end up with an apple/ice cream/dinner roll/nacho mess. I wouldn’t want to eat it, and I certainly wouldn’t be able to sell it.

The problem with the Combine Your Passions model is that the focus is on individual activities that please you. They don’t always mesh well when it comes to providing something valuable to potential customers.

When is the last time you bought a painting from an renowned aromatherapist? Or sought life coaching from someone who was known for their handcrafted soaps?

When we have a problem, we go looking for the best possible solution for that one problem. Our aromatherapist-painter-soap making-life coach? What problem is she solving? She’s trying to solve her problem of wanting to get paid for doing everything she loves.

When people complain that they have too many passions, what they really mean is that they have too many passions to cram into one business and can’t make a decision about which ones to pick.

At Some Point, You Do Have to Pick

But…there are still ways you can access multiple passions through one business or career. It probably just won’t look like you thought it would.

When I went through my own career crisis several years ago, I considered being a coach, an acting teacher, and a web designer. You see which one I picked.

However, there are aspects of teaching and web design that are present in my coaching business. I made and maintain my own website and do all of my own design work, and I draw analogies from acting and art in my coaching.

What I don’t do is bill myself as an acting teacher/coach/web designer. Who would hire that person? My clients aren’t actors, and I don’t offer web design as a service. I’m a coach. A coach who her brings aspects of her other interests to her one, singular, focused business.

Laura Simms is an expert in meaningful work who challenges conventional wisdom by asking people to ditch their passions and start with purpose.

If you have too many passions, zero passions, or can't seem to combine your passions, try her purpose-first approach to find a career you love.  


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