How Passion Projects Benefit Creative Entrepreneurs
Have you ever heard the term "passion project"? I talked briefly about a couple of my own passion projects at the beginning of the month and described them this way:
A passion project sets your soul on fire so you go after with everything you've got.
I knew I wasn't alone in my pursuit of passion projects, so I reached out to some of my biz & bloggy friends to ask for their thoughts on this whole passion project thing, and I'm sharing it with you today. The cool thing about passion projects is, they don't have to be related at all to your blog or your business. They are simply meant to make you happy, to fuel your creativity, and if they happen to make you some money, that's a bonus!
I'm so inspired by these women on the daily, but reading about their passion projects fuels me in a whole new way. I have no doubt you'll be inspired, too.
Passion projects have given me the confidence to show up, share my work, and connect with audiences in bold, new ways. They also allow me to exercise my multi-passionate spirit. My most beloved passion project is my poetry collection titled Brave Little Bones. I had the opportunity to collaborate with an extremely talented illustrator from the UK named Hannah Lewis to bring this glimmer of an idea to life. At the time, I juggled creating the book with full-time school, a full-time job, two internships, and my first real steps into blogging professionally. I quickly learned how to make the most of the small pockets of time I had between responsibilities and frequently got lost in the creative process. I highly recommend starting a no-pressure passion project and even taking on some collaborative partners along the way. You'll grow in ways you never thought were possible.
I never realized how important passion projects were until I started working on my first one. Not only is this project allowing me to team up with my best friend, but it's a way for me to do what I love without the pressure of pleasing clients. Now, don't get me wrong, I love my clients, but it's a whole new story when you're doing something because you love to do it! I've found myself feeling refreshed and excited every day I make time to work on it and I can't wait to see the end result.
My project (sorry, have to keep it a secret for now!) isn't related to my blog, but it will compliment it and the rest of my business well. We will be monetizing, but I'm hoping that won't change the fact that we're doing it because we love it!
If you've never made space for yourself to work on a passion project, give it a try. You might find it benefiting your existing business and mindset more than you thought it would, whether you're monetizing or not!
Passion projects are a great way to explore your creative side and the things you're genuinely interested in. For me, my biggest passion project has been blogging. What started out as a creative outlet has actually become a business and a way for me to make an income online. Because of blogging, I'm able to do something I love each and every day. I think that's what's most important about a passion project. It should make you feel good. It should fulfill you and light you up. If it doesn't do those things, you just aren't passionate enough about it. I feel so lucky that I've been able to take my passion project and turn it into something that allows me to connect with others around the world while making money.
My blog was my first passion project, a site dedicated to helping women love their life well and empowering them to be their best in fitness, health, and all the things in life worth loving. BUT, I really had a unique passion ignited in me when I "met" Kirsten for the first time a few months ago. We instantly connected on a business level and were both passionate about connecting bloggers, building community, and helping bloggers learn more about their craft. Kirsten had dreamed of doing blogger retreats for a long time and when we started talking about it, it was like God just lit a fire under us to get Home Grown Bloggers going. We can't wait to see where it goes!
I have learned that I need a partner to work on something with typically. Kirsten and I are really good at balancing each other out. We are monetizing our passion project with ticket sales to our first Home Grown Blogger event in Birmingham in September -- in fact, I'd love to take a moment to invite you to join us RIGHT THIS MOMENT. Sign up HERE! We are also monetizing by having sponsors. However, the amount of hours we are pouring into this means we are making pennies an hour. :) BUT we love it and believe one day it may change.
We are already planning our next event in Atlanta in early 2017 and are excited to see what cities we may go to next. We've already had bloggers tell us they want us to come to their cities and even their ISLANDS in the Carribean, yes please! Home Grown Bloggers is a great outlet for me and helps tie in with my blog and social media consulting business. I'm thrilled the Lord has given me so many things and people I love to be involved in. If I'd never started a blog, I would have never found any of these amazing things in my life.
My passion project was born out of a need for community in my own town. I wanted a networking event that didn't make me go way outside of my comfort zone and force me to tell my story a million times in a single evening. So one day, I invited 10 sort-of acquaintances over to my house to talk about business. What I thought would be a quick chat over wine, turned into a three-hour long discussion about strengths and weaknesses in business. It was magical.
What came out of that was the Boss Lady Bash, a 50+ person networking event that mimicked the intimate conversation that me and my 10 ladies had had in my living room. Since then, I've poured time, energy, and resources into creating a community of women local to Montana, as the resources here are really limited compared to the rest of the country.
I love the work that I do, but the biggest thing I realized was that it's hard to grow a business and a passion project without bringing on staff, so I've had to scale back on the Boss Lady community while growing the rest of my business.
To be a solopreneur is truly a labor of love, and that's the perfect description for my latest ass sweat inducing passion project, my FIRST ever real deal online course. It's been something I've wanted to do but haven't had the courage to do for 2.5 years now.
I've named my course baby, Badass Branding for Solopreneurs.
Why has it taken me so long to birth this labor of love?
First I convinced myself I didn't know enough, then it was that I didn't have a big enough list, then it was the fear that no one would buy it. It's been a roller coaster of emotions that until now I've let dictate my potential.
This year I decided I was going to make it happen in the face of my ever recurring fear and doubt. Honestly, I've channeled the bravery of my community and all that they overcome and all that they want as a solopreneur and I've use that to drive me through the uncertainty....which creeps in every day.
I know how many beginning and budding solopreneurs I can help, and it flat out maddens me that I deprive them of what I can teach them, from the opportunities I can show them are theirs for the taking...because of my own self imposed limitations. No more will I cheat them, or myself, out of what I was meant to do. No more will I daydream about helping solopreneurs develop, create, and grow their own badass brand. No more will I settle for that which comfort says is ok.
I've come to realize that failure is inevitable and never a reason not do something. I've come to terms with how much MORE I've learned from my screw ups than I've ever really gotten out of my successes. I've come to terms with there never being a guarantee in life, and how that's an adventure to be embraced.
It's time to step out from behind the safety of my comfort zone and be a source of inspiration for those who share my self doubt. It's time to do the work my soul craves and change the world in the small way I can. It's time to pull up my girl panties and bring my passion to life.
Today, I can proudly say that my passion project, Badass Branding for Solopreneurs, is launching on August 3rd.
What it will gift me in the way of profits, opportunities, confidence, insecurities, and/or experience is unknown, but I can finally admit....that's ok. My labor of love is worth whatever is on the other side.
May the passion boiling inside you FINALLY have an outlet to ooze. ;)
Passion projects have been so important to me. I feel like they really are the key to personal and professional development because they kind of nudge you into digging more deeply into yourself. Because I am absolutely in love with my business and what I do, I find that I take on so many passion projects related to my business. As a coach, I lead others to their a-ha moments but passion projects tend to lead me to mine! That truly is the beauty of a passion project. And a huge bonus is that many times you can monetize your passion projects. If you’re passionate about teaching, like I am, you can often do small workshops with value and then expand upon it into mini courses and/or full courses. There really is a world of opportunity within passion projects.
If that doesn't encourage you to pursue your passions, I don't know what will! Be sure to visit and encourage each of these amazing women, and leave a comment below to tell me about your passion project!