I accidentally fell into this line of self-questioning at the age of 32. Upon wrapping up a super-successful event I looked around at the Champagne toasters, smiling executives and celebrities and thought to myself, "What are you doing? Sure, Lori, you're great at entertainment marketing, are soaring up the corporate ladder, but these 65-plus hour weeks? What sort of difference are you making in the world around you? Are you really happy? Truly happy?" No. No, I wasn't. This wasn't me. This was something I lucked into; someone else's lifelong dream. But definitely not mine. When I should have been on cloud nine, I couldn't have cared less.
That was all I needed to catapult me into making a decision to go after what would make me jump on a couch in excitement! Hug my best friend with the cheesiest smile on my face! Cry tears of joy because I am beside myself with gratefulness for being able to pursue and live my passion.
Since I was young, I've always loved performing. Never fully letting my passion go, I pursued it here and there, basically making performing a glorified hobby. Simply put, though, performing is a broad term, so I had to tackle some tough questions to nail down what my true passion is. How do I envision my outcome? Who do I want to inspire? Help? What kind of life would I enjoy? On the road? Staying in one place? So many options! By whittling down the scope of my desire I was able to pinpoint what I should go after.
The first step is... taking the first step.
Photo credit: Brian Doremus
We can let fear hold us back; comparing ourselves to others, over-analyzing the marketplace, etc. and decide it's easier to stay where we are. And, yep, it is easier to stay where you are. Taking the first step is freaking scary! Before I jumped the ship of security and normalcy I made a super-specific game plan. Decided what I would need to do so that I could quit my job. What exactly does pursuing my passion look like? How much time would I give to what tasks? What could I do while in transition from full-time job to full-time passion? I wrote down goals, researched, was tactical, educated myself and then I stopped planning and... did it!I Did it afraid, but I did it.
The road to success isn't always a fast one. By looking at achieving our passion as a journey and utilizing goals as guidelines we can retain the heartfelt drive of our passion vs. wallowing in self-doubt, negative talk and destructive, passion-killing attitudes. Seriously. Let me help you learn from a quick take of my six-year journey.
Once I formed my band (Backnbloom) we tick-tocked away along the music industry route. Shows, licensing deals, an album, label interest, more deals, networking, another album, videos, different label interest, more shows, on and on and on, and before realizing it three years had gone by. We had great success on paper but still weren't paying the rent with our music. In fact, I needed to seriously pay my rent and had to find something flexible that allowed me to work on music. Because of my past passion-less job this rent-payer needed to be something that brought my heart joy. I love yoga. So yoga teacher I became! I speed tracked through an intense training and, while there, had the idea to mix my love of yoga, music and fashion into a project; thus spawning Electroga: The Electrified Yoga Workout!
By being open to veering off course I was I able to pay the rent to pursue my passion and created another creative musical outlet. An outlet that is taking me on an exciting adventure that I never would have imagined. It required two years to launch Electroga, part of in which we (my band mate and I) wrote and produced over 50 mini electronic-pop music tracks for the classes; falling in love with our new sound and new way of making music! Choosing a few of our favorite mini-songs to create full songs we blasted record labels with a track to get any sort of feedback. Lo and behold, we were contacted by Wiz Khalifa's peeps to purchase our song for his album! (Download "Let it Go" for Free)
The song almost made it on the album, but we had what we needed: Motivation to do our thing. A year later from this potential sale, we are getting ready to release an album, Electroga may partner with major brands to tour college campuses, and I'll be teaching and performing, creating more music, feeding and growing my passion through non-traditional outlets.
If I would have stuck to the notion of the process looking like X, Y, Z I would still be in that three-year circle of doom. Life throws curves. Instead of trying to make them fit the mold, I now do my best to look at them as opportunities to grow; finding ways to incorporate the things that bring me joy. While my original goals remain steadfast and true, the road map to reaching them is flexible.
This flexibility can unearth and feed other passions, like Backnbloom and Electroga did for me in creating a motivational program for young women, Being a True HOTI: Hot on the Inside.
Here I am, six years later, still pursuing my passion! And I'm still as excited about it as I was before. Jumping was the scariest thing that I have ever done and the best thing! That feeling of "Oh my gosh! I'm really doing this. I'm taking care of me. I can do this." is so empowering. Even now, when things seem like they are standing still I'll close my eyes and revisit the moment I "jumped" and those same amazing emotions boil over inside and amp me up. Reassuring me to not give up. That there is no doubt that I am doing the right thing!
Your passion is a passion for a reason. It will drive you. It will motivate you. It will make you your best cheerleader! Don’t give up. I encourage you to take that first step, and never look back!
Tell us what you’re doing to reach your goals this year! Follow us and tweet #PursueYourPassion for more inspiration.
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