How Can I Get Paid Doing What I Love?

whatsnext_slide1_maddyIllustrated by Madelyn Somers.
I’ve been in my field for several years now, and I'm ready to do something new. But, I don't know what that is. I’ve read every book and article about finding your passion and making money at it. Many of the books suggest writing down your ideal day. Mine involves organizing, throwing things out, building systems for putting life's mundane tasks on autopilot, and analyzing my household budget to maximize my savings. I really can't imagine getting paid for any of this.
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You are looking at the things you love to do in only one context. You’re seeing them as things that only have value when they’re applied within your home and in your personal life. In fact, organizational skills, building systems for greater efficiency, financial analysis to maximize savings (or profits?) are all skills that are highly sought-after. Shift your focus to see those skills in a broader, business-oriented context and you’ll see that those skills are incredibly transferable to the business world.
Many of us have skills that come easily to us. And, because they are second nature to us, we make the assumption that they must come easily to everyone. That’s not the case at all. Treasure the skills you have. Acknowledge first to yourself that they have real value and then go out and sell those skills to others in whatever business arena you fancy — because there isn’t a business out there that doesn’t need them to be successful.
You can also think a bit out-of-the-box: There is a growing trend toward individuals marketing themselves as “personal concierges” — providing services that range from picking-up the dry cleaning to shopping for holiday gifts to organizing everything from clients’ closets to their kitchen to their home — to their entire life.
And, many real estate agents are now working with professional “stagers” — people who come in to a property before it’s put on the market to re-arrange, organize, and even substitute the contents to make the home more attractive to buyers.
These are perfect careers for someone with your skill set who wants to have her own business — with the added benefit that if you market your services well and have more business than you can handle, you can find other like-minded organizers and grow your business — and your offerings.
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It's entirely possible to take the skills you're best at and find innovative ways to get paid for them. Sometimes it just takes a little digging.