[Featured: The Wholehearted Woman] The Real Truth About Pursuing Your Passion

This post is originally published on the "Wholehearted Woman".  Visit their web site & sign up for their email to get your FREE copy of the magazine! [http://www.wholeheartedwoman.org/

I had my quarter-life crisis at age 24.  Don’t get me wrong, things on the outside looked great.  I was newly married, living an adventurous lifestyle abroad in Beijing, China, and landed a dream job teaching at an international school.  But things on the inside weren’t so dreamy.  I was struggling with the paradox of passion.  If I’m passionate about teaching, then how come I’m frustrated with my job?  If I’m meant to mentor others, then how come I can’t seem to find those opportunities?  If I’m here for a reason, then why can’t I create a well-integrated, passionate life?  

If I could go back and tell my 24-year-old self one thing, it would be this: Passion is working towards living out your Purpose.  It’s up to you to be intentional with it.  

There’s a lot of not-so-helpful tips about Passion out there.  “Do what you love, and you’ll never work a day in your life.”  “You only live once!” The essence of these mantras are to inspire you to do great things.  But if we’re not careful, we can struggle with Passion as we strive to chase it, rather than create it.     

Pursue Your Passion by Shi Chen

So today I wanted to share with you 3 Lies about Passion, and 3 Real Truths about pursuing it.  Hopefully, the truth will set you free. 

Passion Lie #1: “I need to be passionate about what I’m doing.”  

People get tripped up with this misconception because they associate their work with something that should fulfill their ultimate purpose.  The thing is, work is WORK.  People freak out when they can’t see the connection between where they are now, and where they’d like to be.  Your career and your business has different seasons.  It comes with challenges and opportunities for growth.  Putting your focus on things beyond your control, like circumstances, job title and description and where you can lose motivation.  Instead, you have it within your control to do the self-discovery work of identifying your passion, even if it’s just for the short-term..  Ask yourself: what’s important to me in order to create great work?  What’s my purpose for this season of my career?  What strengths do I have to offer to make a meaningful contribution?   Passion can consist of your gifts, your strengths, and your purpose, so when you can pinpoint these components, it’s easier to create opportunities to pursue them.  Passion starts with your attitude, your work ethic, and your outlook on creating positive outcomes so your initial passion can multiply into even more passion.  

For me, it was easy to lose sight of the big picture of helping these young kids grow their minds, confidence, and skills when I was caught up in the student drama, difficult conversations with parents, and administrative work.  Once I realized that my teaching job is equipping me with the leadership skills of communication, creation and execution, and working with different types of people (that would prepare me for whatever was next), I could engage better in all aspects of my work and infuse passion into everything I do.  

The Truth is: Pursuing your passion means you can be intentional about bringing passion into your work, instead of relying on your work to bring you passion.   

Passion Lie #2: “If I’m passionate about it, it should be so easy and FUN!”

The problem with this mentality is thinking passion = joy.  But the real definition of passion is doing something that’s bigger than yourself.  When you’re committed to doing something that really matters, like finally stepping out in faith to follow your dreams, go against the norm, or stand up for what you believe in, you’ll start to experience a bit of fear and resistance.  Change is tough -- and you could be mistaking those challenges and obstacles for a lack a passion.  For example, you will encounter self-doubt, people who naysay and don’t understand your vision, and things that won’t go as you expected.  Yes, pursuing your passion CAN be easy and fun, once you’ve learned to embrace your fears, face the resistance, and do what you set out to do anyways.  

During my teacher years, I noticed that I have a natural affinity for educating kids, but even more so, for mentoring and coaching emerging teachers.  As a young professional myself, who was I to teach best industry practices?  But when I recognized my desire to help other teachers with professional development, I had to face my fear of caring what others think, fear of failure, and a bit of fear of success in order to create a series of workshops, team building meetings, and one-on-one mentoring relationships.   

Truth: Pursuing your passion comes with learning to embrace your fears and face any resistance.

Passion Lie #3: “I need to turn my passion into profit.”

It’s certainly a noble goal to turn your passion into profit, but it’s a personal choice.  There are many  business owners who got to where they are today because they were good at something, helped people, and figured out a way to make it into their full-time living.  That’s what happened to me.  I got bit by the coaching and mentoring bug and wanted nothing more than to coach as as many people as possible.  

The thing to keep in mind is: there’s a difference between being a passionate creative/service provider and being a savvy business owner.  Meaning, I am a great coach but being a great boss lady requires a different skill set.  One that includes marketing, selling, product development, management, etc.  So, if you’re passionate about something, you get to choose whether or not you want to go through the learning curve of business building, or just keep it as a creative outlet.  Both are fine choices.    

Truth: Turning your passion into profit is a personal choice.  There’s a difference between being a passionate creative and a savvy business owner.  

When you pursue your passion, it’s important to recognize the hard work, the fear and the resistance, and the learning curve of new skills in order to continue to do work that matters and live a life of contribution and purpose. The truth is: passion starts with who you are, where you are.  You have the choice and the ability to infuse it into everything you do.  

If you're working on turning your passion into profit, then my 1:1 3-month "From Calling to Clients" business coaching package will help you lay a solid and sustainable foundation for your business.  Apply for a discovery call today to chat about if this is the right opportunity for you to receive the support to reach your BIG business goals.  

With joy, 

[Featured] How has accountability partners positively impacted your business?

I remember the blank stares and the confused looks whenever I would tell my real-life friends about my new coaching endeavors. I would talk about my mentoring sessions with clients, creating email opt-ins, or narrowing my offerings...my real-life friends would try to understand but didn't really have the context of what coaching and entrepreneurship required so we would just end up talking about the latest episode of Modern Family, or who should host the next game night.


And that's okay. It wasn't until I met other like-minded women entrepreneurs who had similar work did I find the importance of having support and accountability from a business bestie. So I wanted to share with you my thoughts on the IMPORTANCE of accountability for your business, and these thoughts were featured in Relevant Entrepreneur.

"Being a ‘one-woman show’ in business is hard! It’s easy to fall into the trap of believing the lies that I have to do it all (fear of being enough), I have to do it like her (comparison), or I have to do it perfectly (perfectionism). The BIGGEST impact of having a business bestie is having someone to speak truth into my life to keep me accountable to sticking to my vision and values AND get things done! God never meant for us to do life (and business) alone!” - Shi Chen


Check out the rest of the article (and encouraging words of some AMAZING role models in the industry including Jasmine Star and Lara Casey), and be sure to follow along with Relevant Entrepreneur. If you're in a need of a business bestie, then they'll hook you up!

Some more free goodies....

The month of February, we are focusing on "Building Relationships" because PEOPLE are what matters in your business. Download your FREE Mentor's Guide in the box below to get access to tips to engage with your role models, business besties, and mentees....to cultivate MEANINGFUL relationships that ultimately grow your network and your business.

With Joy,

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[Featured: The Well Studio] 5 Steps To Managing a Productive Project

A show I'm digging lately is Celebrity Apprentice with Arnold Schwarzenegger. You know, the one where there's B-List celebrities who are split into two teams and tasked with creating a marketing campaign for a famous brand, and need to face the challenges of leading a team of people with brazen personalities and manage a large, creative and technical project in a very short amount of time. All for charity.  It's fascinating. 

I've noticed that what separate the winners and the losers (those whose who get "terminated") is the ability to play to their strengths, create a strong vision of the outcome of the project, and delegate specific roles and responsibilities to the people on the team. All while communicating and checking on their progress as they take many moving parts and bring it together. If Housewives, Reality Stars, and Ex-athletes can do it, so can you.

So I wanted to share with you two resources about Project Management. Because as the CEO of your business, I know you have to toy the tension between leading people (and yourself well), and the planning, delegating, doing the work well.

1. "5 Steps to Managing a Productive Project" | Guest Post on The Well Studio

All projects have a simple framework that helps it move from "I have an idea" to "I implemented the idea". I break down this process to help you you focus on what matters (and maybe help you to see some parts you're NOT doing) to help you be more productive with your projects.  It’s featured as a guest post over with my friends at The Well Studio.  


2. "Prayerful & Playful Project Planning Guide" | Free Mind-Mapping Guide

I wanted to create a guide that features one of my go-to project planning tools that helps me to get all of my ideas out of my head and onto paper so I can visually see all of the moving parts to any project. This is great for anyone who’s creative, has way too many ideas floating around in their heads, and responsible for many projects.  The best part is: we start with prayer to intentionally focus on what matters, and then have fun brain dumping the possibilities to come up with the best solution for our projects.  


As always, leave a comment below letting me know what fun projects you’re up to!  

With joy,

[Featured: The Well Studio] 3 Ways to Embrace Fear

Fear.  It's the sneaky thing that's bound to pop up whenever you're pursuing something that matters.  Whether it's the fear of failure, fear of success, or fear of looking like a fool, I got your back.  Because the thing is, fear has a positive intention in our lives IF we learn how to deal with it, well.  That's why I wrote about "3 Ways to Embrace Fear," and I'm so honored that it's featured over on The Well Studio's blog.  The Well Studio is an amazing resource for Dreamers & Doers, on a mission to live, not perfectly, but well.  If you're dreaming up something big, and working on your goals, this read will be helpful in kicking fear to the curb.  Enjoy!   


The good news is, God uses everyday people to do extraordinary things

With joy,

[Featured: Grit & Virtue] 3 Essential Mentors For Your Entrepreneurial Journey

As a leader, you have people looking to you for direction and guidance.  But who do you look to for support and wisdom?  I believe that we were never meant to go on our entrepreneurial journey alone and need mentors in our lives to encourage, challenge, and champion our success. I wrote an article about 3 Essential Mentors For Your Entrepreneurial Journey that breaks down the type of mentors you need in your life (and it may not be what you think they are!) and of course, practical action steps for you to take to cultivate those relationships. It's featured on Grit & Virtue which is an incredible resource that equips women for their entrepreneurial journey.  Check it out and let me know who your mentors are, or who you'd like to connect with!


"We were made to thrive in community, and use our gifts and strengths to serve others."

With joy,