How many of us wished that we work because we want to - not because we have to?
The reality is that for most of us, our day jobs are just a way for us to earn a living. Discontentment starts setting in when there is a marked difference between what we're currently doing in life and what we would like to be doing instead.
If you've been thinking of pursuing your passion, here's our advice: Go for it! Take note of these basics to prepare yourself for the journey ahead:
1. Don't hate on your full-time job
It doesn't always have to be your job versus your passion; think of your professional life as a collaboration between the two. While your passion project feeds your soul, your full-time job gives you the financial stability you need.
Treat your full-time job as an opportunity to learn. There are so many important skills you could pick up from your job, and these could come in especially handy if you're looking at starting up your own business through your passion project.
However, if your job is truly demotivating and doesn't add any value to your personal development, it's time to find a better one.
2. Start building your personal brand
Making your passion known to everyone is an important step in building up your passion project. If you're interested to start up a catering business on the side, for example, don't be shy to ask your friends and colleagues if you could cater their next event.
Start telling people what you're doing, and support all that talk with a wholesome Facebook or Instagram page to keep them interested.
While some people feel reluctant to let their employer know about their side projects, it should not be an issue as long as the side project is not in violation of your employment contract and it does not affect your work performance. It helps to be transparent with your company. Plus, if you're lucky, your bosses and colleagues may even have valuable contacts to recommend to you!
3. Make time for your new goals
Before you say "But I just don't have the time..." take a look at your daily schedule and see how you can improve it. Do you spend an extra 15 minutes every morning scrolling through Facebook in bed? Are you binge-watching when you could be blogging? Swap time-stealing habits with more productive tasks instead.
It also helps to allocate a specific time in your schedule for your side project. You could dedicate two hours every Saturday morning, for example, for the things you want to pursue - and stick with it.
At the end of the day, everyone only has 24 hours to work with and it's what you do with them that makes all the difference.
4. Keep track of your progress
If you have dreams of turning your passions into a full-time gig somewhere down the road, it's helpful to start tracking your progress. Start by figuring out what you want out of the project. Then, set realistic weekly, monthly, and yearly goals to get there.
If you're doing a side business, tracking your finances is important to help you make key decisions, from managing your costs, to expansion plans.
It's not all about the money - it's also helpful to track your emotional state throughout the journey. Having a clear overview of how certain days make you feel will give you a better clue as to what you're doing that works and what doesn't, which helps you get closer to the fulfillment you're ultimately looking for.
5. Surround yourself with positive influences
Working on your passion while holding down a full-time job is a real challenge, and that's exactly why you need a strong support system to keep you going. Seek out successful role models who are where you want to be, and find out how they got there. You could talk to someone you know personally, or attend motivational talks by those that inspire you.
Bring more positivity to your social media feeds by following inspirational pages and personalities. Whether your goal is to be a blogger-turned-entrepreneur or a fitness fan-turned-gym owner, find the kind of pages that speak to your passions to keep you inspired every time you scroll through your phone.
6. Stay energised and focused
How you choose to spend your after work hours will determine how successful you'll be with your new goals. Understandably, it isn't easy to keep up energy levels throughout the day - getting over the down times after lunch and after work is always the hardest! Help your body to increase energy production by giving it all it needs.
Getting enough sleep every night will help keep you stay energetic during the day. That might be easier said than done in today's fast-paced environment, so if that isn't a feasible option for you right now, give your body all the goodness it needs by eating right, working out regularly, and taking proper nutritional supplements.
Research shows that 90% of Malaysians find it difficult to focus on the task at hand, with inadequate oxygen flow to the brain being one of the causes. This is why it's doubly important to be consistent with your healthy eating and workout plans.
You could also try BRAND'S Essence of Chicken to keep your body healthy and your mind sharp. It helps with promoting metabolism, which results in improved oxygen levels, reduced tiredness and improved concentration.
7. Don't ever, ever give up!
You owe it to yourself to live a happier, more meaningful life so when the days get tough, take a breather - but don't ever give up. Take the time to reward yourself for all the thing you've achieved and keep yourself motivated.
Bad days will come but that's okay - there's a lesson to be learned with every down time so ask yourself, "What can I learn from this? How do I do better next time?" It doesn't matter if you've been working on your passion for one week or one year, just hang in there and don't give up because here's the thing: It can only get better from here.