When Doing What You Love Becomes Routine

By: Eden Hensley; Photos by: Justin Hackworth and Brooke Dennis for Alt Summit

As creative entrepreneurs we follow our passions. Often taking what we love and turning it into a business. And along the way, doing what we love can become a slog. Doing what we love transforms from a passion into a routine.

How does this happen? Because making a full-time living from our passions, adds to our to do list. We may need to track inventory. Invoice customers to get paid. Collect receipts for taxes. Pitch potential partners for opportunities. Manage employees as we grow. And more.

As we focus on these new tasks, we may unintentionally move away from being hands on with our passion. We may lose touch with why we were drawn to our passion. But we can turn it around! We started our venture because we wanted to, and we can choose to do something different if it isn’t working out as expected.

Ten Ways Creatives Break Out of the Routine

Last Wednesday, members of the Alt Community chatted on Twitter about how to avoid burn out and what to do if your passion is now a chore. What follows is the advice they gave to one another. 

  1. Make sure that you’re doing it BECAUSE you really love, not because it’s the “cool thing” to do. - Tara Illy, Editor and Curator of The Brew, @_Tara_Illy
  2. Constantly evaluate the WHY of what you’re doing. If the why isn’t from love but duty, you’ll lose the drive AND success. - Jill Swensen, Being Spiffy, @BeingSpiffy
  3. Step away from the biz aspect and remember why you do what you do. - Laurel, A Bubbly Life, @ABubblyLife
  4. Stay passionate by sharing with like-minded people. The blogging community is so amazing and supportive. - Jaelan, Making Mrs. M: A Lifestyle Blog, @MakingMrsM
  5. Avoid focusing too much on your passion. It can be draining. Take breaks from it and focus on other creative things, to keep it fresh. - Camie Juan, The Wild Spirit, @CamieJuan
  6. Have personal projects on the side! Put your stamp or flavor on everything you do – it helps keep the love in it. - Misha Hettie, @Misha_Photo
  7. Side projects. Pick up the camera and start shooting. Interview someone and take their photos. Prime your creative pump. - Sandra Harris, Raincoast Creative Salon, @Sandrat212
  8. If you stop loving something and start loathing it, you don’t have to keep doing it forever! Projects have lifespans. - Melissa Bahen, Lulu the Baker, @LulutheBaker
  9. Take breaks and vacations. Come back refreshed and excited. - Elisha Davidson, @MorleeCreative
  10. Include selfcare as part of your business plan. If you burn out, you can’t serve. - Kate McCombs, @KateCom

Want to engage with other creatives? Join us every Wednesday on Twitter for #AltChat, 9AM PDT / 12PM EDT.

Go Deeper: More Resources

If you’re thinking of turning your passion into a business, here are some other recent articles that may be helpful:

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Eden Hensley

Marketing creative, community engagement specialist, technophile, photographer, food and wine enthusiast, and the founder and editor-in-chief of The Road to The Good Life, a lifestyle blog about appreciating and enhancing your life by being grateful for the "haves" instead of lingering on the "wants." There you will find personal stories about my life and family weaved in with real-life, achievable entertaining tips, recipes for hearty home cooked meals, and DIY projects for capturing and sharing memories. I believe the best place to swap stories is over a shared meal, preferably a Thai-meal served family style, and teach an online introduction class to Thai Flavors and host the Family Dinners at The Station supper club in San Francisco.