How do you know if what you're creating will have value to anyone else? The answer lies in getting clear about what you are passionate about.
Chauncea schedules regular “Chauncea Check-Ins” and routine “Social Media Check Outs.” She uses that time to evaluate her projects (new, existing, and potential) to make sure they align with her core values, standards, and goals. But how would a break from social media help this process? “ . . . as creatives, we can be consumed with the content that others produce (especially on social media). While it can be inspiring and helpful . . . I have been surprised at what fresh and original ideas and content I create on my own [when I step away].”
Monica Lee Henell figured out what her passions were by diving deep into getting to know herself, her likes and dislikes and interests. "To unearth my passion, I had to continually ask myself, what keeps me interested?" Passion isn't just a momentary diversion, it's at the core of everything you love doing. Think about the work you've loved producing, what is interesting about it? You may love to make cupcakes, but to understand your passion, you need to know what it is about making cupcakes that you love. Is it baking? Homemaking? Celebrating? Once you can identify your passion, let it evolve from there. Let’s say it’s celebrating that you love most. Your passion might evolve into party planning and because you know that celebrating is your core passion, you can go with it. By moving beyond cupcakes, you aren’t giving up who you are or what you love.
Monica is such a fantastic example of this; her work has evolved from podcast creator and host, to live fashion week illustrator, to creative coach, to artist of large scale oil paintings. Her core passion has always been creativity and it has figured prominently in every iteration of her career.
If you understand your broader passion, you won’t lose your voice as you grow. If instead, you limit yourself to a certain niche, you may start to feel stifled and risk personal growth.
"I always keep in mind 'Does this thing I’m creating move, interest, or appeal to ME?'" says Violet Tinder creator Natasha Martin. "If the answer is no, then I go back to the drawing board."
For Natasha, the choice is clear: “Money is exciting (and also very necessary!) but following that while neglecting [your passion] will never payoff in the long run. I’ve turned down some fairly lucrative offers because I just couldn’t get behind it, and I knew that would show. I’ve also taken on projects I’ve LOVED for very little pay, and they turned out to be some of the very best things I did! When you’re passionate about your work, that comes through and people can sense it.”
What's your core passion? And when did you discover it?