Live Your Passion

ZenHabits offers some really sensible advice on how to turn your passion into a successful career

So you have your passion picked out? Here’s how to turn it into a living.

1. Learn. Read up on it, from blogs to magazine articles online to books to ebooks. Look for the free stuff first… Find others who are doing it well and study them closely.

2. Do. Do not put this step off for months and months while you learn. You’ll learn most by doing. Start doing it for free. Do it for friends, family. Find clients who’ll pay a small amount. Start a blog and write about it… Continue to do step one as you’re doing this step.

3. Get amazing at it. This is just more doing and learning.

4. Start charging. As soon as you can do it well enough to charge, do so. You can start low — the main thing is to keep getting experience, and to get clients who can recommend you to others. You want to work hard to knock their socks off. Slowly raise your rates as your skills improve.

5. Keep improving. Never stop learning, getting better. Use client or reader feedback to help.

6. Build income streams. This is where the money starts coming in. You can start this step at any time — don’t wait until you’ve done all the other steps. Build as many income streams as you can, one at a time. (Examples included in the original writeup)

When you think about it, that’s all you really need to do!  Yes, it takes some doing.  But it can help you go from dream to reality, no matter what your passion is.  That’s pretty powerful, isn’t it?!

The ZenHabits writeup also offers helpful pointers on issues pertaining to quitting your job, investing in office space, etc.  So, if you have ever kindled that entrepreneurial fire within you, get cracking on it…

Troubleshooting Yourself

Is your computer getting a better deal than you are? How can you change things around to make sure that you’re taking good care of yourself?

The sub-text was intriguing, to say the least.  As I continued reading the post by Ali Hale on Dumb Little Man, I couldn’t help but smile.  The analogy made perfect sense!  Even those of us who know how to take care of our gadgets could do with a reminder on how to take better care of ourselves

Most of us work and play at our computers. We might abuse them from time to time, but we try to take good care of them. We install virus-protection software, we carry our laptops in a special case, we reboot the computer when it’s getting slow, and so on. If something goes wrong – an odd error message, or the blue screen of death – we take action to fix it.

Do you take such good care of yourself? Or do you end up working yourself into the ground, ignoring the first symptoms of problems? Here are some dos and don’ts which are probably part of your computer’s regime: how about making them part of yours too?

Here are the main points, for all you ultra-busy multi-taskers out there…

  • Don’t … Run Lots of Programs At Once
    Having your email and Twitter open while working on a report isn’t generally helpful
  • Do … Prevent Viruses Ever Taking Hold
    Getting enough sleep… Avoiding excessive amounts of stress…
  • Don’t Wait Until The Battery’s Dead to Recharge
    We often push ourselves too hard, and ignore our own “low battery” signals
  • Do … Implement Efficiency Tips
    Whatever area you want to improve in your life, you can find a guide to help you to do it
  • Don’t … Try to Fix It All Yourself
    There is nothing wrong or weak about seeking help when you need it

Do take the time to read the entire post.

Saving Your PC

I was surprised to read on TechSoup about the environmental impact that PCs have :

According to the Electronics TakeBack Coalition, manufacturing one desktop computer and monitor requires 530 pounds of fossil fuels, 48 pounds of chemicals, and 1.5 tons of water…  A report from United Nations University indicates that building a computer takes five times more energy than that computer will use throughout the rest of its life; therefore, extending the life of your PC by two years can make a huge difference in your organization’s overall environmental footprint.

Even if you’re not particularly concerned about the hole in the sky, I’m sure you will appreciate low-cost ways to get a little more life from your computers. 

Here’s a list of things you can do before you give up on it completely:

  • Software Fixes – Maintenance tools, Virus prevention, Open source
  • Role Change – Test machine, Spare parts, Thin client
  • Hardware Upgrades – More RAM, New hard drive, SSDs?
  • New OS – Less demanding open-source OS
  • Refurbishing / Recycling / Donating

TechSoup’s excellent writeup has all the details, with ample links to online resources that can help you today!

Save the PC…  Save the world…