Tag: career


What Happens When Your Passion Disrupts Your Career?

It was 2011 and I was working as an image consultant and media coach for recording artists. I was waiting for my new client in his publicist’s conference room. He was coming in to begin his media coaching with me to prep him for his next radio tour.

In our first session he told me his life story, how he got to where he was, and what his future looked like. He was different from most of the other recording artists I had worked with. His values and priorities were on a whole other level.

What was typical.

He told me about how he grew up poor with humble beginnings and how he’d always been passionate about music with goals to pursue it as a career. Not an uncommon story among most musicians who eventually make their way to Nashville.

He was the first person in his family to finish not just college, but also high school. This inspired him to become a high school social studies teacher, something else he was very passionate about.

After college, he pursued teaching to support his music career goals. He did both until he couldn’t any longer.

His music caught on like wildfire. In fact, he was getting so many bookings and selling out so many venues his music career completely disrupted his teaching career. He had to leave his students to fulfill his new obligations to his fans.

Again, this is not an unusual story or scenario for most recording artists as they begin their careers. Most start off doing something else to make a living until they’re able to afford to pursue music full-time.

What was different.

But here’s where it gets different with this particular artist:  he said to me,

“When this whole music thing dries up, which it probably will eventually, my plan is to go back to teaching social studies.”

I had never heard a recording artist talk like this. Most get so caught up in their rise to fame and fortune they think it will never come to an end. They don’t think long-term.

In fact, most of them believe, and are also told by numerous music industry executives, if you truly want to make it in the music business you can’t have a Plan B. Their theory is if you have a Plan B, you’ll never be fully motivated to pursue the Plan A of a music career. They believe you’ll give up too soon and default to your Plan B before Plan A gets off the ground.

This client was the only artist I knew who didn’t fall for that. He strongly disagreed with that mindset and felt it was totally irresponsible not to have a Plan B. Like everything else, he knew Plan A will eventually come to an end.

He also told me something else I’ll never forget. His first big headline show completely sold out, and acts as big as Brantley Gilbert and the Zac Brown Band were opening for him! He said to me,

“To this day, there’s not been one stage I’ve walked onto that didn’t beat the feeling I got the first day I walked into a classroom.”

Talk about a mic drop!

Whether he realizes it or not, this musician is still teaching others in his role as an artist. There are so many lessons from this interaction and his statements I almost don’t know where to begin.

But let’s try to unpack as much as we can here.

1. It can’t be all about the money.

It’s obvious he wasn’t doing any of this for the money. Everyone knows there’s very little money in education. And for someone willing to go back to education after a more lucrative career shows money isn’t a top priority.

As a career coach specializing in helping people pursue their passions, I can tell you if you’re pursuing something only for money with no passion behind it, it’s likely to fail. All the experts will tell you this. This includes business experts, successful entrepreneurs, other career coaches, and the ones who learned this lesson the hard way.

And not only is it likely to fail, you’re also likely to be miserable. If you’re not passionate about what you do and you find no meaning in it besides earning a paycheck, you’re likely to dread going to work everyday. This will wear on you over time.

2. You have to think long-term.

Nothing lasts forever. You could be laid off tomorrow from your current job. Your business idea could take off like a rocket and then just as quickly crash and burn. My former client’s bookings could easily dry up since music fans’ tastes are fickle.

So then what?

While it’s important to learn to live in the moment, there needs to be a balance between living in the moment and considering the future.

One of the things I work with my coaching clients on is establishing long-term goals and helping them figure out how their passions can evolve with those goals.

Sometimes this requires re-evaluating and altering their short-term goals. And sometimes it may require them to alter their long-term goals.

3. It’s not a bad idea to have a back-up plan.

As a result, you may need a Plan B to your Plan A, or even a Plan C to your Plan B.

These plans don’t have to be completely different from each other like they were for my former client. They could be something in the same industry but in a different role or function.

Back-up plans can be a great solution when you’re feeling stuck in your current career situation. I’ve helped many clients brainstorm and test potential back-up plans which eventually got them unstuck.

Do you see any other lessons here I missed? (If so, please comment below!)

Conclusion

My former client had two very different careers he was equally passionate about. One disrupted the other much more quickly than he expected. And it could happen again some day.

This happens to almost all of us, including myself when I went from career coaching to image consulting then back to career coaching again.

What will you do when the career you’re passionate about gets disrupted by another passion? Or if it gets disrupted by an entirely new passion you’ve discovered? What will happen if you don’t have another passion (a Plan B) to fall back on?

If you don’t have an answer to these questions, it may be time to consider the lessons outlined above, or even some career coaching for yourself. To find out if career coaching is your next best step, click here and complete the paNASH intake form. Completing the form does not obligate you in any way.

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Do You Have a Passion Project?

I hope your new year will be one lived with passion!

Pursue Your Passion Project

I encourage you in the new year to take on what I call a “passion project.” A passion project is something personal you’ve always had a desire to do or accomplish. Include it in your goals for 2017 so you can start taking steps toward it. When you do, please keep me posted on your progress!

My own passion project for 2017 is to publish a 30-day devotional based on my personal blog, SUP:  Spiritual Understanding & Prayer on a Stand Up Paddleboard. This project combines three of my passions:  my love for God, writing, and stand up paddling. 

Give Purpose to Your Passion Project

Ask yourself how you can give purpose and meaning to your passion project. For example, I plan to use money from the book sales to help fund a mission trip I’m taking to the banks of the Amazon River in Brazil. (So far I’ve raised $1,675 and have only $825 to go!) If you’d like to pre-order a copy of the book at only $12, click here.

Please let me know how I can encourage you in the pursuit of your own passions. (Click here to schedule a complimentary “Path to Purpose” meeting.) And if there’s someone you know who can benefit from my services in 2017, please send them my way!

Happy new year!
Lori B. of paNASH

From Fashionista to Passionista

Life In Limbo

I recently learned about the meaning of the word “trigger.” And no, I don’t mean the part of a gun you pull when ready to fire. Instead, in terms of life circumstances, the word “trigger” means, “a life event that forces you into limbo.

When I first saw this definition of the word “trigger,” I realized that’s exactly what I had been in for the past year and a half:  LIMBO. (Some people call it “feeling stuck.”)

What was the life event forcing me into limbo? Nothing I would describe as an “event” occurred.

I just know that during the summer of 2014, whenever I wasn’t busy with my work as an image consultant, I was packing in as many fun activities into my schedule as I could.

Parasailing, stand up paddle boarding, kayaking, hiking, biking, rock climbing and more. Heck, I even got to ride in a race car during one of the video shoots I was working on. It was absolutely exhilarating!

F to P

Looking back, I now realize that getting out and experiencing life to the fullest was probably my “trigger.”

Why? Because it opened up in me a whole new yearning for a fully-lived life. Not just for me, but also for others.

But at the time, I couldn’t see exactly what that looked like. I started feeling restless and burned out with my image consulting work I once was very passionate about. And I was lacking a vision and purpose for the future of my business.

Despite having so much fun in my free time, I was definitely in limbo. Which is not always a fun place to be.

Fear As An Obstacle

During my limbo phase, I couldn’t figure out what I wanted to do or what God wanted me to do career-wise. It was frustrating and discouraging.

All I know is, during the summer of 2014, people were coming to me with the same struggles. They were saying to me how they feel they need some kind of change in their life and work. How they wish they could have the time and the means to enjoy life discovering and pursuing their passions like I was.

Every time I heard this my heart would go out to them. I would say, “You CAN!” But, my encouragement was always met with some kind of obstacle, either real or perceived.

Their responses included reasons (or are they excuses?) such as, “I don’t have the money.” Or, “I don’t have the time.” Or, “I don’t have the skill/education,” etc., etc., etc.

I think a lot of those examples could easily be translated to “I don’t have the courage.” This is understandable because fear can be extremely paralyzing. Whether it’s fear of the unknown, fear of failure, or fear of change.

The Vision Becomes Clear

As the summer turned into fall and winter and then summer again, I continued trying and doing new things to help me make sense of the uncertainty I was experiencing.

I went ice skating for the first time in my life, took a fly fishing class, and learned archery.

In that time I also continued my favorite activity I had picked up the previous summer, stand up paddle boarding. I have two boards now and paddle every month of the year, even in the dead of winter, because I am so very passionate about it.

Also, I did something this past September I never imagined doing. I paddled 16.4 miles from downtown Nashville’s Nissan Stadium on the winding Cumberland River to Rock Harbor Marina. I thought it would take me about five or six hours to complete. But I finished in 4 hours and 15 minutes. All while going against a headwind with little to no current to help carry me downstream.

Photo by Joey Martin

Photo by Joey Martin

This experience taught me that, although I couldn’t see the finish line because of all the twists and turns in the river, it eventually would become clear as I neared it. Even if it took what seemed like forever. All I had to do was be patient and keep moving one paddle stroke at a time.

That’s exactly what I did in my time of limbo. I kept doing the little bit I knew to do at a time and waited for the answer to come.

All this, along with much prayer, led up to the moment on December 17th, 2015 when suddenly my limbo ended. The clouds parted and the sun shined brilliantly on what my purpose is at this stage in my life.

I was in the shower, where I do my best thinking. And suddenly I could see in my head the word PASSION, as if written in flashing neon lights.

The message I was getting is I am to help other people discover and pursue their passions in life and work, and help them find ways over, through, or around the obstacles and fears keeping them from their passions.

As soon as this came to my mind, I could clearly see and visualize ways of helping people do this, using my own unique strengths and passions.

The rest of that day and for the time since, I’ve received numerous confirmations this is truly my new path. And I’ve taken steps toward making it a reality.

From Fashionista To Passionista

From Fashionista to PassionistaWith this new vision for my future, I was also able to look back on the past and see how God is using my past experience to prepare me for this.

Straight out of grad school I became a college career adviser because I was passionate about helping college students discover what it was they loved and wanted to do in their life (instead of just doing what their mom or dad told them to do).

Twelve years of that experience has prepared me to coach people on how to incorporate their passions into their work and how to make money doing what they love while helping others.

My own sense of adventure and love for developing new interests outside of work has also prepared me to help others pursue passions outside of their work.

I was even able to see how the name of my image consulting business, paNASH, can still work with my new mission and purpose (God doesn’t waste anything!).

So, now, I am no longer an image consultant. While I enjoyed styling people’s wardrobes and helping them look and feel their best, I’m ready to instead help them LIVE THEIR BEST!

I now have my certifications in transformational coaching, solution-focused coaching, and life coaching to become a Passion & Career Specialist (my own little niche and twist on life and career coaching).

I guess you could say I’ve gone from somewhat of a fashionista to a passionista!

I’m excited to embark on this new journey. I don’t look at it as something I do for a living. It’s something I live.

If you want to start living this way, then pursue your passions with paNASH! Email me to find out more on the ways I can help you put your passion into action. Or, join our newsletter and receive a complimentary 8-Step Goal Achievement Plan.

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