welcome to Episode 25 of the Infuse Joy Podcast! I am your host Sarajane Case, writer, coach, speaker and creator of the Journey Books planner service. In today’s episode we are discussing
what to do when you don’t know what to do!
I get asked about this a lot and I thought for sure I’d already created an episode about this, but, I went looking and there wasn’t anything, so here we are! Often people ask me about this in a way that assumes I’ve never felt that particular struggle. Like I was born with full awareness that I would one day be a business coach with a day planner company and a podcast. However, I have absolutely had my share of existential crises. In fact, I have them semi-regularly. I have just nailed down how I deal with them. However, there was a season that was particularly difficult for me.
I can remember sitting in my college counselors office and crying because I had no idea what I was going to do with my life. It was time to choose a major and I had nothing. I felt passionless and uninteresting. We spent weeks and weeks - which I’m sure was really fun for her - of me just crying because i had no idea who I was or what I wanted and it seemed like everyone else had figured it out already. At one point she mentioned that I may enjoy drama because I was very expressive - I’m wondering now if that wasn’t alluding to my dramatics in the office more than anything. But, do you know how I figured out drama wasn’t for me? I tried it!
I joined in on several productions and I hated it. There were parts that were fun - like the acting part. But, there was a lot that wasn’t. The auditioning process was disheartening for me and the fact that you have to be at rehearsals all of the time. That didn’t fit my enneagram 7 need to be free and flexible! What I found was that the art of acting and the good parts weren’t enjoyable enough for me to withstand the hard parts. I just had to try it.
I tried a lot of other things too! I tried painting which I liked but, didn’t love. I kept a notebook of the coffee shop that I would one day open. I considered mission work. But, nothing quite felt right.
I finally declared my major on the first day of my first photography class. I took one class and knew that I was going to love this. Yes, there were pieces of being a photographer that I didn’t love, but, ultimately, what it offered me far outweighed the negative. I’d been the photographer for my school yearbook in high school and I loved to take photos in my free time, in that class, I just knew that was my next step. I jumped in fast and hard and loved every minute of it.
I planned to be a world renown photojournalist. That is until I worked at a newspaper. Through working at the newspaper I learned that I actually don’t really enjoy being a fly on the wall. I started shooting weddings because it combined my skills as a photojournalist with people that I got to connect to and being able to pose people how I wanted. Posing turned out to be one of my greatest skills as a photographer and I took that further going into boudoir photography which is primarily posing and relationship. I loved it. But, more and more I found myself losing interest in the photography side of boudoir and more and more interested in just talking with the women, hearing their story and writing blog posts that inspired them to go after what they want and be who they want to be.
I waited to re-invigorate myself until it was too late. ( This is the point in the story that I could go on a whole tangent about how to prevent burnout, but, we’ve been there before so, we’ll stay on track.)
My story continues from boudoir to managing a coffee shop to taking a marketing position to starting a marketing company to business coaching to Journey Books and it won’t stop here.
I’m telling you my history for a very specific reason, I did not get where I am by waiting until I had the answer come to me. I didn’t create this beautiful career by hoping that some test online would give me the answers I needed to know who I am and what I want.
I got here because I tried things.
Anytime something seemed interesting to me I tried it. Sometimes, I enjoyed it enough to monetize it. Other times, I tried it long enough to realize it wasn’t for me. Sometimes, I did both. But, I always tried.
Honestly, finding a passion is a lot like dating. You need to get to know someone first before committing to them. If you find them intriguing and never get to know them well enough to see their flaws, they can live in your mind as a perfect being who was everything you hoped for. I’ve always said the quickest way to move on from a crush is to actually date the person. Because once you do, you start to see all of their human parts and it’s incredibly rare that their humanity will match up with your humanity in a way that works.
— I am someone who really appreciates people. I think everyone is beautiful and I’m fascinated with everybody. In my younger years, it made it so easy for me to get crushes on people. Too easy. So, I started playing this game - I would run our relationship to it’s course and figure out why we would break up. That allowed me to move forward crush less and pleased and able to focus on my life. I tell you this to say that everything has it’s flaws. Every job has it’s obstacles, every relationship has it’s potential for heartache. Sometimes, You can think your way to the end result - do your research! You can ask people who’ve held that job before what the hardest parts are. Then, you can assess if it still seems worth it. If it seems worth it, try it out for a minute for free. See how it feels. Then charge someone once. See how that feels. One step at a time.
For those of you who are sitting there like, “but, what if I’m not even sure what things I find interesting?” To you I say, start thinking about your life. What do you do for free on a regular basis. What is it that you bring to every job you’ve ever held?
Even more powerful of a question, who is it that you’re jealous of? Whose life do you envy the most? What is it that looks appealing to you?
Once you find something of interest, just try it! Then, try something else, and something else. See what sticks.
What won’t work, what will not help you get closer to clarity is thinking about it and not doing anything. Once you begin trying, start learning! Dive deep into educating yourself on what would help you to get better. There’s so much online, you can learn to do anything! You just have to start.
The trajectory looks like this:
realize that you are jealous of that girl who has a watercolor painting business - realize that you always loved to create the signage and do the art for the jobs you’ve held.
- decide to try watercolors.
- get a small watercolor set and play around.
- look up youtube videos of other people teaching you how to watercolor
- assess whether or not you want to keep going.
- once you feel like you have something worth monetizing, sell a few and see how that feels.
- create a website
- create a business
- We don’t have to make it so complicated. You don’t need to know your end point to start. Just start and see how it feels and determine if you want to continue from there. The time for strategy isn’t right now. You don’t to start out perfect. The time for strategy comes later - when you know what you’re focusing on. One step at a time and right now, your only step is to play! SO, have fun!
- I loved talking passions with you today. Thanks for joining me for todays episode. As a reminder, leaving a rating and review in iTunes will help this podcast to reach more amazing listeners just like you and if you have a friend who you think could benefit from this episode, send it their way! In the mean time, I will see you next week!