Everybody has that one thing that they love to do in their downtime.
There are some people out there who want to design.
Some crave to write, some itch to build, and some desire to bake. Everybody has something that they love and are good at doing.
Many individuals have even considered how exciting it would be to be able to get paid to do that one thing they like to do.
What a dream that would be; yet it feels unattainable. Is it out of your reach, or is it possible?
Sometimes we are forced to go with the flow in life to survive, and we end up in jobs that we never imagined for ourselves.
Sometimes we intentionally pursue the career that we are in, and it doesn’t turn out to be the lifestyle that we thought it would be, or we get burned out.
It just doesn’t feel right.
Most people do nothing about this feeling.
Most are willing to go to work, bore through their job, and come home.
They do this all to do the same thing tomorrow.
You are not that type of person, though.
Maybe you are thinking it is time to finally pursue the unattainable dream.
Whether that dream is building a carpentry business, starting up a blog, or opening a zoo, some steps must take place before it can become a reality for you.
Some of these steps are practical, and some of them are spiritual.
Together, they will get you where you want to be in life: pursuing your true passion.
The first few steps require a sense of spiritual self in order to truly consider your feelings and commitment to pursuing your passions.
Do yourself a favor and truly do some conscious thinking on these steps.
It would be unfortunate to sacrifice the stability that you have with your job only to find your dreams lacking.
The next steps are financial and business-minded preparation.
These steps are important to confirm that you are able to pursue your dream and still live comfortably.
You may find yourself altering your idea of what is comfortable in order to make the new lifestyle work, and that’s okay.
1. Consider long-term effects of your soul
Your dream job may be something that you’ve always loved doing on the side.
With no financial commitment and stability found elsewhere, this activity may even serve as a stress reliever for you.
Will it continue to be that for you if you are dependent upon this activity as your source of income?
Sometimes, the moment something becomes your job, it is much harder to enjoy.
If it is not worth the risk of losing the stress-relieving qualities of your hobby, consider sticking with your day job.
If you’re sure that you’ll truly enjoy this dream for the foreseeable future, you may be ready to take the plunge.
These effects will definitely make you a more confident person!
2. Gain approval from those important to you
Some people will think you are crazy for leaving stability to pursue your dream.
These are usually the people satisfied with trudging through life with a mediocre attitude.
You are pursuing your true passion, which is admirable, but you will need support.
If you are married or in a committed relationship, your partner will probably be affected by this decision, too.
He or she deserves to be a part of your choice.
You will need support if things don’t always go your way, and they probably won’t ALWAYS go your way.
Your partner will be the shoulder to lean on when things get discouraging, and the first person you tell about successes.
You may also have another family member or mentor whose opinion you trust.
Tell them about your desire to follow your dream and read their reaction.
Those who love you will be honest with you, and are not as harsh as strangers.
If a person cares about you and your happiness, they will do all they can to help you pursue your passion.
Opinions on this endeavor matter when it comes to people who are truly important to you.
If this dream will cause you to lose relationships, carefully consider whether it is worth it.
Remember, it’s always worth being positive even when loved ones are being negative.
3. Consider the commitment this dream will require from you
If it is something that could take decades to get ahead, consider whether you are willing to make that type of commitment.
If you are not at the point in your life where you can commit time to something so lofty, maybe you should lower your expectations of this dream.
So if, after all of these considerations, you are still committed, you can move on to financial preparation for pursuing your new life.
The next few steps are guidelines to help you take a close look at your money situation.
4. Write down short-term business-related goals
You may scoff at the idea of actually writing down your goals.
If so, type them out or record your voice saying them out loud.
Having those short-term goals in either a visual or audible form will help your focus.
These goals may be “Make budget spreadsheet” or “Purchase domain”.
They need to be small goals that you can complete easily, which will put you one step closer to your dream.
As you complete these goals, you can check them off of the list, cross them out, or delete them.
This action tends to be encouraging and will motivate you to cross more off the list.
5. Write down long-term business-related goals
Since these goals are designed to take a long time to achieve, writing or typing out a list might be more feasible to control.
These goals should be the larger scope of what you hope to accomplish with the overall dream.
For example, if you are hoping to eventually be the largest supplier of chocolate-covered cherries in your state, write it down.
If you are hoping for your business to someday donate $1 million to a Coats for Goats charity, write it down.
Of course, these particular goals may not be your forte, but you must have long-term goals if you’re willing to give up your career for this dream.
Write them down.
6. Track monthly spending
Now we begin the number crunching to decide whether it is financially feasible for you to follow your dreams.
Write down every single monthly bill you pay, and how much it costs.
If the cost varies, write down a high estimate for cushion.
Then calculate a budget for other costs like groceries and eating out.
Don’t forget to include any medications you pay for, a monthly budget for clothes, or daily lattes.
Anything that costs you money on a regular basis needs to be in front of you on this list.
Prioritize what costs are important, and if it isn’t crucial, now may be the time to cut it out of your life.
Total up these costs, and hold onto that number as your monthly household loss.
7. Estimate income from your prospective new job
If you have not started producing any income at all yet from this dream pursuit, this may be a difficult step.
You’ll have to calculate a simplistic profit/loss report for this one, but the point is to get an idea of how much you’ll be gaining or losing by going from your current job to your dream.
Don’t forget to include how much you’ll be saving on gas, and daily lattes, if you’ll be working from home instead of commuting every day.
You’ll also be less tempted to eat out if you’re still at home, as opposed to sitting in an office.
You also need to calculate what you’ll be spending on startup costs though.
If you’ll need to get a new computer to handle the business, add that in.
You may need to start up a website, meaning you’ll purchase a domain name.
Combine that into your costs.
Factor in any other income for the household, if relevant, then compare this income to monthly spending.
Are you coming out ahead?
8. Make sure it’s the right financial timing
Weigh the options carefully to make sure that this decision will not put you all in a tight spot.
Maybe your partner has been hoping for a new baby.
Consider whether a bun in the oven would affect your monthly costs enough to put financial strain on your family.
You may be pleasantly surprised and be comfortable pursuing your dream at home with the baby, avoiding daycare costs.
If you have lots of credit card debt, you may want to pay those off in advance of quitting your day job.
Taking a financial risk while you’re already behind may cause lasting damage to your credit.
Your patience will pay off in the end.
If none of these types of financial possibilities apply to you, the financial timing might just be perfect for your endeavor.
9. Embrace the level of spending appropriate for your new income, while bulking up an emergency fund
Assuming your income is greater at your day-job than it will be starting out your dream pursuit, you may want to plan for an unpredictable, bumpy road ahead.
There might be bad days, but there will be good days too.
You may already know that you’ll have to tighten up the monthly budget.
If you start now, you can get practice in saying “no” to the unnecessary expenses, while saving a little in the present.
The excess you save can go into an emergency fund.
A goal amount for your emergency fund would be an excellent addition to your short-term list from step 4.
Reaching your goal amount can be your deadline representing the day you can actually put in your letter of resignation.
10. Get professional advice
This step is very specific to the dream that you are pursuing, but it may not be a bad idea to seek professional advice.
If you have never started a business and you plan to, you might need to speak to a lawyer.
An accountant or financial advisor could also give valuable advice to get you heading in the right direction.
You are pursuing your passion, but you need to make sure you are doing it the right way.
Taxes, legalities, and contracts are not things you want to mess up, especially if you’re the one in charge.
Being in charge means being the one to hold accountability if things sour, and that could put a damper on your pursuit of happiness.
11. Get your feet wet first, wade in, and then dunk your head
If possible, when the time comes and you know you’re ready to chase your dreams, do so gradually.
Maybe you can transition to a part-time position at your job first.
If you could commit the other days of your week to your dream job, you could ease in to being full-time.
Not all positions would allow this kind of flexibility, but it would be ideal.
This could help you adjust accordingly financially, and get you settling in to your new lifestyle personally.
For example, say you’re going from working in a wall-street cubicle surrounded by hundreds of people, to working at home.
It can be a big social adjustment to spend so much time alone. If you want to be more sociable, check out our social badass article.
If you’re pursuing your true passion in the meantime, though, it may make you happier than you’ve ever been.
12. As you’re starting out, focus on what is important
Don’t get so wrapped up in your dream that you forget to be part of your reality.
If you have a family of your own, embrace them.
They were probably your muses in the first place.
Do not neglect your friends either.
They could be a great source of support if there comes a time when you need them.
If you neglect your relationships when you first start out, they may not be there when times get tough.
If you’re starting a business on your own for the first time, it’s easy to become consumed with doing your best for your company.
After all, you’re the only one you can hold accountable.
Don’t forget to maintain a healthy balance of your personal and professional life.
If you burn yourself out, you’ll disappoint yourself.
You are doing this to gain happiness, not lose it.
13. Define goals for YOUR future
This may seem similar to step 5, but that step is about business-related goals.
You also must consider goals for your personal future and how they fit into your passion.
If you plan to have a house full of children, don’t involve yourself so much in your professional life that you forget about building your family.
Maybe you want to lead a life full of volunteer work in your spare time.
Leave time for the things that feed your soul. Even when you are following your dreams as a profession, don’t lose sight of your sense of self.
Your New Life
You might find yourself having to prioritize your spending in a way that you are not used to doing.
You may feel a little isolated sometimes without an office full of people surrounding you.
It might get a little disappointing occasionally when things do not go your way.
But never forget that you are living the dream.
With your new lifestyle, you may have more time than you think to having to expand other pursuits.
Maybe you will be able to go another direction and chase another source of income.
Many of those individuals with self-sufficient jobs find themselves led in other directions at some point.
If this is the case, start at step one and go from there.
So many people are out there in the world, wishing they could achieve what you already have.
You are the example for people trudging through a life they may not have chosen.
You have built up the courage to leave your day job and follow your dreams.
Sometimes we find ourselves in a position in life that we never expect, but you are not stuck.
You are never stuck, even if it takes a bit to build up the courage to leave.
Follow your heart and pursue your dreams, and do it wisely.
As mentioned before, everybody has that one thing that they love to do when they have downtime.
And what a dream it will be when people pay you to do what you love.
Whether writing, building, baking, or opening a zoo is your forte, I sincerely hope that these steps help you achieve your goals.
So are you ready to take this plunge? Or do you know someone who needs to read this?
Please share this if you think it can help!