Brand Design Photography & Styling Clarity Consulting

Lesson Learned: Doing Things Effortlessly

I wanted to stop by and talk about something that has been popping up lately in my conversations with other creatives, specifically self-employed individuals. There is always this chatter about how to live a life with a career that you are passionate about. To me, that simply means that you need to turn your passions into your career or a supplemental component to your day job. Blurring the lines between jobs and passions is the key to “living the dream”.

During these conversations with friends, I’ve been asking “So what do you do for fun when you aren’t trying to get paid for surveys?”.  This questions usually evokes a long pause and then something like…”I like to be outdoors. I like to cook/bake. I love renovating my home…” These things are quickly followed by “but I don’t really have any time for those…” I like to turn the conversation around by suggesting a few ways to make a few dollars from those things they do for fun. For example: the friend that loves to cook had  ideas swirling about how to make a cookbook.

(photo for Clementine Daily)

For me, I’m currently looking for ways to incorporate landscaping due to the many benefits of gardening, furniture making, and collaborations into my daily work schedule. A deeper dive into my home and the people I interact with.

Wouldn’t it be great if we could find ways to infuse our passions into our careers? I’d love to hear your thoughts on the topic and if you have any suggestions on how to make this happen. A great resource is this worksheet from Kathleen of Braid Creative. This little exercise gets you thinking about what you REALLY want to be doing with your time. Check it out!!

I got a chance to pick the brain of my design mentoree, Laci. Here’s what she had to say! You can also read her insights on Business Travel & The Power of Getting Knocked Down

16 comments on “Lesson Learned: Doing Things Effortlessly

  1. this is something I am trying to learn for myself right now, so not sure if I have any suggestions for you. However this is probably the #1 reason why I started my blog. I love doing so many things (design, styling, food, photography) and the blog is the perfect platform to practice them all (hopefully one day it can turn into a career).

    1. I think you are taking the right steps to make that happen. I think that if we put enough time and energy into something, we can most certainly shape it into what it needs to do for us (business-wise). Keep going Alecia!

  2. I’m curious, do you ever worry that turing all your hobbies into work will “wreck them” for you? When you do what you love nothing should matter but, for example with client work, it’s easy to get annoyed or de-motivated when your working with challenging situations.
    I do however love the idea of turning your so-called hobbies into collaborations or personal projects and end up tieing back into your brand. I think that may be more so what you ladies were discussing. As much as I love designing I get super anxious towards the end of the day and just want to get away from the computer. This has allowed me to think of creative projects I may want to work on that for the majority are off-screen, therefore challenging me in completely new and different ways. It’s so refreshing.
    Since returning from Designer Vaca I have made collaborations and personal projects a really high priority on my list. I have a few things in the works and am loving it all so much.

    1. Alicia,

      I loved hearing your insights on this, specifically with collaborating. I LOVE collaborations because more often than not, you are working together because you have a shared interest…and not a shared paycheck. Collaborations also allow you to work with new people (with little risk), ultimately growing your professional network to tap into.

      As far as the burn out you mention…I haven’t found an occasion where my passions were wrecked because they are making me money. I think when you are super passionate about something, the small/medium sized things do seem to get to you like “real job” things would. For example, I’d say a lot of my job means that I’m working on the computer all day. I know for a fact that being connected to a screen just drives me bonkers after a few hours, so all the little things start to drive me crazy. When I’m away from the computer (styling or building things), that frustration from the computer never hits me.

      I think its about finding a good balance of everything and seeing all these little aspects as important pieces to shaping what your brand means FOR YOU!

    2. That’s good to hear, I haven’t felt a hobby-burn out yet either, just thoughts running through my head. It’s all about how you approach it too.

      And as to collaborations, I LOVE THEM. I just wrapped up a little collaboration with Artful Desperado (the food stylist blogger I linked you the other day) and it was so amazing. I got so stuck in a rut working FOR clients it’s like I forgot what it was like to work WITH someone. I’m planning a blog post raving all about the awesomeness of collaborations soon!

  3. This is an interesting way to look at things, especially when you’re a creative like me, I need different outlets to keep me busy. My husband is really good at seeing almost anything becoming a business and sometimes it’s annoying when he suggests that I turn my habits into profits but if I do want to work solely for myself, I might have to look into this thought process. Lovely article Cassie!

    1. Thanks Angel. SO glad you joined in on the discussion. I’m a big believer of doing what you love…even if it doesn’t bring in a fluffy pay check. I also believe that if you are truly doing what you love, then you are willing to alter your lifestyle to match your new income. I think they naturally come hand in hand. Baby steps and you can totally do it!

  4. I have always wanted my career to be what I love to do! I try to pursue it in every way – gosh, if I could do my blog and be creative in any way as my career, that would be a dream! I’d love to pursue more with interior design and styling! Thanks for this inspirational and motivational post!

  5. I completely agree! After hearing Jessica Hische speak on “procrastiworking,” I got waayy more into my hobbies. For some reason, thinking of my hobbies as “side projects” makes them feel a whole lot less like wasted time.

    1. Hi Anna! Thanks for stopping by. I’m so jealous that you got to hear Jessica speak. I’d love to see/meet her in person and pick her brain one of these days!

      I love that you have a new sense of freedom to explore your “side projects”. I like to think of the “side projects” as the things that keep me sane, so they are most certainly a priority for me. 🙂

  6. I believe that many of us would love to make a living doing what we all LOVE to do. For me, what I like to do is ever changing. I have many interests, how do you focus on just one, any thoughts?

    1. I’d like to think that you don’t have to pick just one. I think a lot of your interests have “shared” similarities to them (furniture making, home renovation, thrifting, etc), so I feel there is a way to kind of tap into all of them.

      Just because I know you…I can see you opening up a little greenhouse that has a connected “shop” to it, shop meaning where you build things and assemble things. You can then display and sell the items you’ve found or made in this unique greenhouse space. Maybe this space is made with using those prefab buildings that you like.

      I definitely think there are ways to make the leap and go for what you WANT. There is always a way to make it work financially if you are doing what you love!

    2. I have the exact same problem! I have so many interests and I often feel like I’m choosing the wrong one when I spend too much time focussing on just one, but I have no idea how to take all of them and actually make enough money to live on! I’m currently just finishing up a graphic design program, which is my “go back to school to do what I love” degree after getting my BA, and sometimes when my instructors say that if we don’t love doing it all the time, we’re in the wrong field, I panic! Because I don’t love doing it all the time. I love doing lots of things some of the time, but I find when all I do is design (which happens a lot lately because of being at the tail end of it) I go a little stir crazy and just want to run away from it. Also, that greenhouse attached to a store sounds amazing.

  7. Thank you for writing this! I love Laci’s idea too, I’m in that same phase and this is exactly what I need to do. That Braid sheet is perfect too. Thank you!!

  8. I agree with Alicia in the fact that I would worry that I would ruin some of my other hobbies by trying to make a few dollars off of them. I remember Whitney English mentioning she was incredibly passionate about cooking, but never exposed that to her blogging / business world because she felt that made it more intimate and kept it from being “poisoned.” I think that’s the best way to go about it; some things we should just enjoy doing for ourselves!

Leave a Reply to alicia Cancel reply