You know what I don’t like? Advice that doesn’t come with instruction.
For instance, “leadership gurus” often say, “You must do the work you’re passionate about.”
Well, duh. We all want to spend time doing what we love. But HOW do we find that work?
I think my journey is much the same as any entrepreneur who, after a process of intense introspection, found the “a ha” moment on what they’re supposed to do in a career.
I began a personal blog because I like to write and share advice with my peers. That’s all I knew. It was a blob of clay with no discernible shape. Looking back, I can see my mission was too broad and I was “all things to all people.” I covered finance, health, politics, career advice — no clear focus or niche.
Only through blogging nonstop and watching my traffic did I understand what my audience values most — and simultaneously what I love to discuss the most. The answer: step-by-step writing instruction for the business world. That’s my niche and unique value proposition.
And now that I focus on my niche, doors continue to open. My book of writing guides, Wait, How Do I Write This Email?, is making its way into high schools, colleges, corporate boardrooms, retail outlets, prison systems and even the Pentagon. Pretty awesome, right?
All that stuff I wrote at the start on health, finance and politics? I’ll leave those topics to someone else. Yes, I had to start with the blob of clay (we all do), but the clay only took shape because I honed my skills and listened to the market every single week for two years. Seriously, look how much I learned.
To find your passion, devote time every week to doing what enjoy. It’s that simple.
If you hang around long enough, you will become an expert on “your thing” and discover how to make the biggest impact possible on the world.
Pretty cool process, right? The coolest. It’s the coolest. And it’s also freaking beautiful — to attain that level of professional enlightenment. And it doesn’t matter if you’re black, white, rich, poor or any other way we classify ourselves. We can all do this. Work ethic is colorblind.
Most people don’t make it to the “a ha” moment. They never reach their full potential.
Here’s my instruction, nice and simple. Print it out.
1. What do you like to do? Make time (don’t “try to find time”) to pursue it. Like, every week for at least two years. I’m serious — go all in or don’t bother.
2. As you move along, share your progress and thoughts online. By writing it down, you will grow as a person and begin to define your area of expertise.
3. Monitor your web traffic and look at the topic(s) people read most. Over two years, the audience will tell you where you provide the most value (and solve the biggest problem). But only if you write a lot (every week, I mean it).
4. Focus on the niche and leave the other topics alone. Be great at one thing and one thing only. The narrower, the better.
5. Then, you have aligned your passion with solving a problem. And that’s the holy grail of careers. You’ll wake up every day to do what you love and improve the lives of others.
What could be better?
This article first appeared on dannyhrubin.com.