First 3 Steps to MOVING FORWARD: Turning your passion into profits

If you could do any hobby or passion, and make enough money to live on, what would it be? Do you have a solution to a problem? Do you have a way to make peoples’ lives better, easier or more effective in their craft?

We are given a very rare opportunity (probably one we will never see again, and honestly, one that is usually borne out of difficult circumstances) where our normal routines have been drastically disrupted. We have an opportunity to grow. We have an opportunity to move into a different space.  We have an opportunity to learn. We have an opportunity to try new things.

Maybe it’s time to take the next step in your career.  Maybe it’s time to open up an online store to sell the beautiful artwork you’re creating. Maybe it’s time to take the side hobby into an actual life changing career.

Maybe it’s time to move forward.

I’ve been thinking a lot about this lately, and decided it’s time to start this conversation. There are certain moves that have to be made in order to move from a hobby or “paid talent” into an actual career. Bold moves. Risky moves. But if you ask me, and several of my colleagues who have made some of the same moves, completely worth it moves.

So here we go…there are some basic (but not necessarily easy) steps to get you started! Tonight, I will be joining a panel of other amazing people (most of them current or former college basketball coaches, and one who has actually climbed a mountain!) to talk about the beginning steps of transitioning from a “paid talent” or hobby into an actual career, but I’m going to give you the first 3 steps that I live by right now.

  1. Clarify the problem are you solving
  2. Commit
  3. Research the solution

Clarify the problem you are solving.

About every other training I do, someone comes up to me and asks, “How did you get started doing this? I would love to do this.” I always answer, “What are you passionate about – and more specifically – what problem do you want to solve?” My focus is creating independent learners through culturally responsive teaching.  The problem that I want to solve is that there is inequitable instruction for certain sub-pops of students, and this is evident by their lack of success in large numbers.  I also realized that I was a part of the problem as a classroom teacher – not for lack of love for my students, but a lack of understanding.  So that is a problem I understand and am passionate about solving. My book, online course, and trainings are all centered around this problem.  So what problem do you want to solve?

  1. Skincare problems
  2. Sit-and-Get social studies class
  3. A lack of understanding in gardening
  4. Unruly classrooms that take away from learning

The list could go on and on, but if you are really going to jump into your passion, what problem are going to solve?


This may seem basic, but it is imperative.  Take the jump from moving a passion into profit can be scary, risky and can easily be put off for days, months and eventually years.  There is something important to remember here.  In my experience and in the experience of those I’ve talked to who have turned their passion into profits, there will be significant amount of time where you are working much harder than you are now to get to where you want to go.  You have to be ready and willing to make that commitment.  For me, it meant building trainings and writing a good part of my book during early mornings and late nights, training on the weekends and evenings and summer while I was still working at a school district. It means there are some long hours with self-imposed deadlines.

But It also means I’m sitting out by pool on a quiet morning, listening to the birds chirp, while I’m writing this.  And while we’re not leaving the house much these days, this is how most of my mornings start – and to me, that is worth it. J So are you ready to commit? I know you can do it! I know you can put in the time and effort it takes to move to the next level! And we’ll be right here with you once you make that commitment!

Research the Solution

I had my problem first. I knew my kids weren’t being successful. I knew I was working hard, and I knew that I didn’t truly understand where they were coming from and how it affected their learning. Then I started diving into Culturally Responsive teaching.  I combined my knowledge of English Learners with special education and students of poverty, and my love of behavior management, and I began to research. I didn’t just trust my experience and knowledge, I read and learned and listened! I recommend that no matter what area of life you are passionate in, always be a life long learner. But in the process, zone in on a solution.  In my world, I talk to so many teachers who are dynamic in the classroom, but they have trouble actually voicing what it is they do. You have to be able to make your solution tangible to other people!

So, you’ve got this!  Use this time to determine the problem you’re going to solve, commit to go all in with your time and energy, and then learn, grow and research a solution!

Stay with us! If this blog hits a nerve with you – maybe you have a side gig…maybe you’re thinking about starting one…maybe you’re tired of your current job and have a passion elsewhere…We’re ready to walk you through it! So let’s go!

Start by tuning in tonight to How to Lead in Transition (make sure you register first) at 7:00! Then, keep in touch! We’ve got some great things coming down the pipeline to make sure you have everything you need to turn your passion into profit!

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