This is a guest post by Brittany Witt.
Ever feel like you don’t fit in with your co-workers? Or maybe, being a stay-at-home parent, as fulfilling as it is, has you feeling like something is missing? Like your drive is just, gone?
You might be thinking what this has to do with pursuing your passion, I’m getting there, but first, here’s my backstory.
I remember the feeling all too well, working at a discount retail store with my crazy hair and nose ring, coming home everyday crying because I just hated feeling like I was different from everyone else. Let’s not forget that I’m working for someone who doesn’t even know I exist. Soul, crushing.
It became pretty bad, bad enough that I had to quit my job. The urge to regain my sanity and happiness overthrew my need for a steady paycheck. Luckily for me, though, I was still staying with my mother, and my extremely supportive boyfriend had a good paying job. But this cushion wasn’t completely comforting; this decision was very scary for me, my stomach was in knots every day, so I knew I needed to find a way to make some income, and quick! I didn’t want to be taken care of, let alone living with my mother longer than I needed (or wanted!) too.
I had always been a crafty person, and my grandmother got me into making beaded jewelry a few years back. Therefore I had a lot of beads stored away. As I was going through my craft supplies, I found this macrame kit, so I started making macrame bracelets and necklaces. Not too long after, probably within the same week, I was posting photos of these bracelets on my personal Facebook page. I was desperate! I got a lot of interest but no one purchased. It was tough, but I was so determined.
I kept thinking about having to go back to a real job, and the hustle in me took over! I was private messaging people I knew asking them what their favorite football team was and offering to make them a bracelet with their teams’ colors. I’m not into football nor did I desire to make football themed jewelry but you’ll make anything when you’re at this stage. Plus, I knew if I could sell one bracelet then I could sell 2.
When I got my first customer, I was ecstatic! It was a macrame bracelet with green skull beads for $5. It may not sound like much, but this first sale was the icebreaker to my craft business. I made a business Facebook page, not long after I set up an Etsy shop, I started growing my audience, and within a few months, I was selling bracelets, necklaces, and my ever so popular barefoot sandals.
Fast forward few years, I eventually closed up my first shop (I realized I was undercharging and my jewelry line was all over the place). I re-branded, got business savvy and opened up my new jewelry business. I moved on from macrame jewelry and started metalsmithing using semi-precious gemstones. I got into silversmithing a year ago and have plans of moving into goldsmithing within the next couple years. I would have never thought that I would be where I am today from that day I quit my retail job. I always knew I was an artist, but I never thought I would be a jeweler. I couldn’t be happier.
Now I’m not an advocate for quitting your job with absolutely no plan in place like I did. You might not even want to quit your job, I know not all jobs are terrible and you might even be working your dream job already, but are just looking for another outlet to pursue your creative spirit.
Here are the hurdles you might be facing that’s making this pursuit seem impossible.
First hurdle: “I don’t have the time.”
This is something I know a lot of people struggle with. It’s absolutely a myth. Now, before you click off this site rolling your eyes, let me explain. You can squeeze in a single hour each day or even each week. Set your alarm to wake you up an hour earlier. Use the 30 minutes you have for lunch, then 30 minutes after dinner. Use the time you have on weekends or holidays. If you really want to begin that process of pursuing your passion you have to find the time. There’s an old Chinese proverb “the best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second-best time is right now.”
Second hurdle: “I don’t even know what my passion is.”
Think about your day to day life. Is there anything you do throughout your day that you truly enjoy? It could be cleaning or organizing (professional organizer?), it could be choosing your outfit for the day (personal stylist?), moving the furniture around in your living room (interior decorator?), it could be the time you get to spend reading your favorite books (fiction writer?).
Another thing to think about is what do people often ask your advice on? What do you love talking about so much you could talk about it for hours? What’s that one topic that gives you all the butterflies in your stomach and you look for the best time to insert yourself into conversations just to talk about it? There’s always something in life that lights that fire in your soul, and you become the best person to speak on that topic.
Third hurdle: “I don’t have the money to buy craft supplies.”
You don’t have to break the bank to buy supplies. When I was just starting out with my macrame jewelry, after running out of what supplies I had stored away, I went to the craft store and spent $5 of a ball of hemp fiber and $5 on a bag of wooden beads, and it just grew from there. You may have supplies stored away as well, or you might find that your passion doesn’t call for craft supplies, you could just really like organizing homes or consulting with friends and family on where to invest their money or how to spruce up their personal style, etc.
The worst thing you can do when pursuing what you’re passionate about is to buy all the latest gadgets and buy enough supplies to fill an entire studio that you probably don’t have yet. You want to ease into the buying process because you could find out that you don’t actually love it as much as you thought. There have been times where I got bit by the creative bug and made one thing, then all of a sudden I’m no longer interested.
What’s the minimum amount of supplies you need to create just 1 or 2 of what you want to make? Only buy what you absolutely must have in order to make the thing. Then, if you still want to make more, you can look into buying other supplies that will help you grow in that medium. And when the passion is there, so comes the money to buy the supplies.
Pursuing your passion doesn’t have to be a big hurdle, it doesn’t have to cost a lot, and you can work on it whenever you want. Imagine, though, a year from now, you giving your boss a two-week notice because your craft business is bringing in enough revenue. Or 6 months from now you start to feel your sense of purpose, or your drive, coming back after losing a sense of who you are. Imagine the feeling you’ll get when you actually do something for yourself for a change It’s all up to you and how big or far you want to take it. The bottom line is, it’s not impossible to do it. I feel I’m living proof of that.
I hope this article has cleared up some roadblocks for you. I would love to know if you found it helpful, and maybe if you’ve thought about what you’re passionate about? Let me know down below in the comments!
Author Bio: Hey there! My name is Brittany Witt. I’m a jewelry designer + maker at PinealVisionJewelry.com and a blogger at MakerMonologues.com where I teach you how to make jewelry and run an online craft business.
Ah, I needed to hear (or read) this today!
Is so hard to believe in yourself sometimes, but passion is always worth pursuing.
Brittany Witt says
Yes @Ana! I’m so happy you found it to be helpful!
Sophie Gillum-Webb says
I needed this today thank you for sharing this! I feel like I am always talking myself out of stuff I’m my own worst enemy!
Brittany Witt says
@Sophie, this is so true, those inner critiques (or gremlins as I like to call them) can be some powerful beasts. Allowing yourself to let it go and follow that passion can be the best thing you do for yourself!
Laneic Lavalle says
“I dont have time” is most definitely a hurdle for a lot of us but I truly beleive we make time for the things we deem important enough. I find “I dont have time” really translates too fear when it comes to pursuing goals. Great post.
Brittany Witt says
@Laneic, you hit the nail on the head. There a saying, and I wish I remembered who said it, “If it’s important then we’ll make time for it, if it’s not important then we’ll make excuses for it.”
This was such a lovely post and loved hearing your story. It’s really great how you pursued your passion.
Brittany Witt says
Thank you dearly @Lea! I’m glad you enjoyed it. I see you’re following yours as well with your lifestyle blog! Congratulations!
This is a brilliant post – it’s sometimes so hard to do but once you get stuck in it it’s so worth it! Both my boyfriend and I have recently changed careers because we were not doing what made us happy! We are so much better now even though we earn less money. Fact. xx
Brittany Witt says
@Tereza, that is so great to hear! Yes, you’ll make less money in the beginning but it’s so good to know that there is no earning ceiling when you’re working for yourself.
Shark Tank investor Lori Greiner says “Entrepreneurs are the only people who will work 80 hours a week to avoid working 40 hours a week.” But we’re working to build our own dream and not working for someone else’s, and often times, for someone who doesn’t even know we exist!
I loved this so much!! I definitely needed this encouragement as I’m seeing how much work it takes to pursue your passion and I get so discouraged sometimes… I relate to this story so much and am so inspired by it!! Thx so much!!