From childhood, we’re told to do what we love, and with good reason.
"It's important to love what you're doing at work, because if your income is the only reason you're at your job, it’s unsustainable and unfulfilling in the long term," says Grace Chon, an art director turned professional pet photographer. "In an ideal world, you should feel happy, fulfilled and purposeful with your career."
The demands of a busy schedule and a desire to do work that was more reflective of her values led Chon to seek a stress-relieving creative outlet. She found it in taking photos of homeless pets at her local adoption center, a hobby which eventually morphed into a successful photography business.
The things we do for sheer enjoyment can offer the sense of personal meaning that may be lacking in our day jobs. As in Chon’s case, financial satisfaction may follow if those hobbies eventually become careers.
Finding the path that will allow us to transform a favorite pastime into a profitable side hustle, or even a booming small business, isn’t always as obvious or straightforward as we may have anticipated. With the right preparation and a bit of honest introspection, it is absolutely possible to make your passion your profession.