We’ve all heard that if you do what you love, you’ll never work a day in your life, right?
How do you turn the things you love into a career?
I mean, I love food. I love eating. I love being healthy. I love sharing all of that with others. But how do you turn that into work? While I had a few ideas, I never knew how I could realistically do that. Starting the weight loss business allowed me to have a seamless transition out of patient care into a similar patient interaction in a different field. I knew, however, that I wanted more than that. At one point, I toyed with the idea of writing a cookbook highlighting healthy recipes. You wouldn’t know this, but that’s a ridiculously absurd idea for me. While I can whip up a good, healthy meal, I don’t have the skills or the talent to pull that one off. It was just a silly daydream, and I never followed through. Then one day an old classmate approached me about making some dry spice rubs for him to sell on his website. That was something I could do. I just didn’t know how. But I did it anyway. I figured it out. I spent part of the last year developing, testing, and bringing to market a small line of (delicious, I might add) dry rubs.
I was forced to go out of my comfort zone. I had to learn the how-to’s of making a food product. I had to get into a commercial kitchen and navigate my way around a completely new environment. I mean, talk about feeling insecure– I was in a room full of professional chefs, and I couldn’t even figure out how to use the industrial-grade mixer. But I learned a lot, and the point is that I did it. I did things that in my most “stuck” days as I dentist, I never thought I had the skills to do. And guess what? It was all so easy! In fact, it was so much easier than a “simple” crown prep. All I had to do was take that first step. All I had to do was talk to the people who wanted my business. They were the ones with the experience, and they all gave me nuggets of information that allowed me to pretty effortlessly get to a finished product.
It was important to celebrate the small stuff along the way. This may sound silly, but for a dentist who thought dentistry was my only skill, I celebrated the fact that I went into the unknown and went to work in a commercial kitchen. I celebrated that I worked with a designer to design product labels. I celebrated that I worked with a printer to print them. These were all simple, simple things to do that led to a finished product. And now I get to celebrate that I have a finished product.
The best part of this all is how much fun it has been. It didn’t even feel like work.
Am I expecting to make millions off of this project? I don’t know (never say no,) but though extra income is part of the goal, it’s not all of it. Am I open to seeing where this will go? Absolutely. Am I having fun with it? Yes. And while I hope for the best, I’m not dependent on it as my only source of income or my only measure of success. Do I stand behind the product itself and love it? Yes! In fact, I cook with this stuff almost every night, and I have become a lazy cook now. But I still enjoy my dinners, and I know that it is helping me to enjoy healthy meals without much work.
At this point, the money earned, or the work energy expended doesn’t really matter to me. Remember? I’m playing the field and loving it! I have faith that regardless of the outcome this will lead me to where I need to go. We all take success and failure too seriously. While I prefer to ask myself what if it succeeds… So What if this fails? Absolutely nothing, and I’ll be on to the next open door with more confidence and understanding.
If you do something, it may take you down either of these two paths, but if you do nothing, we know exactly where that will lead you.