The Paradox Of Following Your Passions

And How To Really Get Paid For Doing What You Love!

I’ve been super naive.

You see, when I was this young dreamy Pisces girl, growing up in Vienna, Austria,

My head in a book most of the time (romance novel that is *cough, cough*),
Heart in the clouds,

I thought that I would never do something in my entire life that I wasn’t truly passionate about.

I couldn’t have been more wrong for a number of reasons but to that later.

Fast forward a few years and I had the opportunity to make money from playing the violin professionally while growing up in Austria.

At first, it had been a blast.

Though, it was getting more and more in the way of my high-school studies.

The passion for music – as I was getting paid for it – seemed to become less colorful and it was eventually replaced by the desire to go travel the world; to fully experience what life was all about.

The thing I had not realized until that point was that passions change.

Yes, for some people there are passions that last a lifetime.

For many others, passions change quite frequently, or every few years.

As I am writing this, I am still figuring out why that is so in case you have an opinion about this, be sure to leave a comment down below ;).

Back to my story…

I made the hard decision to stop playing for money.

I cried on the day I quit playing the violin professionally and informed my teachers about it.

For years, I pondered about this decision. Though, would I be thrown back to this very point in time, I would probably do it all over again.

So, I concentrated on getting accepted to an American university and off I went, studying in Hawaii.

There, I realized another passion and talent of mine – writing. I set a new goal for my life – to become a published author of fiction books.

The thing that I do not even mention a many of my friends was that I failed.

I failed to become published and it stunk.

I wrote three entire novels and sent out hundreds of letters to literary agents and publishers.

None of them wanted to publish my novel.

I got one rejection after the next.

The more rejections I got, the further I found myself falling back into this dark whole of not knowing what to do with my life.

Maybe I should start to listen to my father who grew up quite poor during war-ravished Europe after World War 2 and went on to follow a strict corporate career path?

Maybe I should stop dreaming and start taking responsibility for my life?

And you know what?

It was then and there that I realized that even though, I was working and writing and trying to get an agent… I was not really taking responsibility over my life.

I expected something of life, rather than showing the world that I deserved to achieve my goals.

For many more years to come though, I fell back into the same cycle.

A cycle of trying to be responsible and taking on a corporate job to quitting said corporate job and working on living life on my own terms.

Regardless, it seemed like I could still not figure out how to get paid for something I was truly passionate about and it made me wonder about what ‘passion’ really means to us as humans.

My romantic heart started to slowly stop dreaming more and more.

I barely recognized the little girl and romantic teenager I once was.

My heart hardened. I became more angry at life!

Depression and anxiety set in.

The depression I think and the anxiety resulted out of this complete loss of identity.

You see, growing up my mom always encouraged my brother and I to dream bigger. To not be afraid to ask for the moon and the stars.

An orphan that nobody wanted, she was the complete opposite to my father. She desperately needed to dream to be able to survive.

The problem was that we still struggled financially growing up.

I asked myself, what was the purpose for me to ask for the moon and the stars and to dream about them, when those dreams don’t pay the bills?

After all, in this society and culture we live in, we need to make money to survive and to make a fairly decent living.

Yes, money is just a tool for the decisions we are able to make throughout our lives (big and small) but the older you get, the more you can’t help to measure your achievements based on the number in your bank account.

So, I continued to feel stuck and oh, so confused.

What was the next logical step for me?

I tried to be smart and figure out what skills I had that allowed me to add value to other people in exchange for money.

From doing random English-German translation work to teaching the violin, to doing some social media work and copywriting, dang, I did it all.

However, you see, the interesting thing about us humans is that just because we are good at something because we have developed certain skill sets with which we can add value to people and get paid for it in return is like DOPAMIN on steroids,

It does not necessarily mean that we are also in love with said transaction.

In other words, the passion subsides fast.

If you’ve ever been with a hot guy or gal just because you thought they were hot and wanted a quick fling… you know what I mean.

No way would you be able to build up a serious life-long relationship and commitment off of a fling.

This understanding and knowledge, however, did not translate for me into my professional life.

So here is where I got naive.

I thought that reaching the point in my adult life of where I only had to answer to myself (aka, the famous ‘be my own boss’ mentality) and not to some manager that is part of a big corporation, that it would make me satisfied.

Happy.

Passionate with life.

Well, it did not.

Not all of it.

How so?

Because I often times focused so much on the hot guy or gal in the room that was great for a short fling when all I finally wanted was a long-term, meaningful and romance-novel-deep relationship.

Guess with what you can identify a ‘fling’ in the professional world?

Money.

Crazy, isn’t it?

So if you’re just going after the money and you are in it for the money for the money’s sake – boy, you’re doing it all wrong.

If, instead, you’re focused on building up the relationship, the money will come to you and just flow ;).

What a paradox, isn’t it?

But it’s true.

So, what should I have focused on?

I should have focused on the things that light me up inside;

That make me get out of bed in the morning;

That make my heart feel all giddy and intoxicated with purpose.

In my crusade to “be free”, I have yet again trapped myself a bit.

This was a realization that I have come upon this past year.

Now, I am making the intentional steps to move my business and my life step by step to something that I feel strongly about and committed to.

One of the things I use to help me do so is to be one hundred percent honest with myself, take weekly self-inventory and be as authentic as I can possibly be throughout my content creation and business operations.

That is the paradox of following your passions.

First, you need to identify a passion in regards to its level of ‘hotness’ and ‘long-term commitment capability’.

Sometimes, you just know before even acting upon a passion.

Other times, you have to act on it first to know.

There is no right and wrong answer ;).

Second, you have to become smart during the process of self-discovery so to speak.

In order to fully discover yourself,  I found out that you have to forget about purely ‘making money’ while at the same time, managing your existing money in order to truly create that life of your dreams in the long-run.

I say, challenge accepted.

Regardless, I do believe that there is some truth to the statement that you should follow your passions.

Ultimately though what I think it comes down to is love in its purest forms.

Like I mentioned before in this article, passions so often times subside while when you truly love, you love forever <3.

In order to differentiate one from the other, we are in this constant state of discovery, identifying if we are lieing to ourselves in the ‘heat of the moment’ or, if certain endeavors are really true passions that we want to dedicate ourselves too.

One last realization I want to leave you with, just making a good income is not enough.

Trust me, I know.

There were (and still are) times I make a multiple 5-figure income per month and I still feel somewhat hollow inside.

So, I want to make a new commitment to myself.

And that commitment can be summed up in two words:

BE INTENTIONAL.

Let me know your thoughts about this topic in the comments down below.

I can’t wait to chat more about this with you <3.

 

P.s.: You might also like: https://corneliapauline.com/2018/02/14/people-succeed-life-others-dont/

Digital Sense and Sensibility – All About Digital Customer Relationships

How to form juicy long-lasting social media customer relationships, and deal with a few messy ones along the way?

Imagine sitting at a poker table and not being able to know how to play poker.

You would end up loosing a lot of money, wouldn’t you?

The same goes for when you are a digital business owner, but you do not know how to build up, deal with and nourish social media customer relationships.

Things have changed.

Let’s face it.
The first thing to realize is that when you now start a business, you are not going to deal with your customers only on a physical basis.
You are dealing for the most part with computers, via email or through your social media accounts on Facebook, Linkedin, Twitter,…you name it.

According to a recent UPWORK article, “Depending on your specific industry, if your company does business in the U.S., it’s likely that between 70 and 90 percent of your customers are on social media.”
Again, that’s 70-90 percent!

The chance that you have to learn how to play poker is pretty high up there.

The plus side: you can reach thousands and thousands more customers at the same time.
The down-side: you will connect with the majority of your clients through social media.

And the biggest social media platform out there right now?

Facebook.

The word that should also jump out is ‘CONNECTING’, because how do you connect with a person you cannot see, experience, hear or feel?

Here are my five tips that will help you to turn your social customers into loyal fans of your digital community.

1) Be empathetic.

Peggy Uhle was boarding a Southwest flight when one of the flight attendants told her that she needed to get off the plane. Peggy was beyond taken aback by this turn of events.

Once at the gate again, the airline employees told her to call her husband. It turns out that her husband had called Southwest because their 24-year-old son had been in an accident and was now in a coma.

Though before Peggy could make her next decision, Southwest had rerouted her flight, so she was able to get to her son via fastest route.

The company went even above and beyond to pack her lunch for when she got there and rerouted her luggage at no additional cost.

Finally, Southwest called Peggy a few days later to see how she and her family was doing.

Ladies and gents, this is empathetic customer service at its finest. Needless to say, this incident blew up on social media and has turned Southwest customers even more into loyal fans than they already were with this great company to begin with.

Whenever you interact with any social customer on social media, always keep in mind that there is a human being sitting on the other end of the net. Regardless if you can see them or not, you want to practice empathy.

According to ‘Psychology Today,’ empathy is defined as, “[…] the experience of understanding another person’s condition from their perspective. You place yourself in their shoes and feel what they are feeling.

You have to be able to anticipate what it is that your customer is hoping to experience from doing business with you.
What is it that they want versus, what is it that they need (this will be the value part you add on to later to provide an awesome customer experience).

Do you really understand the customers request or are you reading something into it that you shouldn’t?
One of the most important things for us entrepreneurs to do is to add value to a person’s life through our products, skills or services.

How can we best do that?
How can we best figure out what a person needs or wants?

Through empathy, ladies and gents.

Should you in any case struggle with that, I would suggest you check out the book ‘Emotional Intelligence: Why It Can Matter More Than IQ‘ by Daniel Goleman. I had to read this book in one of my psychology classes while still at university, and it was one of the best ones I have ever read on why it is so important to understand people.

2) Know that every written word potentially can have a double meaning and can also be interpreted in many different ways.

The difference between the right word and the nearly right word is the same as the difference between lighting and the lighting bug.
~ Mark Twain

I can not recount the countless of social media messages and emails that I have received, and or sent; that could have been interpreted either-or.

You probably have plenty of experiences like this yourself.

Even if you are crystal clear with what you are typing into that Facebook status update, or respond email field on your computer, you never know how the other person is interpreting your message.

Most of the time, people react to any conversation based on how they feel that day.

Are they having a good or bad day?

Well, you don’t know that since you can not go through the computer and look at the person.

However, knowing that as a business owner means that you always have to be careful about the possibility that your message – and intent of it – can be misinterpreted.

In the book ‘The Book on Writing Well‘, Paula LaRocque has an entire chapter on how to use the right words. If you are having troubles with this step, I would suggest you check it out.

3) Don’t be too shy to use emoticons.

Even you, Mr. Male entrepreneur ;)!

Though at the same time, be careful!
You do not want to overuse them either as this could potentially make you and your business look somewhat childish and well…weird.
The right use of the right kind of emoticons has increased the social media customer relationship for my brand by a tenfold.

The wink { 😉 }, as well as the standard smiley face { 🙂 }, has assisted me in establishing more outgoing connections with my clients on social media networks.
Customers want to feel reassured, and they want to feel relaxed about having a hint of what kind of person you are.

You have to give your clients and customers the feeling that they can talk to you about any possible concern that they might have before they go through with the purchase.

This way, you can be sure to set the proper customer expectation so that your social customer is assured to get exactly what he or she is looking for.


Tip: Always take your deeper conversations with a potential customer off of the main social media grid. You do not want other customers to get involved in a private conversation. Instead, you want to get to know that one social consumer as a person, a human being that is.

4) Mirror your social customers’ style of writing and language.

It is surprising to me that many entrepreneurs don’t think about this when I talk to them about their social media customer relationships.

In any customer interaction, what is the most important thing? It is to buildup that connection that we already talked about.

How do you do that the fastest?

You mirror the writing style, use of language and voice of your potential customer/client.

Are they writing in short sentences? Don’t respond to their messages or emails with essays.

Are they writing long and explicit messages? Be sure to include a lot of details in your response as well.

It is absolutely important that you do this because you are automatically increasing the, ‘Know-Like-And-Trust’ Factor of your potential customer/client.

5) Be patient.

Too often, business owners are trying to sell to their prospective clients and customers.

With this, they are ruining their sale.

How come?

Well think about it?

You would not necessarily go up to a woman or a man that you find attractive and that want to date and immediately ask her/him to marry you, correct?

There is process in any type of relationship building.

You have to woo your potential customer and client and not kick their door in.

Be elegant about it.

Be likable.

Be patient.

On average, it takes at least about 8 touch points and connections before a potential client and customer is even considering buying from you.

There is NEVER any shortcut in trying to push the sale onto a cold contact.

 

I hope this helped.

The one takeaway that I hope you are getting from this article as well is to have fun with it.

Put yourself in the shoes of the person sitting on the other end of the receiving connection.

There is a real person sitting there (well, hopefully at least lol).

Treat them as such and you will be rewarded plenty.

Let’s do this!

 

P.s.: If you feel like you could use more training on this type of online sales process, especially for organic Facebook marketing, I’d recommend checking out my FREE PDF GUIDE on Facebook Networking For Entrepreneurs.

Download link right here: https://connectforentrepreneurs.com/hello12352354