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Earn money by following your ikigai

posted in: Ikigai | 0

You do know that it is possible to earn money by following your ikigai, don’t you? Even if you are currently working for the “man,” it is entirely within your reach to fill your pockets with a few extra bucks to spend on yourself at the end of the day. All doing what you love to do.

Of course, it would be even better if you were at a point in your life where you were free from the worries of pocket cash. Better yet, consider being free from the worries of larger expenses as well. Right?

Well, know that it really is quite possible to build a path towards financial freedom, or at the very least, live a purposeful life filled with happiness. Know that you can do it. Though it is not always easy. If anything, it takes a serious amount of commitment and dedication even for the most persistent person.

If you cannot commit to it for the next five years, then don’t waste another five minutes thinking about it.

So, make no mistake. Unless you were handed an inheritance, you must begin at the starting line. You too must take a chance, jump on the initiative, and take purposeful steps towards your goals.

You may face some challenges on the road. The results of your actions can sometimes be a bit underwhelming, giving you a feeling like the work you put in was tedious – especially at the beginning. But you must remain focused.

Therefore, you are much better off starting your journey to success by focusing first on you. Do what you enjoying doing. Do what you love to do. Or as the Japanese say, follow your ikigai.

Man expressing his ikigai by writing on an egg
Photo by Miki Fath

Follow your ikigai to earn extra income.

If you don’t know already, ikigai is a Japanese concept which states that everyone can live a meaningful and productive life, or in other words, living with purpose. Not the “purpose of being” in the spiritual or religious sense, but rather purpose in a more practical way.

What do you enjoy doing? How do you support yourself and those around you? What gets you up and moving? Your passion or mission in life.

In a personal sense, ikigai is something that you do to make your own life more enjoyable regardless of whether or not you are receiving any financial gain from it. But, that doesn’t mean you can’t or shouldn’t get paid for it.

Indeed, many of the most successful people got to where they are because they had a desire to follow their purpose in life. This includes business professionals, artists, athletes, bakers, teachers, florists, law enforcement, doctors, etc., etc., etc. The list goes on.

And the common thread between those who are happy and financially successful is that they enjoy what they are doing. Do what you love to do and you too will find yourself tying your passions to a professional lifestyle. And enjoying it.

How can you make money following your ikigai?

There really is no secret to this. The answer to the question of how to accumulate more disposable income in a way that is fun and exciting is out there. Surely, it is not easy for everyone and will take a fair bit of time, patience and resolve, but if you are committed to following your passion, there are a number of ways you can begin the journey.

The question you need to ask yourself is, what way is best for you

Understand that there are a variety of approaches to earning through your ikigai.

  • First, you need to figure out the direction in which you want to go.
  • Equally important, you must also realize just how big of a step you and your resources can handle.

A good starting point is to consider your trade secret or something unique about you or what you have to offer. Something that makes what you do appealing to others. It doesn’t have to be the best in the world – it just has to be something you are passionate about. In other words, your ikigai.

If you are just starting out on mixing business and pleasure, a part-time job may be the easiest way for you to build and grow.

Finding part-time work that is directly related to what you are passionate about is perhaps the easiest way to not only make some extra money doing what you love but also to build a repertoire of talents for future advancement. Depending on your level of knowledge and skills in the field that interests you, you may be able to find a part-time job relatively quickly.

Of course, there are full-time jobs as well. Even if you have not built your talents just yet, there are companies out there that have more interest in training a passionate employee than hiring someone with experience. Such companies have found that it is more profitable to mold a newcomer than to break old habits.

Do what you love
Photo by Riz Mooney

Follow your ikigai for yourself

If however you already have some experience with your passion and feel somewhat comfortable with your own talents, you may want to consider offering your talent as a service to others. Not as an employee, but rather self-employed or freelance.

With freelancing, you can dip your proverbial toes in the water without leaving your current job. You can try your hand at selling yourself and your services. Get a feel for what it is like. There will surely be a learning curve, but such is life. Think of it as an adventure. One that you must begin if you are serious.

Of course, everyone says that it is easier said than done. And it is easy to see why. Starting anything new can be a bit daunting.

Just remember, however, we are talking about ikigai. This is something you enjoy doing anyway.

The only thing you really need to understand is that much like any other process working for yourself can be learned and improved upon.

Girl studying to earn money by following her ikigai
Photo by Andrew Neel

Prepare yourself to earn through your ikigai

Lay it all out before you take that first step. Keep in mind what might support your immediate efforts. There are countless online forums, networks, courses, and groups out there that can help you not only with your challenges by providing you with the right information to take you through the best practices, but also as a springboard to promote yourself.

For example, you might want to set up a simple website that showcases your talents. Nowadays there are a number of very simple platforms you can use to build a great looking website for just a fraction of what it might cost to hire someone. And there is a plethora of great advice on the internet from those who have done it before. With a little bit of time and persistence, you can go from nothing to a full-blown website in days.

Then of course there is social media and all that has to offer. Opening up a social media account is free in most cases and can be a very effective way to get the word out there. Certainly, some sales and marketing experience will help you cut through all the noise and get noticed. That too can be learned online.

Professional woman following her ikigai
Photo by Victoria Heath

Become the expert and sell yourself

Of course, you need to learn how to sell yourself. That too can be extremely daunting if you have little experience at it. If that is the case, however, you may want to consider offering your first round or two to a few friends for free. It may sound contrary to your purpose, but it is an effective way to create a portfolio, generate some self-publicity, and even get feedback on your products or services. Albeit, if you are providing something to your family or friends, it may be somewhat biased feedback.

And who turns down anything for free anyway? If you had a great recipe for cakes and offered one to your hairdresser for free, I’m sure he’d accept. Don’t expect a free haircut in return. But who knows? You might begin a mutual business relationship where in the future he might ask you to bake one for a birthday. It’s really not all that hard to accomplish.

With a few simple projects under your hat, you will have gained more confidence and experience to pick up another project here and there, on the weekends or every now and then. Finding one small opportunity just might open the door to another, and then another. It might help you get your foot in the door towards something bigger.

But don’t quit your day job just yet. It’s not just experience you need to build up, but also your resources. Only after you have your ducks in the proverbial row should you consider jumping into the deep end. A stable environment is worth creating before heading out into the fray and starting your own business.

Coffee mug saying the Adventure begins
Photo by Matthew Sleeper

Believe in your ikigai

Above all else, belief in your ikigai and in yourself is essential. Believe whole-heartedly that you can take your ikigai and turn in into something that will generate a bit of extra income for you in the short run, and lots more in the long run. Take that belief and make a commitment to see it through.

Earning money by following your ikigai can be a learning curve, However, with the right use of your talents, your passion, and motivation to help those around you solve a problem, you can undoubtedly do what you love to do.

Set your goals however large or small and stick to them. Don’t worry about accomplishing them overnight. Just commit yourself to follow your ikigai. Learn what you need to learn and get out there to do something worth your time! Get out there and live your dreams. You have no excuse not to.

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