Wouldn’t it be great to do something you truly love for a living? Our work has a direct impact on our overall happiness and well-being, yet quite often, we don’t seem to have jobs that help us develop our passions or sense of identity.
Not surprisingly, this causes many people to be constantly job hopping, searching for new opportunities that will help them achieve a better work-life balance.
But how do you find that balance between business and passion? Meade Lewis and Justin Stewart, the co-founders of mIQroTech, seem to have found the answer. Here’s a closer look at some of the techniques they’ve used to align business and passion in their work.
When most people think of finding fulfillment or passion in their work, they think of jobs that can be easily attributed to a cause, like providing clean water to unindustrialized areas. But the reality is that you can find purpose and passion in your current line of work, no matter what you do.
For Lewis and Stewart, achieving a balance between business and passion did require a job change — but it was one that leveraged their pre-existing background and skills.
“I had worked in analytics and IT for several years,” Lewis explains, “but I felt like there was more I could accomplish. I care about the environment, and that’s when I realized that I could use my skills to help solve a serious problem — gas pipeline failures.”
A passion for analytics and the Internet of Things subsequently led to the development of their product mIQroAware, which measures everything from pressure to corrosion levels to accurately predict pipeline leaks. This allows pipeline owners to perform needed repairs before a leak ever occurs.
“Finding passion and purpose in your current line of work might require some out-of-the-box thinking, but it’s not impossible,” Stewart notes. “Finding them ultimately depends on you bringing a pure-heart attitude to what you do. Apply yourself to your work, work hard and don’t complain or argue. With the right attitude about working hard, you will garner fulfillment in your work. That will directly translate to you achieving your personal goals. Do this, and the stress of work will melt away, and peace and joy will fill the void.”
If you don’t feel satisfied with your current job, Stewart and Lewis suggest taking a step back to look at the big picture. Try to identify ways that your work makes a positive impact in the world around you and the people around you. Find what brings you joy and fulfillment during the work day. Recognizing how your current work helps you use your talents on a daily basis will help you be true to yourself and perform better.
If a mindset shift still doesn’t bring fulfillment to you in your current job, it’s time to consider a change. But to achieve the right balance between business and passion, you can’t simply identify a way you can use your talents to make a difference in the world. You need to take a more thoughtful approach.
While pursuing your dreams is always a worthwhile endeavor, you should be careful to avoid doing so at the risk of your financial well-being. While an idea for a unique, purpose-driven startup may be exciting, this doesn’t mean that you should immediately quit your old job to start focusing on your passion.
As Amy Cosper, Editor in Chief of Entrepreneur Magazine has noted, “Passion is chocolate cake: You can’t subsist on it alone. You have to know when to give passion a break. You have to know when reason should step in…Passion slams the gas; reason steers us safely. Passion throws us out of an airplane; reason pulls the parachute cord.”
In other words, you need to carefully plan out how you’ll make a living before you go all-in on your passion project.
“Pursuing your passion should never compromise your financial security,” Lewis says. “I started mIQroTech in April 2016, but it was several months before I left my previous position behind. Even with my prior experience and the research that had gone into forming the company, there was no guarantee we’d be successful. I had to be prepared for that.”
“You always need to do your due diligence,” Stewart adds. “Is there a market for what you have to offer? Do you know how to reach your customers? It won’t do you much good to chase your passion if you haven’t laid the groundwork for a successful business.”
Be willing to consider the various options that are available. Starting your own company may not be realistic, but you could find satisfaction through a part-time side hustle. Or you could try to find a more purpose-driven company to work for. By fully evaluating your options, you can pursue your dreams without sacrificing your financial security.
As Lewis and Stewart illustrate, you can leverage your own experience to bring passion and innovation into what you do, no matter what industry you work in.
By developing the right mindset, doing your fair share of research and taking active steps to pursue your dreams, you can find that ideal balance you seek.