Passion Living Out Loud

Find Your Passion and Run With It…


September 2014

The Final Quarter Countdown

Football“Go long! Did you hear me? Go long!” the coach shouted anxiously to the receiver from the sidelines during the final quarter of the championship game. You could see the sweat dripping from under his hat as he encouraged his team to take charge. He was adamant about his team making another first down to get closer to the touchdown the team needed. The agile receiver remembered the plays that the team had been practicing all season, noted each of them, and gave all he could to rely on his defense, execute, catch the incoming pass from the skillful quarterback and sprint to make it to another first down. The ball wasn’t intercepted. He was quick. He was focused. He was successful in getting another first down and his team could now move on to the next play in hopes of achieving the ultimate goal of winning the game.

Now, let’s imagine you’re the coach, quarterback, defense and receiver in your own life. You’re playing all these positions and with tomorrow being October 1st, it will officially be the final quarter of the year. Back in January or maybe even December of last year, you put together a list of goals; you decided on a few things you wanted this year to include that would make your life better – maybe even easier. If you’ve made some headway, whether small or large, celebrate those moments. If you have some more things you need to get done, well, you’ve only got 92 days left to make some last-minute plays. Don’t let anything intercede that will take you off track.

You are responsible for creating your plan, learning from your past, executing your plan, taking responsibility when things fall through for your plan, and seeing your plan through to the finish.

Coach yourself everyday. Be your own coaching isn’t about people you know, such as your mentors, telling you what to do at every point of your life. You are responsible for the design of your life. What you believe in, how you interpret and plan your moves going forward is your responsibility. When a team loses a game, it’s the coach that is held responsible. Although the players may have been the ones actually making the moves, the coach will be the first to be let go if the team isn’t performing up to the standard of the team management. No matter what others do, tell you to do, etc, you’ll be the one who’ll be left to clean up any messes. You’ll also be the one to be able to take credit for your successes.

Make the right pass. Be ready to pass yourself the motivation needed to keep going. You have to possess a certain amount of drive to be able to move forward. You have to be your own motivator. Push through and get ready for the next phase of your life. There can’t be room for excuses. Whether someone is guiding or protecting you or not, you are responsible for shifting and adjusting your life in a way that catapults your next move into positive one. And your level of motivation and drive makes the difference in whether or not you successfully move forward.

Defend yourself. Keep an eye out for interceptions, tackles, etc.  I’m sure even with the successes you’ve seen this year, there have been some moments of disappointment or attempts to push you off track. Don’t allow some of the challenges that may present themselves to be your reason not to finish this year strong. Fight back. There will always be things thrown your way. Sickness, loss, heartache, lack/need of something, etc. Those challenges are only that challenges. They are not the final say; the definition of your goals or life. They can be overcome and moved completely out your way.

Receive what comes your way. Take the ideas, the advice, guidance, learned lessons, and plans that you’ve gathered throughout the year and execute. Look at all sides of your life. Use your peripheral view to move down that stretch of field. As long as you keep your drive; your motivation high, you’ll be able to get closer to your goals. Remain positive knowing that everything you’ve done up to this point has prepared you to make another first down for your life.

Good seasons come and go, but the key is knowing they come back around. If you want to look back on this year and be proud of what you’ve accomplished or overcome, you’ve got to put things in motion to make it happen. Remember the clock is ticking and standing there with the ball will get you nothing but a tackle and success won’t be an option.


We Are Petitioned…

We are petitioned to look after our fellow brothers and sisters. So often as individuals we are praying and seeking out blessings for our own lives. And while those blessings may clearly be the things you are expecting and need to move forward in your life, the bigger piece of the pie is what you do when you are put in a position to bless others. It’s easy to hold our pockets and purses tightly when we see someone in need. It’s without delay that we often look at our watches and determine we don’t have time to spare for others. But what if you have the money or the time? What do you do then? Do you step up to the calling for your life in that moment?

The gift in being alive and able is knowing that the greater blessing is when you can selfishly give your time; your money; your heart; your listening ear, etc to others that may be going through something different from what you’re experiencing in your current season, especially when you are positioned to do so. Think back to those times that you were without something and a blessing came from someone unexpected. Remembering those moments as you help others becomes the greatest reward. Be the blessing that someone else needs in their life. Start today!

The Cost for the Passion

dollar signYou may have read the title of today’s post and assumed one of two things. 1) This post is about what it takes to actually be successful in carrying out your passion; what it costs you and your efforts or 2) this post is about what you should charge others to experience your passion. Well guess what? You’re right in both instances.

For the last five years, I’ve grown within my passion. I’m a writer. To the very core of my bones, I’m a writer. It’s what I do. It’s what I love. It’s what I’ve learned I’m good at. It’s my passion and without it I’m not a whole person. I’ve also learned that I have a lot to share when it comes to displaying my passion to others. The last couple of years, since my book was published, I’ve had more and more people reach out to me for advice on publishing, tips on basic writing principles, to complete writing workshops, to write speeches and articles for them to present, and more. And for the longest, until recently, I never felt that there should be a cost associated with what I share (other than paying for my book). Well, if you guessed what I’m about to say next, you guessed right. It costs me time, money, and knowledge almost every time I engage myself in writing for someone, conducting a writing seminar, or providing an outline of how to publish or write. I have to consider those costs and how they help me in the long run. I have printed material, time is put into developing the presentation, etc. I know I have to continue to grow my brand and get people to buy into my expertise and doing free things helps to get me there. And I’m sure I’ll continue to do SOME free initiatives. But the point is, I now really value what I have built on. I’ve still got a lot to learn, but for those that aren’t quite where I am yet, they obviously value my knowledge, my understanding and my ability to relay information on writing and so should I.

So… while you should do your passion because it’s what you LOVE to do; you have to be realistic in what stretches you too far. Take pride and value your expertise in your passion. Here are some quick steps when developing your pricing for your services and communicating those charges.

  1. Research what others in your area of expertise charge for the service(s) or similar. The best way to be sure you’re being fair about your prices is to see what others are charging. Price gouging is a no-no. So, be sure you’re aligned with the rest of your market.
  2. Complete a cost analysis on what costs you incur when providing expertise of your passion. For example, how much  do your printed materials cost you? What hourly rate would you consider compensatory for your efforts?
  3. Outline your price list for your customer. Be professional. Communicate your prices in a way that is clear and professional. Have a standard well-written document that outlines your costs.
  4. Be consistent. If you’re going to have different prices based on various service types, be sure to be consistent with everyone that inquires. People do talk and you don’t want to build a poor reputation of being inconsistent.
  5. Tell people your costs up front for doing business when they request your expertise/services on something.
  6. Don’ t be apologetic for taking value in your time and expertise/service.
  7. Value your worth. If you don’t, the requester won’t. And more than likely they probably will pay someone who does value their worth.

Today declare that you are worth every penny that you’ll request going forward for your work. And it’s OK to do pro bono from time to time, just don’t cut yourself short when you don’t have to. Until the next post, passionistas! Keep living passionately and doing so OUT LOUD! 😉

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