Over the weekend, I had the opportunity to speak to a gathering of young people at the Youth In Business Summit organized by Non-violence project in Jinja. Youth from all of walks of life were in attendance and had one thing in common, they are all eager to reach their full potential and leave a mark on their generation.
I was asked to share about; “How to turn your passion into a profession”. It is an exciting topic for me, one that I have shared and talked about several times in different forums. Here is what I shared about and believe that it is relevant for people who have a vision, an idea or passion but still wondering how to pursue your passion and still make a living.
We all have startup capital: We are all born with amazing potential to fulfill each of our life purposes. That potential can be in form of natural talents, innate passion and as we go through life we acquire different skills which add to our potential. This potential has nothing to do with academic qualifications; it simply has everything to do with your ability to set out in a career of your choice and being able to succeed. It is unfortunate that many youth are limited to their academic qualifications. Education simply enhances what you already have or have learnt through life. The first step to building a successful career or enterprise is realizing what you already have and making the most of it.
We are all engineered for success: We all as human beings have been designed and wired in a way that is meant to enable us succeed in life. Success is not about the amount of money you acquire over time, it is about finding your purpose in life and fulfilling it. Know your path and stick to it, being you will liberate you to excel. Quit trying to be someone you are not or trying to live another person’s life. Success is about finding your path in life and being the best at walking that path. Identify your passion and build your capacity to become an expert in that field, that will set you apart from the rest and will enable you earn from that field of expertise.
Destiny is a matter of choice: No one has the power to define your life unless you give it to them. Your destiny is a matter of choice; if you don’t make that choice you inevitably empower someone else to make that choice for you. Choices are verbalized, written or demonstrated. The way you live your life is a reflection of where you are headed. What you do today will determine where you will be tomorrow. Don’t let life happen to you, decide what kind of life you want to live then go out there and make things happen. Live intentionally and design your life by your confessions and actions. Knowing that you can do something will not make things happen, turn your intentions into action plans and activities.
Excellence sets you apart: We all have an innate desire to be successful, to be recognized and to stand out but not many of us are willing to go through the process. The key to becoming good at something is to work long enough at that issue until you master it. Experts are not born, they are made through the process of continuous practice. For you to excel in your passion to a point of being able to earn from it, you have to excel in that field and that is going to require commitment. Experts are paid highly because they go a notch higher in mastering particular skills than the rest of us.
People buy into brands: It does not matter how good you are at what you do but if you have a poor brand, people will bypass you to go for your competitors. Brand involves the company or product name, logo, symbols, package and colors. I personally believe that the first and most important brand is you. People buy into personalities and relationships. If people like you, they will rally behind you and that will happen when you match your brand with your values and personality. Who you are will soon be reflected in your business so sharpen yourself even as you aspire to build a strong brand. Choose a brand that you will be proud of 10, 20, 30 and 50 years from now.
There are more things that could be taken into consideration as you turn your passion into a profession. These five principles have laid a foundation for the work we do with Kyusa where we empower out of school youth to become employable. We have seen tremendous success stories as youth tap into their passion and potential turning it into sustainable careers. Whatever your dream is, you have on the inside of you the initial capital to get started. Go for it.