How do I turn my passions into a career?

Life has been crazy busy for me lately, but I never want to get too busy to be thankful, or too busy to pay it forward. So yesterday on Instagram I asked a simple question. Well, a few actually.

What are your creative dreams, career aspirations or life goals and what is holding you back? Furthermore, how can I help?

I got a bunch of great responses but one stood out. Someone emailed me and asked how do I turn my passions (like travel and music) into a career? Here was my response.

 "Hey!

Thanks for the email! I've been in your shoes many times. I think ultimately, what it comes down to, and it kind of kills me to say this, but do what you love. I know, I know, that's a cliche. So let me add a quick amendment. Do whatever you love enough to sacrifice for. Let me explain.

People who are successful at their careers aren't just successful because of natural inclination. That helps, but it's not going to get you up in the morning. I'm naturally inclined to run, but I hate running, so I could never be great at it. The people that are succesful are passionate about what they do. They put in endless extra hours just because they want to. So I guess my question for you is, what are you passionate about? You mentioned a few general things like travel and music, but those are things that everyone loves. What actually gives you the most joy? What fills you? If it's music, then what about music? Performing, writing songs, writing album reviews, managing bands, organizing tour schedules, finding new talent, putting on concerts?? There are a million careers there. So my advice would be to find that one thing that fills you the most, then think about how your natural giftings could help you there, then specialize.

For me, I fell I love with writing in high school. That naturally led to songwriting and next thing I knew I was in a band touring the country. Photography quickly became a passion for me also, and turned into a career as well. Analyze yourself. Find out what your passion really is. Not just fun stuff to do, but what are you willing to sacrifice for? Would you sell your car to travel? Would you give up a secure job to pursue music? Once you find that thing, go for it. Learn as much as you can. Be great at it. Be bold and cold-call people to make opportunities. The career will develop from there because people will seek you out for your passion. Hope that helps!"

If you're still confused, well hell, most of the time I am too. But I'd love to talk to you about it and share the little bit of creative advice I can. Send me an email or comment below. Cheers!

Edsel Photo specializes in cinematic and stylized fashion photography for advertising and editorial publications in Austin, Texas and New York City.