08/31/2022 by Kori Burkholder
How To Launch Your Passion Project With A Full-Time Job
Mark George is an alumnus of the purpose-driven career program, and I wanted to connect with him because he's got some exciting news.
As a Career Coach, I speak with many professionals with passion projects and side hustle ideas. Still, they don't feel like they have the time, space, or energy because their day job takes up so much of that time. I know that can be frustrating, So I wanted to interview Marc, who will inspire us all, and you will see how he created the time and the space, even with a full-time job, to launch two of his passion projects.
Marc's story is for those who have a passion project ideas but are riddled with doubts and fears of failure or time constraints or have too many ideas and are stuck with indecision.
I've been lucky to work in the music industry for most of my career. I work for a manufacturer of audio and broadcast products. I've been working for ten and a half years and am happy to have found this job.
Like anybody else, my career path has been a little bit here, a little bit there, a little bit towards my career goals, and a little bit against my career goals. But, still, I always like to say all experience is a good experience. Whether that means you are finding work that adds to your career knowledge and experience or if you found something that you don't like to do, at least you know that.
The Moment Marc Reconnected To His Passion Of Writing
At the time we started working together, things were slow business-wise. So many things were stagnant, and I didn't feel challenged in my job. It was like, "oh, I'm waking up and going through the motions." As much as I like the company and the people I work with, I wasn't seeing real growth. So I wanted to find out if there was anything different I should be doing.
During our conversations, you reminded me of my passion for writing. Yes, we're focusing on making money, a career, and a job, but you didn't want me to forget my passions. By the third time you mentioned it, you suggested just starting it in some small way. So I started writing one night, and I did maybe a thousand words, and I'm like, wow, this is pretty cool, and then I did it again, and then again because I enjoyed doing it.
I created a good habit, and that habit was writing consistently almost every day. I heard a quote, "it's ten percent inspiration and ninety percent perspiration." You've got to do the work. You have to help yourself.
The best thing I could have done was to start with no particular goal in mind, and as I got into it and figured it out, I was like, I'm going to complete this. I'm going to write a book!
In May 2020, I finished my first book. I sent it to an editor who returned it, and I re-edited it. In the author's world, it is a very normal thing; the first book is just learning the process. Then I wrote the second book, the series I'm working on now.
How Marc Fit His Passion Project Into His Busy Professional Life
I have a day job that's not just an office job. I do outside sales, meaning fifty percent of my work is outside the office. So this past year, I started bringing files with me loading them onto my laptop and working while on the plane. I would write in my hotel room. I would write any chance that I had a free moment. I work about 14 hours a day, but the writing aspect of that doesn't feel like work.
Outside that time, I'm focused on my day job. I think part of it helped that I've been doing my day job for a little while, so I'm well familiar with it, but of course, these past two years, it's been a completely different type of challenge, so I've had to relearn my day job while I was writing in the evening.
I'm also a musician, and I do photography semiprofessionally. It feels good to satisfy my passions because I'm achieving something. No more fear or intimidation like, "oh man, why am I not doing this?" Those questions and guilt could affect my ability to think clearly at work.
Now that I've got these two things going, I can separate what I do during the day and what I do during the night, and of course, yes, I think about writing when I'm working, but I also think about my day job at night, and that's completely normal.
But because I have a level of satisfaction doing my passions and am very comfortable in my day job, I chose to stay where I am. Some of the options I was considering would have taken a little longer, and then, of course, the pandemic happened. So that made reality a little bit harder, but I think having and working on a passion has made me feel more comfortable in my day job.
Marc's Advice On Balancing Passion Projects and Full-Time Work
Isaac Newton's Law of Gravity says, "an object in motion tends to stay in motion," which means just to get started on that passion project. Find 15 minutes in a day to start working on it right, then 15 minutes the next day, and don't have this gigantic goal to achieve. It might seem at first you are forcing yourself to do it, but you must create the habit within yourself. Eventually, you feel like something is wrong or missing if you don't do it. Keep it realistic. Keep it small.
Marc's Book Release Passion Project Launch
I decided on science fiction because that's the genre I've always loved to read.
The story is called The Origin Story: Starship Sneak and is about five friends experiencing life post-high school, trying to figure out their roles in life, and fearing being unable to stay together. So they go through this fantastic adventure, figure out this big conspiracy with the government, and save their planet.
The Origin Story: Starship Sneak is out now and is available on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Apple Books, Kobo, and Google; the next one comes out in January, the next one in March, and there will probably be seven books in the series by the time I'm done.
I owe you a lot of gratitude for seeing that passion in me, being an excellent coach, and reminding me until all of it clicked. After that, I made it happen, but it wouldn't have happened if it wasn't for you, so thank you for that.