Do What You Were Made To Do- Part 2: Defining Your Passion and Talent

nathanCreativity, Indie Publishing4 Comments

Welcome to Part 2 of the Do What You Were Made To Do Series.

 

Last time, we spoke about how to prepare yourself: your heart, mind and determination.

We went over how to tackle self doubt, those who are closest to us who don’t follow through on their support and those who are just gonna be haters, because that is what they do.

Today we are going to talk about passion, the talent we want to use, and the target we intend to strike.

 

Zig Ziglar

 

God made us all with certain gifts to use. We hear about this all the time, and is not a new concept. What many people fail to do is dedicate the time to understanding the ultimate goal.  If your talent and effort are the arrows, then there must be a clear target.

Picture this.

You are Robin Hood or Katniss or Legolas (insert your favorite archer here). You are weary and in the midst of battle with one final arrow left in your quiver. You reach behind your back, quickly retrieving the arrow, setting it in the groove and pulling the bow in position. As your adrenaline kicks in, everything around you fades into the background and begins to creep in slow motion, all except for your intended target, which is crisp and focused. This is your final shot and it must count. You steady your breathing. You focus on the pinpoint where you intend to sink you arrow. A bead of sweat falls from your brow.  It is now or never. You wait for the right moment to strike. Wait…wait…NOW!

This is the start of your business model. There are 3 elements at play here that I want you to understand.

 

  1. The Arrow– This is your gift.
  2. The Pull– This is your passion and clarity of mission.
  3. The Target– This is your ultimate goal.

 

The Arrow

What is your arrow? How many do you have? What does it look like? For many of us, this can take years to understand, but you won’t maximize your time and energy until you know. Here are a couple of questions to get you going if you are still unsure:

  • Is there any particular activity in which you lose yourself, spending hours that feel like minutes?
  • What do you find yourself attracted to when you have free time?
  • If I sat you in a room and told you that you had 1 hour to do anything… anything at all, what is the first thing your mind would go to?

I know for me, I can spend 5 or 6 hours at the computer figuring out what to write and then writing it out. I love plotting, outlining, developing characters and giving advice. I enjoy presenting this content online to promote lively discussion. I enjoy the research it takes to learn how to be an Indie Author- being a better storyteller, the marketing, the website design… everything.

So, what does this look like for you? What strengths do you have that you get excited? Do you get excited at the thought of doing this all day, every day?

 

The Pull

For an archer, the amount of pull on the string equals the distance the arrow will fly. Now if that is not a tasty analogy, I don’t know what is.

The level of Passion you have for your gift and for the impact on the intended target will define your success.  If you go at it half-heartedly, your arrow will nose dive after ten feet, and no one wants to see that happen.

The great thing about intense passion is that it is not difficult to maintain on the things you love, but there will be times where you get tired and fatigued.  Just like in the example above, when you have been in the battle for a long time and you are weary, you must keep the same amount of pull on the string.  It is the amount of perseverance you have in these times that will give you the best results.

This was a unique vision for me.  I started off writing non-fiction in the Christian Living genre.  While I enjoyed it and loved the message, it took me a while to realize that it was not the type of writing I wanted to do long term.  My passion is in fiction. I love the complexity, how it can suck you into a whole other world, and the subtle message you can get across in much more powerful ways than a non-fiction book ever could.  While I had maybe a 75% pull on non-fiction, I had that sucker pulled back at max capacity with fiction.  That one realization changed my entire writing career.

Understand what will give you 100% pull and let that arrow fly, but know where that arrow is going to land…

 

The Target

What exactly are you trying to do?  What is the end result of all of your effort, and more specifically, what does that look like?

You can’t just say, “I want to be a successful ________.”  That is vague and undefined.  You are aiming at the sea in hopes to hit water, but that won’t accomplish much, will it?

Be specific.

Is it having a certain size following?  Is it a certain amount of money coming in each month by doing what you love? Is it the number of stories from people you have impacted?

Figure it out and write it down.  No really, write it and keep it somewhere visible to you every day. Once you have defined the target, you can calculate the flight pattern and trajectory (segue into the next newsletter?)

My goal is readership.  I want to grow both the number of readers for my fiction as well as this newsletter, and I want to have a specific number by a specific date. For authors, numbers equate to dollars, and while I am focused on writing awesome fiction and glorifying God in the process, the measure of a readership is in downloads and signups, which also can easily be measured in dollars, so I have also set monetary milestones for the next x number of years.

Understand where you want to be and then you can create the roadmap to get there. Plain and simple.  No ninja techniques or hacks.  It is plain and simple strategy.

 

Next Steps

Here is your homework for this month.  Develop these 3 areas. Dedicate time to understanding what you love, how you can maximize the use of that gift and what the endgame is.

Take the time to post your results here so we can all encourage you on.

Until then…