Our economy is changing. We’re no longer living in a society where you know exactly what job you’re going to have and how much money you’re going to be able to earn when you’re still a little kid. Markets are popping up for all kinds of crazy products and services. There are a ton of new niches to fill, and you just might be the right person for one of them.
Do you have a hobby that lights you up? Is there a fun activity you do on the weekends that you wish you could do every day? Or maybe you have developed a side-hustle out of something you enjoy, but you haven’t taken the leap to make it your career.
I get it. It’s scary. Most of us have grown up in that old-school mentality that tells us we have to graduate from high school or college, take the first job we find that pays the bills, and ride that out until we can retire. But the economy doesn’t work that way anymore. With a simple mindset shift, you can break out of that mold and start turning your passion into profit.
And my guest today is here to help you do it.
Adam Davidson knows just about everything there is to know about money. He’s an authority on the subject — particularly in the online space — and he’s here today to share with you some wisdom and practical advice to help you break out of your old money mindset and start turning your passion into profit.
“…In a decade, our economic lives have been transformed probably more than in almost any century before … So I think we’re going to see more and more resources for people who have a great idea but don’t know how to do all the pieces. We’re going to have outsourced management tools and outsourced corporate hierarchy tools. … I think this continues to get easier and easier over time …” – Adam Davidson
Because here’s the thing: you can become an entrepreneur, turn your hobby into your day job, and achieve financial freedom. Really, it’s true! And Adam is here to tell you how to do it. Seriously, if you’ve ever thought about what it might be like to actually to have your dream job, you do not want to miss this episode!
Adam Davidson is a money expert. And that’s not an exaggeration — There are few people on earth who have studied money, in all its forms, more closely than Adam. He’s an award-winning journalist, and he’s contributed to the New Yorker with reporting on business, technology, and economics.
Adam Davidson is also no stranger to the podcasting world. In fact, he’s been at the forefront of the cultural conversation around money since the word “podcast” became a thing. He’s one of the co-founders of NPR’s Planet Money, one of the leading podcasts about all things money, commerce, and business.
And now, Adam is out with a new podcast — The Passion Economy. There, Adam examines entrepreneurship in the modern world, and how YOU can make a living from doing whatever you love. It’s an inspiring show, and I’d encourage you to check it out! Additionally, Adam has a new book out, also called The Passion Economy. This book will teach you how to survive and thrive financially — I know you’re going to want to grab a copy!
But don’t click away just yet, though, because Adam is right here on The School of Greatness with plenty of money expertise! So if you’re ready to dig into the psychology of money and start turning your passions into profits, read on!
Gone are the days when you would grow up on the family farm, marry your neighbor, and eventually take over your father’s business. Now, you can make a way for yourself to do whatever you desire. So think about it — what are you passionate about?
It’s okay if you don’t have a fully fleshed-out answer to that question immediately. But the question is worth considering. Start thinking about what your dream job would look like. And think about the skills and talents you already have. How would they factor into your ideal career?
“The way I see it is you have your unique bundle of things … the things you love and want to do, and the things you’re good at — which aren’t necessarily the same — [but] hopefully there’s some overlap. … And it’s finding that mix. It’s finding out who you are and what makes you different, but then it’s finding the customer. … I would strongly disagree with the idea that if you’re good at something and you don’t like doing it, that’s a good path.” – Adam Davidson
Don’t put pressure on yourself to do something just because you’re good at it. You have to love it too! Maybe you’re good at public speaking, but you don’t want to be a public speaker. That’s okay — find ways to incorporate the skill into a job that’s better for you. Maybe you should be a teacher, an online coach, or a speechwriter.
From there, remember that there are two ways to pursue your dreams: You can take baby steps, or you can go all-in. You can slowly take jobs related to careers you may want, learn as much as you can along the way, and eventually start the business or enter the job of your dreams. Or you can quit your job tomorrow and immediately open up a new company. The truth is that both options have the potential for success — you just have to do what feels right for you.
Here’s the thing: when it comes to thriving in a passion economy, your mindset around money is just as important — if not more important — than your practical skillset. If you recognize your own potential for success, you’re significantly more likely to achieve it. I asked Adam if he really thinks that anyone can invent their dream job and turn their passion into money, and here’s what he said:
“I think it’s available to a lot more people than realize it. And I don’t know if it’s available to even half the people, to be honest with you, but it’s certainly available to anybody who’s like pursuing podcasts about how success works or even asking the question.” – Adam Davidson
Not everyone is right for entrepreneurship, but if you have a hunch that you are, you’re probably right. If you’re interested in inventing a job for yourself, you’re probably completely capable of it.
The important thing is that you remember to play with money. This applies especially to younger people or people looking to start working in a totally new industry. Remember that you’re going to have to play around, experiment, make mistakes, and try new things. You’re not going to be an overnight success.
“I think if I was giving advice to a bright, curious, 23-year-old, I would say — Don’t worry about money for the next couple of years, if you can … and just hone that voice. [It’s] that combination of confidence and humility … I just think you’ll learn so much more by trying and failing and trying again.” – Adam Davidson
That’s a lesson I had to learn myself when I first got out of the sports world. I played football for years, but when I got injured, I landed on my sister’s couch for a while. It wasn’t an easy time in my life, but there was a silver lining: I had time to play. My expenses were low, so I started experimenting. I worked on different skills and started defining a new passion. I didn’t know it then, but that time of free play would eventually lead me to the career I have now — a career I love!
So spend some time shopping around. Look for your passion — you’ll eventually find it, and when you do, you’ll have the power to turn it into your dream job.
“Okay, Lewis,” you may be saying. “I hear you, but how do I actually do this? How can I make money doing what I love?” I asked Adam the same question, and he has some brilliant words of wisdom to share:
“One thing I would say is: You cannot outsource your vision. That is something that I think is really important. … You can outsource helping on it. You can outsource defining it. … You can have people challenge [it], but you can’t outsource your core vision.” – Adam Davidson
If you’re going to make a small business work, the idea has to come from you. You have to commit to it fully and have an unshakeable core vision that comes from your passion. It’s great to ask family and friends for support and to find teachers, coaches, and mentors who can help you learn practical skills and make your dream succeed, but you’ll never find financial freedom through your dream career if the energy and passion don’t come from you.
And here’s the thing: It’s not always going to be easy. It’s not always easy to find and clearly define your passion enough to make it the foundation of a whole business. And along the way, you’re definitely going to make mistakes. You aren’t perfect, and you aren’t going to wake up one day with a fool-proof business plan that perfectly anticipates every possible obstacle that could come your way. But if you have one core thing that you refuse to give up on, you’ll be able to pick yourself up and keep going despite all the challenges.
“I do think that something consistent in the people who I admire and the people I see [succeeding] is to know that core thing … What are the core things that you won’t give up on and that you really fundamentally believe in?” – Adam Davidson
It doesn’t matter if you don’t have a perfectly crafted mission statement. It’s okay if you don’t have a clear business plan! If you have one core idea that drives you to do your best, you have everything you need to invent your dream job and profit from doing what you love.
Adam Davidson is a brilliant guy. He has a lot of wisdom to share, and I’m grateful to have had the opportunity to have him here on The School of Greatness. And I want to acknowledge Adam for his courage in continuing to evolve and grow in his own money mindset. It took him a while to build up the confidence — he was 48 years old before he started his own company — but he believed so much in his research and his vision for the future than he took a leap of faith. He’s thriving, and he deserves it!
Adam really lives up to his definition of greatness:
“It’s not about genius … It’s about a tireless pursuit of something that’s out of your grasp. … In these cases, writing and rewriting, trying and retrying and retrying … People who are self-confident, but they’re also certain that they will never achieve the full greatness that they can imagine.” – Adam Davidson
Adam is the kind of guy who is always pushing. He inspires himself to be better and to keep growing, and that effort inspires me.
Thanks so much for joining me on this powerful episode of The School of Greatness! If you enjoyed this episode, please share it with your friends on Instagram and tag me, @lewishowes. Adam isn’t super active on Instagram, but you can follow him on Twitter @adamdavidson.
And don’t forget to check out Adam’s work on the podcasts Planet Money and The Passion Economy and in his book, The Passion Economy. Adam has a lot of great content out there in the world. If you’re someone who wants to follow your passion and create a job and a life that is perfectly aligned with you, you’re going to want to dig into Adam’s stuff!
Until next time, keep defining and refining your passions. With a core vision and a healthy mindset, the sky really is the limit! If you’re ready to learn more about how you can maximize your mindset and create a career out of your passion, join me on Episode 998 with Adam Davidson!