Ever since I was a little kid, I was told to reach for the stars andfollow my dreams. But then as soon as money entered the conversation, it was no longer about "doing what you love." It was about being able to find a job, provide for yourself, and to find something that could provide safety and comfort--not deep satisfaction and fulfillment.
This is something I have devoted my entire life to figuring out: how do you take what you love and turn it into your career, your primary source of income. It's not that it's impossible--we see people living their dreams every day; today, even more so. But it is absolutely a different path than most, and one that requires a certain level of persistence and patience, something many people struggle to tolerate.
Someone whose story very much resonates to this pursuit is Marshall Sylver, one of the world's most recognized hypnotists.
Can you imagine what that conversation must have been like for him growing up? How do you explain to people that you want to take something like hypnotism and turn it into your career?
Well, Sylver didn't just turn it into a career. In fact, he turned it into a business empire, performing shows in Las Vegas, appearing on David Letterman's Late Night show, leading business seminars, becoming a motivational speaker and consultant, and was a speaker at the Learning Annex "Wealth Expo" alongside Tony Robbins back in 2006, as well as the First Annual Entrepreneur Success Summit in 2010.
He made his dream come true. And if he can do it with hypnotism, then you can surely do it too.
I was fortunate to chat with Marshall Sylver about what actionable steps people can take in order to turn their passion into their primary source of income. Here is the wisdom he shared:
1. "Show Business" Is Two Words--The Second Word Being The Bigger One
Sylver explained that whether you want to be a performer, an artist, or any kind of entrepreneur, you have to remember the difference between keeping what you love as a hobby or an actual business.
"Just about anything can become a 'business,' but in order for it to actually generate revenue then you have to consider what the market would want if your intention is to make money. If you intend for this to pay your bills, you should work on that plan early in the game so your passion begins to fund itself sooner than later," said Sylver.
This is something a lot of people struggle with, is differentiating between what they enjoy doing for fun, and what they enjoy doing but ultimately want to charge for. Doing something for fun entirely removes your awareness of the market and what people are willing to pay for. So if you want it to become a business, you have to maintain some sense of what people are interested in and what is "worth it" for them to buy.
2. Look for Target Rich Environments (TRE's)
Part of taking your passion and making it profitable is looking for what Sylver referred to as Target Rich Environments. These are markets or audiences that fulfill both the "would" and "could" of the equation--they would buy what you're offering and they can because they have the funds/income to do so.
"You have to always be ready to pivot, adjust, and move to the market where you find the right fit--where the people you are selling to want what you're offering and can actually afford it. Unless you can fulfill both of those needs, you haven't quite found your market fit," said Sylver.
3. Look For Ways To Generate Passive Revenue
All great entrepreneurs and business leaders know the value of automation. Anything you can create once and sell multiple times is far easier and more effective to scale. After all, you can only work so many hours in a day, so in order for you to continue building it's imperative you search for ways to create passive income streams.
"No matter what your passion is, you need to constantly be asking yourself how you can turn whatever it is you're doing into a passive revenue stream. How can you do this once but get paid many times over?" said Sylver.
For example: A passive revenue stream would be writing a book, or creating an online course. There, your knowledge is documented once but can be sold multiple times.
4. Find Your Mentor
The topic of mentorship isn't a new one--it's value is widely known. But Sylver is yet another clear example of how impactful having mentors can be on the growth of not just you as an individual, but your busines endeavors as well.
"I have had two major mentors in my life. My first was a man named Chuck Martinez. He single-handedly reinvented Modern Day Halloween back in 1979. He was the one who taught me about business and grace, and really instilled in me the habit to always be fair and ethical. He also showed me that anyone can creative massive abundance when fearless action is taken. That left a strong impression on me."
Sylver went on, "My second mentor has been Sir Richard Branson of the Virgin brand. I have invested a significant amount of money to spend time with him on his private island. He is the one who really taught me the importance of being a brand versus a promotion, and to not be afraid of using debt as leverage to build a business faster. Those were crucial lessons that didn't really have anything to do with hypnotism, but have been fundamental in helping me build my business."
5. Sample, Sample, Sample, Until You Find Your Passion
And finally, something that Sylver touched on that absolutely resonated with me was the fact that many people struggle to actually find their primary passion and "what they love."
"Life is a buffet. You have to sample lots of different things before you find that thing you could do forever. Imagine what you would be doing every day if you were already a billionaire. That is your passion. I believe in order to find your passion, you have to strive toward some bigger purpose."
Sylver shared that he believed the four primary steps toward that bigger purpose is to first forgive everyone in your life, especially yourself, for any mistakes made in the past--so they no longer have power over you.
Second, you have to surrender in order to find your "perfect life." Finding it less than perfect is a waste of time--life "is what it is."
Third, utilize verses tolerate the circumstances of your life. When you are certain that everything in your life is unfolding for your greatest good, then you will have more prosperity than you will know what to do with.
And when you reach that point, there will be only one thing left to do--and that's number four: Serve others. When your life is a mission to serve and empower others, everything will come full circle.