On June 9, 2017 I walked away from my career to, for a lack of better terms, pursue my own passions.

I do not regret my decision of quitting my comfy, secure job, but if I could magically transport back in time I’d have given myself one piece of advice:

Don’t follow your passion. Find a problem, and passionately solve it.

It’s so stupidly simple to comprehend I can’t believe it’s taken me nearly 2 years to figure out.

If you feel stuck in life, you tend to gravitate toward the personal development gurus who say Just follow your passions without laying down the roadmap in front of you.

It’s so much sexier to think of yourself writing your novel as you galavant across the globe than sitting in your office cubicle (this thought definitely crossed my mind at one point).

But what the gurus fail to mention is that rarely do your passions lead to a livelihood (except for a lucky few).

When I used to sit in my drab office cubicle, I’d rack my brain trying to find the answer to one question:

What do I want to do with my life?

Instead, I should have been asking myself:

What problems do I enjoy solving for others?

This question is important for two reasons:

  1. It primes you to think about different ways you can provide value to the world by working through problems you find enjoyable
  2. It shifts your focus away from yourself and onto others (who will be the ones paying for your value)

So if you find yourself in a similar situation (the I-just-want-to-quit-this-job-and-do-my-own-thing situation), do yourself a favor and find a problem you enjoy solving and solve it for someone else.

Then find another person with a similar problem and solve that one.

Then another.

Then another.

Then you can start thinking about leaving that job of yours.

P.S. – This post was inspired by Paul Jarvis’ new book, Company of One. A book I wish was around 2 years ago.