Promise #5: Put It Into Action
Passion Point Incubator
We are going to get started by building out your Passion Point Incubator. Trust that I know how funny that sounds, but I also know you’ll remember that term as well.
By definition, an incubator is an enclosed apparatus providing a controlled environment for the care and protection of premature or unusually small babies. Years ago, businesses started creating business incubators to ensure new companies would develop by providing all of the services it would need during the early stages.
Guess what? You need to incubate your passion!
Write it out once again in all of its glory. You should be able to do it from memory now given the number of times we’ve done it as we have gone through the promises.
Add more depth: Begin to write down a few lines of the actions you believe you might have to take to make them become true.
Now, read those passions and the actions out loud to yourself a few times. I would like you to write down a few descriptors in terms of how they make you feel. Fully engage your senses (gents, it is ok, what do you really feel inside ☺)?
For example, my passion is empowering others to reach their potential. One of the actions within that passion is for me to help people impoverished areas. Within the city of Philadelphia (where I was born and raised) there is an imbalance in those areas between career success and incarceration.
When I think about those things, my belly warms, my jaws clench, my creative juices stir, my commitment gets another jolt and I am fired up. I need you to capture that for your passion(s).
Create a List of Passion Partners
Not unlike the phrase often used of “being in business for yourself, but not by yourself,” the same should be true in this journey. The key is finding folks who are supportive.
Pull out your Wisdom Exchange work from Promise #3. Examine it and be honest. Identify those that you have developed a relationship with and believe that you can continue to engage with on a regular basis. The natural question that probably comes to mind is “how many of these folks should I have?” That is a question only you can answer. However, here is how I would answer it for myself – – “there is never going to be enough!” I subscribe to Jim Rohn’s quote of “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” Therefore, I want to constantly stack the deck with people who operate within my passion, improving my odds that I am around them more and as a result, improving my average.
You will have to make this call for yourself though. That said, I don’t want you to settle on too low of a number, so I will say that you minimally need five for each passion. If you have five solid folks that you can engage with from the Wisdom Exchange, great! If not, do that work effort again and get some new folks engaged.
Engage your Passion Partners
Here is the good news, this is not a lot different from the work in Promise #3. The only difference is that we are moving from an introductory phase to an operating phase if you will.
In Promise #3 when you were creating your Wisdom Exchange and meeting people for the first time using your script. You were breaking the ice with some folks, getting some advice and seeing if a spark happened for a longer term relationship. Now, knowing that there is a spark, you want to be intentional and operationalize that relationship to a certain degree. Here are some ways to do that:
- Demonstrate you have used their advice: Having gotten some advice from them in the first meeting, you want to follow up with them, in whatever channel makes sense (e.g. phone call, twitter, etc.) and demonstrate that you acted on that advice. That is important. When you have expressed an interest in someone, on the basis of mutual passion, that s/he can be helpful to you and that you want advice on how you move forward – – when they give you the advice, you must act immediately. This demonstrates your level of commitment to your passion and that you value that relationship.
- Establish permission for on-going communication: Tell them what you learned from acting on their advice. Ask them if it would be ok to check in with them regularly and if so, what is the best way to do that. From here, you fill in the blank in your communications, but you can say “I am open to calls, face-to-face meetings, shadowing you, etc.” You have to set parameters and put out what you are comfortable committing to and based on what you feel you need. Perhaps you only need to know that you can reach out when you need to for advice. That’s fine as well, just ask for that.
Create the Flexibility
To Pursue Your Passion
I spoke about this briefly in Promise #1, but I want to dive a bit deeper here as it is important to revisit as you are putting your system in place.
There is certainly not a one-size-fits-all. While I am the first to fight against the notion that your passion and way you make a living must be mutually exclusive, I will also be the first to say that you are not being less than true to yourself if you are not doing your passion full time every day all day.
My advice is to give this the due thought, prayer, and consideration it desires. I will share a few things I have learned through my journey.
I was fortunate to discover my primary passion for helping others, followed by music and innovation, in my late teens. As I mentioned in a prior promise, for a period of time, I did not bring my “whole self” to work so it felt like there was a work life and an after-work (passion) life. As time progressed, I learned how to better integrate. I embraced my primary passion and worked to pour into people and for a period of time did a number of things on the music front from producing music to owning media companies, etc.
However, my wife and I felt a need to manage lean very early in our marriage and try to live below our means. One of my favorite quotes used to be “owe no man!” LOL. I really dislike debt! (That is a whole other story until itself – – I should probably write a book.). In any event, we did our best to keep our expenses down, save, pay off our first home quickly, etc. We once had a plan of how I could retire by fifty, so we could go off and do a bunch of things, including my passion, ministry work, etc. Fast forward to today, the path was not linear, nor my full plan by any means, but it has come to fruition. In June of 2018, I resigned from my Chief Commercial Officer role at LegalShield to launch our new company, The Corelink Solution. The company has a singular purpose, To Revitalize communities by empowering people to reach their potential.
That is my journey and my experience. Again, my advice to you is to give this the prayer, thought and consideration it deserves. You need to own the incubator for your passion.
Learning and Development Plan
There are several ways to approach this. In my book, I provided a grid that helps you map from your passion, across to activities, with dates and more specifics. That is still very applicable. However, in the interest of time (perhaps leaning into how quickly we are all moving these days), I’d like to share an abbreviated version in regard to setting up a plan.
1. Outline what is important to learn: Do this by leveraging those in your incubator that we previously discussed. Ask them for assistance in creating a topic listing of the things you should learn in order to be more informed about your passion.
2. Inventory sources and set up incoming knowledge: Once you have the topic listing, inquire about the best sources of information. Ask your passion partners who they enjoy learning from – who influences them. Research who your passion partners follow on Twitter, Instagram, etc., and determine the appropriate folks as well.
Throughout this process, keep the Main thing the Main Thing through curation: As you look to learn through these various sources, as always, you will be pounded with the temptation to look at other things. The best way to avoid that is by setting up playlists and subscribing to specific channels (e.g. companies, authors, topics, etc.). In both cases, you can establish notifications. That way you can be “notified” when new and relevant “learning and development material: is available for you!
3. Use time wisely: Take advantage of your downtime, commuting time, free time (which many call “drive time university”) and perhaps even during your workout, to learn while listening. Tools such as audiobooks are great. I have been a fan of Audible for years now, but there are plenty of free services as well. You can also find great things on Medium and YouTube, not to mention Podcasts that are available.
4. Engage in conversations: Similar to the above, establish appropriate #hashtag searches for those topics on Twitter and Instagram as a start and engage in meaningful conversations. As we all know, some of the best learning happens when we have a dialogue with others.
Setting goals and tracking progress are essential to getting to your destination. Said simply it is a matter of Plan, Do, Review. Plan your work, Do it, Review the results. From there you can modify, and course correct.
If you haven’t already, I would suggest downloading a free copy of my Workbook HERE. You can then outline your goals on page 15.
I will address this here, so you are not shocked when you open the workbook. In approaching goals, you will notice then shaped in two-dimensions: what they encompass (Career, Financial, Education, Family, Artistic, Attitude, Physical, Pleasure, and Service) and time span (Lifetime, Five Year, 1 Year, 1 Month), each is important. So, this will take you time to complete. I would suggest you do this goal setting exercise when you have sixty to ninety minutes of uninterrupted time if possible. It may sound like a lot of time, but we are talking about your entire life – – this is important stuff ☺.
Quarterly Tracker: You can use page 30 of the workbook to do quarterly check-ins or more frequently if you'd like to. The idea is to be accountable towards progress towards your passion. I would even advise that after you complete this, that you discuss it with a few of your passion partners.
As always, I welcome your feedback and questions. You can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
To your success!