When I graduated college two years ago, I followed the footsteps of many other 20-somethings and moved to New York City. I was excited to start my first real job and begin my career journey. From an outsider’s perspective, it might have looked like I had everything: a great job right after college at a well-known publication based in an amazing city. Though I was constantly told by those around me how fortunate I was, the reality was that I didn’t feel like I had everything. There seemed to be a major lacking component in my life. For almost twelve months, I allowed myself to believe that my unhappiness was simply a phase–a result of transitioning from college to the adult world.

About a year into my full-time job, I decided to supplement my income by starting my own network marketing business with Arbonne, a holistic beauty and wellness company. Before I started my Arbonne business, I had no idea that entrepreneurship was something that I would be passionate about. But now that I’ve experienced the joys and rewards of owning my own business, there’s nothing else like it! What I loved most was being my boss, having control of my schedule, and doing work that I enjoyed.

My fervor for entrepreneurship only made me more aware of how miserable I was in my day job. All I wanted to do was escape the corporate world and put all of my time and effort into making my entrepreneurial dreams come true—starting a blog, website, book, business venture, etc. Sound like something you can relate to?

Although it wasn’t what I wanted to hear, my very logical boyfriend gently reminded me that achieving my career goals won’t happen overnight. He pointed out that the corporate world offers many opportunities to learn new skills and gain experience before making a complete change. I realized that an “all-or-nothing” Mentality is kind of dangerous, so instead of quitting my job, I changed it. I left the global business publication for a world-renowned fashion and beauty media company. Many entrepreneurs’ businesses fail within the first few years, and I was able to learn key business skills and expand my professional network in my corporate job. It would be foolish to give up all of that experience. I am currently expanding my blog and personal brand outside of my day job. I take great caution in separating the two, however, I have learned a lot from my job that will be beneficial when I eventually pursue my business full-time.

Before I continue, let me make one thing clear: achieving a work-life balance is no easy feat. It requires immense focus and dedication to see it through. However, by adhering to the following keys of success, you too can chase your dreams on the side and reach your full potential– something that the world needs from you.

1. Aim High

Pursue your dreams fearlessly and never give up on yourself. You should be excited to work every day–love what you do so much that it doesn’t feel like work. If you’re not there yet, don’t settle for anything less than what would make you happy. Allow yourself to dream big and figure out what it is that truly drives you.

2. Develop and Expand Your Personal Brand

Prior to quitting your day job to pursue passion, it is essential that you grow your personal brand like me. By focusing first on this task, you’ll eventually discover and follow your true self and purpose. Step one, who are you? What makes you unique and what is your passion? Determine what it is that only YOU can give to the world. Second, get promoted through social media platforms and blogging. Find a community of people with similar interests so that together you all can learn and progress.

3. Look for the Positive in Every Situation

Don’t see your day job as a waste of time, but instead look at it as a way to build your brand and collaborate with the company you work for. While you are financially dependent on this job, make sure to get everything you can out of it. Choose a career that you’re passionate about, enjoy the company of those you work with, and never stop learning new things so that you can eventually apply them to your own business. If you’re one of the unlucky few who hate their job, don’t give up hope! You can still change your situation by finding a new job that better suits your interests and passions. Don’t forget that you are in control of your life, and only you can make this important decision.”

4. Allocate Some Time in Your Schedule

“I don’t have enough time” is the number one excuse people give for not pursuing their passions alongside their full-time job. Sorry to break it to you, but we all have the same amount of time in a day: 24 hours. Make use of your hour wisely. Instead of watching a TV show when you’re not at work, why not spend that time working on your blog?

Although it may seem like you have to forego fun and friends to commit to your passion project, that doesn’t always have to be the case. What you need is diligence when it comes to scheduling and adhering to your passion project deadlines. Make your passion a priority by setting two hours every Sunday through Thursday solely for work on your project. When you make this commitment, you might be surprised by how much free time suddenly opens up to you!

5. Work Towards Your Goals Everyday

One of my idols, Adelaide Lancaster, gave me this great tip: always strive for progress over perfection. If you’re like me and have a problem with being too much of a perfectionist, then this is sage advice to follow–especially if your passion is something you only pursue part-time. Accepting that you and your passion project are beautiful but flawed allows you to enjoy the process of working on it. This will get rid of the poisonous feeling of “not enough” that can weigh you down. Set small monthly, weekly, and daily goals for yourself so as not to overwhelm yourself, and then reward yourself when milestones are hit! Indulge in your favorite things as a means of celebrating your progress. Whether it’s a piece of chocolate, a massage, or going out with friends, you deserve to treat yourself!

6. Always Persist and Never Give Up

Like with anything worth fighting for, there will be obstacles and challenges along the way as you pursue your passions. It’s not easy by any means, but if you keep your focus on the end goal—a life full of what brings you joy, love, and success—and stay committed to being consistent no matter what, then eventually your passion project will become your reality.

Do you have any hobbies or interests outside of your regular job? We would love to hear about them!

Join Kim Keating for her office hours, and learn how you can follow your passion in your future career!

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