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My good friend from college, Karen, sent me this message recently:
"I was just thinking the other day and wanted to ask you (yes, I still send questions and advice for you.... probably always will:). I admire you so much for everything you have done and for the life that you are living. How do you do it? I sometimes feel stuck forever and how did you turn your passion into your work? (aren't there a million books on this?). I knew you would always make it huge since the day you asked me to help you hang signs as a freshman for the school senate when we knew absolutely no one. Btw love the black bean burger."
Karen is in the middle. I think I look the same. just with more hair now.
Karen's note brought me to tears, of course -- but after I pulled myself together I wrote her promising I'd write a blog post about this.
Now, I've written about my road to success before and I still think this graph sums it up:
To answer Karen's question, yes, there are a million books on this topic and I've probably read half of them. And although each one had something to offer, some new perspective, I always found myself shaking the book (or my kindle) saying Okay! so I get how it worked for you and this business over there... but what about me? Where is the plan? Where is the formula?
and eventually I came to the realization that there is no grand plan. no master formula. what works for one person won't certainly work for another and this is the long and short way in explaining my success. I never had a plan. It's always been about passion and chasing it.
I often feel like Happy Herbivore happened to me. What do you mean I published two books and am running a business? When did that happen? How did that happen? Am I really an author? An entrepreneur? A businesswoman? No. That can't be right...
These are thoughts that run through my head on a daily basis. I often wonder how I got here... but I feel very thankful -- and lucky to be here. Truthfully, it all sort of feels like a dream. or a fairy tale.
and I was spewing this same speech in an interview when the interview cut me off and said, "Don't sell yourself short. Sure you were in the right place at the right time, but you also had the passion and experience to be able to seize that opportunity. You can't discount that."
I still feel incredibly lucky every day but now I also recognize that it wasn't all luck because I had to put something out there in the universe for luck to take me on a wild ride.
and this is my advice to you.
Find your passion.
and act on it.
Take that first step. and chase it.
For example, if your passion is baking and your dream is opening a bakery. Go sell some goodies. Sell them to whoever will buy them. Sell the on etsy. Sell them at church. Sell them on a blog. Just get out there and sell them.
If your passion is writing, sit down and write.
Also, be open to possibilities. and opportunities. and change.
Happy Herbivore, believe it or not, has changed.
Happy Herbivore started out as a food diary. (Did you know that?) Then it became a place for recipes. and now it's a community. and I've written two cookbooks (with another on the way!) and I have meal plans. and a calendar. and merchandise. and our charitable necklaces!
CHASE YOUR PASSION. and see where it takes you.... I'm still chasing mine.
and yes, I was elected. :o)