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How to Go Pro without Quitting Your Day Job: Part 2

© 2010 Avocationist · December 18th, 2010 · 4 Comments


Note: In the last post, I introduced the idea of Going Pro without Quitting Your Day Job. In this second part, I cover the benefits. Part 3 will show how you can Go Pro.
My palms were sweaty and my voice was about two octaves higher than normal as I dialed the phone. I was just hoping that I wouldn’t sound like a total idiot.

I had landed the first big interview for my new website Avocationist.com. In a few minutes I’d be talking to an author who had sold more than 2 million books. He was someone I had watched on TV. His financial advice had helped my wife and me learn how to save for retirement. And he had agreed to talk to me!

His phone rang. And rang. And rang.

And then I got his voicemail…

Gulp. “HeyDaveIt’sAllanBaconI’mcallingforourinterview.”

Now I had to wait for him – would he call? And – oh crap – I can’t record the interview if I don’t call him from my skype account!

Welcome to the world of Going Pro - moments of panic followed by intense learning and massive satisfaction…

What did I get from this experience? Flash forward to an hour later.

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→ 4 CommentsTags: Career Change · Mid-Life Career Change · Personal Growth

What Are You Working On?

© 2010 Avocationist · December 18th, 2010 · 1 Comment

Seth Godin had a great post today - I quote it below:

What are you working on?

If someone asks you that, are you excited to tell them the answer?

I hope so. If not, you're wasting away.

No matter what your job is, no matter where you work, there's a way to create a project (on your own, on weekends if necessary), where the excitement is palpable, where something that might make a difference is right around the corner.

Hurry, go do that.

That's the spirit behind Going Pro without Quitting Your Day Job (read more in Part 1 and Part 2). You don't have to wait to try anything. There is a way to do it small, now.

What do you wish you were doing now?

→ 1 CommentTags: General

How to Go Pro without Quitting Your Day Job: Part 1

© 2010 Avocationist · November 1st, 2010 · 12 Comments


Admit it. You’ve got a secret love.

You sketch shoe designs during meetings. You build toy trains in your basement. You sing arias in the shower.

You probably don’t tell too many people about your secret love.

Why not?

  • “I’m not good enough yet.”
  • “No one would care.”
  • “I can’t make money doing it, so why bother.”
  • “I’ll get to that after I’ve made my money and have more time.”

What if I told you that you are good enough, you can easily find people who care, you can make money and that you have plenty of time right now?

All you have to do is Go Pro.

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→ 12 CommentsTags: Career Change · Entrepreneur · Meaningful Work · Mid-Life Career Change

Follow your spark, not that hollow feeling in your chest

© 2010 Avocationist · February 4th, 2010 · 11 Comments

Photos: (c) Allan Bacon (left) and by fazen (right)

For most of my career, I was busy with work and the little remaining time was dedicated to my family. While this arrangement made me feel like I was taking care of everything, over time it left me feeling hollow.

Somehow I knew that the empty feeling was from not doing the things in life I was born to do.

When the pace would slow down a bit I would think up big plans for how I could fix my work or my life to fill that gap. But none of these dreams were practical – and deep down I didn’t believe that they would really fix things anyway.

Then one Saturday afternoon about ten years ago, I had a realization: I had been getting little signals all along about how to find what I was made to do. I just needed to follow my spark.

It happened when I took this photo of my daughter.

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→ 11 CommentsTags: Career Advice · Creative Jobs · Meaningful Work · Personal Growth

Why you should give yourself a demotion this year: The art of strategic downshifting

© 2010 Avocationist · January 26th, 2010 · 5 Comments

Shifting Down to Save TimePhoto by Roby Ferrari

Have you completed employee reviews in the last month? Did it feel like a good use of your time? Did you feel like you were really building value in your company or did you feel like you were checking off a box on someone else’s cover-my-butt list?

Be honest.

When your Outlook calendar is completely colored in and you don’t know what half of the meetings are, you should probably start to think about giving yourself a demotion.

I’ve been inspired reading Seth Godin’s new book “Linchpin” which launches today. (Buy it here. I love the book because you can dive in anywhere and pick up some uncomfortably challenging advice.)

In the spirit of Seth's book, I offer my favorite way to free up time while making a bigger impact at work...

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→ 5 CommentsTags: Career Advice · Career Change · Corporate Jobs · Mid-Life Career Change · Sales

Guilt-free networking: How Allan dropped his elevator pitch and started meeting cool people

© 2009 Avocationist · December 14th, 2009 · 10 Comments

Photo by TheGiantVermin

7:06 pm at the Hilton. Running late from work. Pay my $15. Put on nametag. Gulp. Walk into a ballroom of strangers standing around chatting. Everyone knows someone but me. Crap. Maybe I’ll just stand in the corner…

Have you ever experienced the "yuck" factor of networking? Do you feel like you have to pretend to be someone different to make new contacts? Do you feel guilty about bothering people you'd like to meet?

I did too. Then I learned that networking was something I already knew how to do.

I just had to forget everything I'd read about the "right way" to connect with people.

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→ 10 CommentsTags: Personal Growth

The Lunch Break Dream Launch: How to pursue any passion in 25 minutes or less

© 2009 Avocationist · October 14th, 2009 · 5 Comments

2374870236_d0b2330115Photo by renedepaula

Do you have too many interests and not enough time?

Here's a quick way to try out your secret dreams, create some new ideas and sow the seeds of your next adventure - all without leaving your desk.

Today I used it to feed my "travel jones" during lunch: I went to Brazil.
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→ 5 CommentsTags: Career Change · Meaningful Work · Personal Growth

How Best-Selling Author Pam Slim Started Her Blog to Balance Her Life and Dreams

© 2009 Avocationist · June 25th, 2009 · 3 Comments

Pam Slim has just published Escape from Cubicle Nation
based on her hugely popular blog of the same name. Pam’s work focuses on helping corporate employees start their own businesses. [Side note: I highly recommend this book if you are considering making the move]

In the first excerpt from our interview, Pam explains how she started the blog and gives insights into how she has successfully balanced the practical parts of her life with her passion for helping budding entrepreneurs.

→ 3 CommentsTags: Corporate Jobs · Entrepreneur · Mid-Life Career Change

How to know when you have outgrown your job: Lessons from a Rock Star (plus a special invitation)

© 2009 Avocationist · June 9th, 2009 · 4 Comments

Do you ever get a feeling that your job has lost its luster? A job that used to motivate you now requires you to get yourself pumped up before you do it?

Check out what I learned at a No Doubt concert this weekend - how to know when you have outgrown your work.

Watch until the end for an invitation to a series of classes I'm offering (you can also get more information here).

→ 4 CommentsTags: Career Advice · Career Change · Meaningful Work · Mid-Life Career Change

Find Out What the 20% of People Who are Passionate About Work Know That You Don’t

© 2009 Avocationist · June 8th, 2009 · No Comments

Photo courtesy Joshua Rappeneker

Want to do something different, but can't figure out what it is? Or how to do more meaningful work without jeopardizing your lifestyle?

Join me for a special tele-class this Wednesday night, June 10th at 5pm ET: Don't wait to test-drive your dreams (How to start now without quitting your job).

It's free for my newsletter subscribers.
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→ No CommentsTags: Career Advice · Career Change · Meaningful Work · Mid-Life Career Change