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Step 1: Decide What Matters

Do what matters, make it pay-- finding what matters, and what will pay.

If you want to do what matters and make it pay, you must first decide what matters. Although most “find your passion” books begin with a straight line premise that your “thing that matters” will directly be the thing that pays, it’s not always so. I think for many micro-business entrepreneurs, the “what matters and what makes it pay” diagram would be a polygon of some sort.

For example, I have many things that matter and most or all of them could be made to pay in some way. However, certain things work better than others. For example, here is a short list of things that matter to me:

  • Faith
  • Family
  • Creativity
  • Independence
  • Solitude
  • Growth, wisdom, virtue
  • Beauty in nature

I would describe these as core values that usually don’t provide a monetary return in and of themselves. So if you’re trying to figure this out for yourself, make another list of the things you can do that bring you joy. My list would include:

  • Reading
  • Writing
  • Sharing knowledge
  • Traveling
  • Creative arts
  • Time at home and with family

Each of these activities is consistent with my core values, but still– where’s the income? There’s one more factor to consider: things you do well. The diagram at the top of the post illustrates how it all fits together. Add together the things that bring you joy plus the things you do well, and filter them through your core values to find the Task that will allow you to live in the center of your “things that matter,” earning what you need, doing what you love, wherever you are.

In the next post, I’ll try to show what this looks like in a more concrete way. But for now, I have a manuscript to work on–all part of my journey in making something that matters, pay.

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