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The Best Career Advice I’ve Ever Received

by jenny sansouci on February 1, 2012

Last year, I took the Food Therapy certification course at the Natural Gourmet Institute. It was a 100-hour continuing education course that focused on food and healing. The course was taught by Annemarie Colbin, PhD, founder of the Natural Gourmet Institute. She’s also the author of a few books, including Food and Healing.

As soon as I heard Annemarie Colbin speak at IIN in 2010, I had a strong intuitive feeling that I wanted to learn more from her. She’s highly respected in the field of natural health, and something about her no-nonsense wisdom really drew me to her. Throughout the Food Therapy course, I began to respect her opinions even more – I showed up for class every day feeling lucky to be spending so much time learning directly from her. She was quickly added to my list of people who offer a trusted voice of reason.

One day, an opportunity came up to assist Annemarie at a day-long seminar in Connecticut. In my personal experience, helping someone that inspires you is the absolute best way to learn and grow – so I volunteered to do it. I hoped that I’d get a nugget of personalized career advice from her during the day, but I didn’t press it.

During the lunchbreak, there was a moment of downtime, and Annemarie asked me – “So, what do you want to do with all of this?”

Me: “Well….I really love writing, but I’m not making money from that right now…”

Annemarie: “If you want to write, just keep writing as much as possible and the money will come. Keep writing. Get yourself published wherever you can. Do whatever jobs you need to do to make money in the meantime, and keep learning everything you possibly can about food and healing. If you keep learning and writing, soon you’ll have enough material to start writing a book!”

Although she made it sound so simple, this advice was extremely insightful to me. YES! Just keep doing what you love. Do it as much as you can. Put yourself out there creatively. The money will come. Even if you what you love most isn’t the thing that’s making you the most money at this moment, keep working on it.

Because seriously – does it really make sense, in life, to NOT focus on doing things that excite you? No! (As Tim Ferriss says, the opposite of happiness is boredom).

So many people (myself included) get stuck in that rut of feeling like we need to justify or make excuses for what we’re doing, especially if our true passion isn’t our biggest money-maker at the moment. As if we can’t answer the “what we do” question with what we’re really pouring our hearts into behind the scenes.

The truth is, I’d much rather hear what someone’s passionate about and building in the background, rather than what they’re doing at their 9-5 or part-time job that they aren’t too excited about. Do you agree?

Annemarie’s advice to me made me really relax and realize that it doesn’t matter how we’re making our passions come alive, and whether or not we are working other jobs to pay our bills in the meantime, as long as we’re actually taking the time to focus on those passions and get our creativity out into the world somehow. Too often, we get stuck in our heads about how to “define ourselves.” In reality, having other income streams can actually give you more freedom to be truly creative, because you’re not feeling so pressed to create your art for profit.

Anyway, I’d love to hear your thoughts & experiences with this, because I know this is something so many entrepreneurs and creative types feel on a daily basis. So let me know in the comments below!

Keep creating! I love you guys!

 




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{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

Lindsey B February 1, 2012 at 10:57 am

Hi Jenny, Thanks for sharing such great advice from Anne Marie Colbin. Her words are very inspiring as is her classic book Food and Healing. I’d love to be closer to take her classes. Keep writing and I’m right(write) along there with you, writing and learning as much as possible.

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jenny sansouci February 1, 2012 at 11:07 am

Awesome, Lindsey – keep up the great work:)

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Patricia February 1, 2012 at 10:57 am

These words could not have found me on a more appropriate day. Thank you!

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jenny sansouci February 1, 2012 at 11:08 am

You’re so welcome, Patricia. I know – simple but insightful wisdom that can really change the way you think.

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Christine Cline Varney February 1, 2012 at 11:15 am

Hey Jenny!
First off, I love your blog and am so happy for you that you are doing what you love with such great success!
This post really hit home for me. I am currently in the midst of attempting to leave my well-paying, 9-5 engineering job with great benefits to go off on my own planning eco-friendly events. Often times I feel crazy for wanting to cast 2 engineering degrees aside to do something that some would say is a bit frivilous… But everything you mentioned above is exactly what I am feeling. I am not excited about my current job. I am bored and definitely not happy. And I don’t feel like anything I currently do is making a difference in my life or the lives of others. So, I can only hope that by changing my career to do something I enjoy and feel I am good at, I can become a much happier person and hopefully make some money at it in the end. 🙂
So, thanks for the encouraging advice and best of luck to you!

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Olive February 3, 2012 at 7:40 pm

Sound advice! I know from experience that its easy to work a job that you dislike for money and sit and wish you had another life. However, if you work on your dream at the same time you are creating the life you want everyday. Before you know it your dream will become an every day reality!

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Eileen February 7, 2012 at 7:28 pm

Hi Jenny,

Taking the class now and I can totally relate to this. The class has been incredible, the advice… life-changing. So glad to see she has this impact on all who cross her path. I have an article posting this week totally inspired by her as well. The synchronicity is crazy 🙂

Wishing you continued success in all you do!
Eileen

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Gretchen Wegrich February 8, 2012 at 4:14 pm

This is exactly what I needed to hear! As an aspiring writer, it can be discouraging to feel like there is more money to be made elsewhere. Reading this inspired me to keep doing what I love and to take the challenges of building a career one day at a time. Thank you!

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