Do what you love, and you’ll never work another day in your life.
We've all heard this saying more than once, and for some, it has become a goal in itself. When you started your online business, you probably hoped to make a living by doing what you love. And usually, we love doing what we are good at. That's why the issue with creating courses is not the lack of love but how to monetize your passion.
However, when what you do equals money and nothing more, the border between passion and money gets blurry. I'm not saying that's entirely bad, but how much time will you be able to keep the passion alive when you associate it with profit? Will you still be able to enjoy your creative flow and stick to the initial purpose of your business? Will you be devoted to that first “why” of your journey as a course creator? The risk of losing perspective in any money-making business is real.
How to keep loving your job as a course creator
So, how do you keep your love for what you do? While there is no universal solution that works for everyone, I’m sure any course creator can find at least some of these tips very useful:
Don’t settle for the sake of financial security. You are a creative person. Take the risk to invest time and energy into your creativity. You never know what good can come out of it. Taking a break from your to-do list and focusing on achieving a state of flow has a lot of benefits.
Firstly, you allow yourself to break the patterns in your mind. Secondly, you'll find yourself struggling less to come up with content for your online course when you don't constrict your creativity. Being in a flow state will satisfy your need for self-expression and it can prove to be a valuable source of ideas. What's more, according to Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, you feel more satisfied and happy when you use your skills for creative purposes or to overcome challenges.
Aristotle argues that happiness is the only goal we seek for its own sake. All the other goals are valued because they make us happy — health, power, money, etc. M. Csikszentmihalyi said that we can only be satisfied by being involved in every aspect of our life, good or bad.
Chasing things in particular with the hope that it’ll bring us happiness will keep us away from ever reaching happiness. So, enjoy your work and the experience of being an online course creator, and you'll be satisfied in the long run.
Remember that you are not a robot. Set your working limit and make sure you make time to recharge your batteries. Well-being studies show that taking short breaks during the day will reduce your stress levels and keep you productive without the need for a long recovery at the end of the workday. As a result, you restore your energy and mental resources and support your well-being.
Acknowledge the power of negativity
As an ironic twist on the perspective of positivity, physician and author Gabor Mate demystifies the trend of positive thinking in his popular book, When the body says no. Adopting a positive attitude without acknowledging the negative can be detrimental to your mental health. The author argues that positivity can be a dangerous trend since it encourages people to deny reality when things don't go as planned.
Although M. Csikszentmihalyi's state of flow provides you with that positive mindset to create without constraint or incentives, it is advisable to pursue it intentionally even when things don't turn out the way you wanted to.
So, be aware of the negative aspects of your job, but choose to approach them with a positive mindset instead of denying that they exist.
Create good habits
Although easier said than done, good habits are necessary to be happy. According to Arthur C. Brooks, who teaches a class on happiness at Harvard Business School, happiness, or subjective well-being as he calls it, is the byproduct of genetics, circumstances, and habit. Since genetics is not reversible, and our circumstances shape us since we are born, the only component that we can adjust is habits. Brooks sees habits as a mix between faith, family, friends, and work.
In his view, work has to be part of the equation because of the "centrality of productive human endeavor in creating a sense of purpose in life." Finding meaning in what you do gives you a sense of fulfillment.
So, go back to your early days as a knowledge entrepreneur and remind yourself why you started this business in the first place and have it present in your daily work routine. Striving to succeed, earning your success through hard work, and helping others is probably what motivated you in the first place. Your purpose will continue to bring satisfaction in the long run regardless of the challenges you face.
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I came across the clearest descriptions of what a teacher is. And, yes, you are a teacher in your own right and should never forget the role you play and the amount of work you do. James J. Asher stated the following in a plenary presentation called Become a prize-winning language instructor:
"Teaching is an art… Teaching may be the highest form of art because it is a one-person Broadway show…The audience is your students, and all by yourself, you will attempt to hold their attention for one or two or three hours. That's an eternity in any other art form."
So, if you’re wondering if you've done enough, don't forget Asher's words. You're creating art and allow others to learn from it!
Loving what you do makes you happier
You can build an online business that helps you earn a living or make some money on the side, but don't forget to keep loving what you do. Don't forget the importance of how it should make you feel. Nurture your sense of purpose, validate your feelings as they are, and choose to have a positive outlook without overlooking the downsides.