How I Followed My Passion and Became an Entrepreneur

It has been almost 5 years since I left my corporate job at one of the most creative and groundbreaking companies known both online and offline.

Follow Your Passion

The company had great team members, a pool table, Foosball table, a corporate vision and mission that inspired all that worked there and even a 3ft. tall fun mascot sculpture that greeted me every morning as I came to work.

Yes, I was working for and although I loved my job, it left me feeling empty.

My Mission

“My life purpose is to inspire & empower people and organizations to achieve their highest vision online & offline.”

You can’t do that sitting behind a desk and implementing new computer systems for an organization – at least, I couldn’t.

Pursuing My Passion and Following My Dreams

As it turns out, I already had a side business with 4 online retail stores that I had started running a couple of years prior to my leaving the corporate world.

I sold t-shirts and gift products to specific niches by creating the graphic designs and partnering with a Print-On-Demand (POD) company.

I had not only become the artist I had always wanted to be but an entrepreneur as well.

So, I left my J-O-B and became a business owner.

Passion vs. Career

It wasn’t easy working for myself. No one tells you how to become an entrepreneur.

Everyone has different reasons for leaving jobs.

Everything was a distraction and not having a steady paycheck was enough to make me drown myself in a truckload of M&Ms.

My husband had a steady income as an Architect (at that time) and I began learning the ropes of true success and leadership.

I learned quickly that my new endeavor wasn’t even close to my life purpose.

Sure, I was making great artistic t-shirts and gifts but I wasn’t enriching the lives of others.

It was a business void of relationship building and empowering others.

That’s when I realized that it would take a leap of faith and time to break out my warrior’s sword at the beast called Fear.

Truly Understanding My Life Purpose

Although my online retail stores are doing well, they didn’t satisfy my inner self.

They have now turned from my full-time business into my side business once again.

In its place, I now fulfill my life purpose by giving to charity through my business and donating my time speaking at non-profit events on brand building, helping companies harness their online and offline brand management, and creating search engine and social media strategies that connect businesses and customers for success.

This is my passion. This is my success. This is my life purpose.

Making Money on a Life Purpose

Am I worried about making my quota every month to pay my bills? Not anymore.

You see, once you start to live your passion and purpose, everything else starts to fall into place.

Your work is no longer a chore and money starts to flow abundantly.

Money flows towards love, gratitude, joy, passion and happiness.

The happier and more fulfilling your work, the more you want to work and the money becomes plentiful.

I’m healthier, happier and can pay my bills. It’s an all-around win!

Life Purpose QuestionShould You Follow Your Passion?

What is your life purpose?

Sit down and write out a single statement outlining your mission in life – both professionally and personally.

If your life purpose meshes well with your corporate job, then that’s great!

If not, then what action can you take today to get one step closer to saying you live a life of purpose?



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Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

  • Lisa Shaughnessy

    Great post Shannon! I recently did the same thing you went through so it’s nice to read about someone who did something similar and thrived!

    In Feb of this year I quit my steady, stable (read: non-creative, soul-sucking) federal government job to launch my own blog and marketing services to a niche market.

    I have not focused too much on the revenue generation yet – I’m still trying to find my blog voice and provide good information.

    I really enjoy all of your posts – thanks for sharing such good information.

    • Shannon Steffen

      Lisa – It’s always great to know that you are not alone on this path. I’m sure you were very nervous about quitting the full-time job but it seems you are working the right way to find your voice.

      If I can be of any help, just let me know!

  • LetsLassotheMoon

    Shannon, have you read The Art of Non-conformity? Loved this post. Inspiring. Thanks for sharing!

    • Shannon Steffen

      Absolutely! The Art of Non-Conformity was devoured when it first came out. Did you know that Chris Guillebeau will be on a book tour soon to Milwaukee for his new book “The $100 Startup’? There’s a free Milwaukee event at Translator for this on May 21st, 2012. More details and signup here:

      Thanks for the feedback!

  • kahli

    your social media buttons float left incorrectly on a Windows machine running Google chrome. They dont float as a side bar but in the middle of the posts.

    • Shannon Steffen

      Thank you so much! I just re-enabled the floating bar this morning and didn’t see the problem until just now. I truly appreciate you brining this to my attention and I’ve removed the floating share bar until the bug is found. Thank you!

  • John Murphy

    you are an inspitation and I love your ideas and motivation; you have certainly helprf me

    • Shannon Steffen

      Thank you, John! I’m always glad to help!