The idea of ‘turning passion into profit’ certainly gets the wheels turning. We think: ‘make money doing what you love.’ But passion is about more than just work or business, and we want to profit in bigger ways than money. As they say, “money can’t buy you love.”

You can enjoy your work, rather than ‘work hard.’ Most people think what they do easily is “no big deal.” But it IS a big deal for others. Delivering that – in ways others want, need and will pay for – is turning passion into profit.

How to put it all into place is the challenge.

I combined nursing (which I loved) with law – a more financially lucrative career that turned into my own healthcare law firm. I enjoyed the business part, but then came the cost that ate into “true” profit. Constant legal conflict, deadlines, managing lawyers and staff (and opposing counsel…), and the 24/7/365 nature of practice responsibilities, started to take its toll. Being stuck in an office when my mother got sick hundreds of miles away… something had to give so I could be with her during an extended period in hospice.

A war refugee, grateful immigrant and my champion, she said I could be or do anything, and advised to live fully. But I wasn’t. So, I had to change my work (to reflect my passion) and manage my financial picture (the profit) to prosper personally.

I call it separating your business from your profession:
Doing work, you prefer and enjoy that people want, need and will pay for
(pursuing your “profession”) PLUS

Making your money work for you by saving, investing, and managing assets that will pay you whether you’re working or not
(minding your “business”)

They need not be the same thing. Doing that allows you to “Have It All” – your all – what’s truly important to you. While you can’t have “everything,” you CAN have what you envision and plan for. Carefully chosen financial and other advisors can be invaluable in making it happen.

Here’s are the steps that worked for me, and have helped my clients:

  1. Develop the big picture of your life

This is all about you! Identify (and appreciate) your background, education, life experiences, what you want, and what you don’t want (often even more revealing). Clarify your personal qualities: what motivates you or causes you stress, how you solve problems, your expertise, natural talents, skills and interests, what brings you joy and a sense of pride. This is your unique brilliance. (There are tools to help.)

  1. Discover what you really want to include (and what you can let go of)

Your self-assessment helps more clearly identify where you want to go. Then consider what you need to put in place to leave where you are. That may take some time. Is there succession or exit planning work to do?

When I decided to sell my law firm, it took some time to package, price, and find the right purchaser. Then I could leave preserving its value, and they could succeed with it. Executives may need to train a replacement for a smooth transition – and not burn any bridges. That maintains connections you may need.

Finding a true sense of purpose, based on what you most value guides the journey. You’re heading into an unknown, fear of which can stop people. Your true values are a compass to the north star of your purpose – providing clear direction.

  1. Design the next chapter – your way!

Research shows that 8 key areas define life satisfaction – like health, finances, family, personal interests, friends and leisure. Work and making a contribution are important, too. Everyone’s choices are different. Knowing yours helps you communicate with loved ones and the advisors you may need. Armed with that “map” you can better navigate where you’re going.

  1. Deliver yourself, your gifts and your preferences to the world

This is where you put it all in place. It’s a creative process – in the build-something-new sense (no artistic skills required). Simple techniques help you build a network of new people and resources to make things happen. Accountability and support accelerate your results.

  1. Dance into your exceptional life!

Ahhh! This should be the joyful dance that unfolds. However, unexpected obstacles can get in the way. As the saying goes “we make plans and God laughs…”

When we make changes, our Actions produce Reactions (as with Newton’s Third Law.) And like physics, this road to what’s next is about “mastering the invisibles.”

Predictably, what first shows up is usually resistance: blocks, naysayers, and challenges. It can produce self-questioning like: “what was I thinking?” or “why did I think this was a good idea?”

A “not if, but when” phenomenon, knowing what to do makes all the difference between moving forward and getting stuck. With the right tools (and support) you move past the “noise” that can stop you in your tracks.

Positively, there are also invisible powers you can master that support progress. Like learning to “read the wind” in sailing: you can’t see the wind, but you can recognize it in blowing tree branches or ripples on the water and adjust your sails.

Managing the negative and building on the positive are both important to the choreography – to help you get where you truly want to go.

These steps outline a journey toward true fulfillment. As a process, trial and error are slow. Having a clear road map gets you there faster. Thinking (or reading) about it isn’t enough – you must take the steps. Then you are truly on your way.

So: Yes You Can – and Yes There Is. I’d be thrilled to help.


Dolly Garlo is a first-generation American nurse attorney and professional coach. As a Career Transition and Business Development Strategist, she helps clients discover and express their unique brilliance through work they love, along with full lives they truly enjoy. Her “MASTERFUL LIFE Redesign” system and community provide the resources and support to make it all happen faster and easier – without confusion, disappointment or regrets!