Starting, the most thrilling and fearful part of any new venture.
The question is, where do you start?
Identify interests and skills
Everyone has a unique ability - almost like a superpower - but it’s not always super obvious what it is. Some describe it as the intersection of what you do best and the thing you enjoy most. Typically, what you do best also happens to be the thing you enjoy the most - joy can come out of expertise and pride in your work.
Here’s a quick step-by-step to get an idea of what direction you should go in:
Completely unplug and set aside an hour in a quiet room (no music, phone, or people)
Take a blank sheet of paper and draw a line straight down the middle from top to bottom.
Draw a horizontal line at the top and write above the left column “Interest” and above the right column write “Skills”
In the “Interest” column, begin writing down each memory you can think of where you felt really engaged at the moment - that could be anything - even things you might think are trivial. Some of these items might include weird fun projects you started on your own or collaborating with family, it might even be an experience of doing an activity with friends. Anything you can remember that you felt fully present at the moment and like time either stopped or felt like it was going a million miles an hour. Note: write it down even if you’re not interested in it anymore.
In the “Skills” column, write down things you accomplished that you felt you did an excellent job in, as well as things you were complimented on growing up. An example might look like “I got a compliment when I was 12 for being really creative in how I hung pictures” get as many ideas on the paper as possible.
Note: It’s not important if you’re not interested in the skill any longer, it’s more important that you get the list of everything you’ve been competent at on a list.
Note: if you already have something in the “Interest” column and you also felt like you did a really good job in it, make sure to copy it over to the “Skills” column, the more duplicates the better.
Start looking for patterns, one column at a time, start looking at it and trying to see the patterns and connections between items. Your goal is to get a theme going, like “I enjoy working with my hands” or “I like complicated math problems”. You should end up with a few different categories (Note: if you have only one category, you may want to get more specific about the interest or skill and break it apart into a couple of ones even if they are similar). The goal is to have around 3-5 categories in each column.
That’s it! You should now have a list of different interest and skill categories that you can start getting a better idea of what direction you should go!
Note: There is no wrong or right answer, and this isn’t a fool-proof system that will tell you exactly what to do. It’s merely a tool that will help you get a better idea of what direction you should start honing in on and trying first! If you couldn’t think of anything for either column, don’t worry, you’re certainly not hopeless! It just means it might take a bit longer to identify which direction to begin heading in.