Episode #5: Identify Your Passion (Getting Started in Business Mini-Series, Part 1)

Today we’re talking about discovering your passion and what to do if you’re not quite sure what it is. We’re also covering a listener question about how to stay focused on your passion when things get tough, and we’re finishing the show off with a weekly actionable tip on identifying your passion. This is the first part of a 3-part mini series all about Getting Started in Business.

Podcast Sponsors:

NTA | Podcast Sponsor | Driven Podcast

Welcome to Driven; a show about business, life, and wellness from two confident, curious women who are pulling back the curtain on what it’s like being an entrepreneur. Each week, join hosts Diane Sanfilippo and Cassy Joy Garcia talk about being your best, showing up for your dreams, and kicking self-doubt to the curb.

Diane is a business whisperer, best-selling author, and plant-hobbyist based in San Francisco. Cassy Joy is the founder of www.FedandFit.com, best-selling author, and casserole enthusiast. She calls San Antonio, Texas, home.


  1. What’s on my plate [2:40]
  2. Shop Talk: Finding your passion [10:29]
  3. Listener Question: keeping your passion and joy [37:44]
  4. Tip of The Week: What lights you up? [44:31]

Diane Sanfilippo: In today’s episode, we’re kicking off the first segment of a new three-part miniseries, all about getting started in business. Today we’re talking about discovering your passion, and what to do if you’re not quite sure what it is.

We’re also covering a listener question about how to stay focused on your passion when things get tough. And we’re finishing off the show with a weekly actionable tip on identifying your passion.

Cassy Joy: Today’s show is brought to you by the Nutritional Therapy Association. The NTA trains and certifies nutritional therapy practitioners and consultants by focusing on bio-individuality and the range of dietary strategies that support wellness. The NTA emphasizes a whole-food, properly prepared, and nutrient dense diet as the key to restoring balance and enhancing the body’s innate ability to heal.

Throughout their programs, students learn a wide-range of educational tools and techniques to identify and correct nutritional imbalances and deficiencies in their clients, and to launch a successful career in holistic nutrition. The NTA produces like-minded practitioners and consultants that we endorse and consider colleagues in the health and wellness space. Registration for the February enrollment opens on September 17th. You can learn more, and save your seat by going to www.NutritionalTherapy.com. Don’t forget to mention our name, The Driven Podcast, on your application.

1.  What’s on my plate [2:40]

Diane Sanfilippo: Alright; we’re kicking off this episode as we do each week with a little What’s on My Plate. That’s our little nod to being foodies who are also talking shop. So, in this segment, we talk about what’s happening in our businesses, and in our lives for the week. So Cassy, what’s going on?

Cassy Joy: Hey Diane. So, what’s going on right now; September; “Septembular”. That’s what I wanted to say. Septembular is fantastic. I don’t even know. I’m all out of words. {laughs}

September, we’re publishing daily on www.FedandFit.com. It’s very Septembular. It’s fantastic.

Diane Sanfilippo: That’s why you’re out of words. Because you guys are publishing every day. So all the words are currently on the blog.

Cassy Joy: {laughs} They’ve been spent. I should probably read a few books to refill my word tank. Yeah. September is really exciting for Fed and Fit. We’ve really dug into the new website and launched it, so that’s exciting. There are all kinds of fresh Cook Once stuff on there now, because folks were asking for more from the book. They wanted breakfast and lunch, desserts and snacks. And they wanted 5 days. And they wanted to modify it for two and four people. So we brought that to them times four. So that’s really exciting. And a lot of work for the Fed and Fit team, but they’re crushing it.

Onboarding; the new administrative… they’re all gone. All the words are gone. I can’t enunciate. {laughs} The new administrative assistant; her name is Lauren, and she is just so promising. She’s doing a wonderful job. And then we’re working on the Cook Once website. Really finally digging in with the designer. I mentioned a few episodes back that it dawned on us that we really needed to give it its own home on the web; CookOnce.com. And we’ve started those initial conversations with one of my favorite designers who can really help take an idea and bring it visually to life.

Diane and I have talked about this a lot. Diane has a background in graphic design; I do not. I have a background in lofty ideas, and I’m like; I don’t know what it looks like, though.

Diane Sanfilippo: And bugs.

Cassy Joy: Bugs.

Diane Sanfilippo: Fun fact about Cassy.

Cassy Joy: {laughs} Exactly. Wouldn’t that make a fun logo? Bug. One of my little favorite bugs. Ohh, a membracid. A little tree hopper; they’re so cute.

Diane Sanfilippo: I just made that a shiny object for you. Sorry.

Cassy Joy: You did. I’m sorry. Anyway. So we’re working on this new Cook Once concept, and that’s just a fun stage. What’s going on in your neck of the woods, Diane?

Diane Sanfilippo: Well, just a side note. I don’t think it’s going to be an issue, because we’re recording on a Sunday. But I’m currently recording from my living room office set up, because we have some construction going on in our backyard. If you follow me on Instagram, you know that that’s happening. So, San Francisco houses don’t have extra other rooms, so I’m up here in the front. So if you guys hear a motorcycle whiz by, that is it.

But super exciting; I talked about this a little bit before, but we finally have the bags for the Balanced Bites spices that we’ve been working on for, oh, I don’t know, several months now. Approved; the designs are approved, and they’re going to be heading to the USDA for organic certifying approval. So it’s part of a process that folks who may not have a food product don’t know. But once you decide what you’re making, and you get all the ingredients, and you get the label designed; then you actually have to send it for organic certification. They have to make sure that the facility you’re using is all certified. The ingredients are certified. And everything you write on the label is accurate per whatever they determine is how you are supposed to say it. So every now and then, they’ll come back and say; oh, you have to move this piece of information over here on your label instead.

Anyway, this is exciting because we started out small, as most of us do, with a bag that just had a sticker as a label. And now we’re running a custom bag that’s fully printed for us. And I’m really excited. I nerd out; like you were saying, on the design of it. Myself and Moriah on team Balanced Bites worked together on the design. And it’s one of those white bags, with the color label, and it’s got a little window so you can see inside. I just really geek out on that. I just think it’s super cute.

Food packaging was always something I was super pumped about. Way back in graphic design school; I don’t know, honestly more than, maybe it’s almost two decades ago now? Almost. {laughs} That’s so crazy to me. So it’s been really, really fun. And that won’t be coming out until some time in 2020. But again, you guys get the inside scoop on that.

We also have a new assistant who is starting; I may have mentioned it on the last episode, so I’m really pumped about that. So you and I were; we’ve been talking a lot about that. And I’m sure in the future we’ll have episodes on hiring and we’ll be able to share insights on kind of how that went down for each of us and what we look for in team members. I think that will be really fun.

And my biggest thing that I wanted to mention this week is; I had a really big epiphany business wise, personal wise, social media wise on what I want to do on Instagram on my account for Diane Sanfilippo. I think this podcast really gave me an open door to feel like I now have a place to talk about the things that you know we talk about all the time. Business development, personal development, self-confidence. Just giving people that atta girl, and that boost, and that way to move forward with the things they want to do in their lives.

I think it really was on the heels of this show launching, and watching what people are getting from the show that I found that I don’t need my Instagram to be the place that I do this work. Because as you know, we can’t go that deep on these topics. And X number of characters; I don’t know what the actual limit is. {laughs} And just a photo. And I’m much more of a talker than I even am a writer. So I think that this gave me the out in a way for my Instagram to not be the place where I do that.

And I realized, as I talked about cooking and food and tips and tricks on that; I’m really freaking good at food. That’s something I’m really, really good at. It comes naturally to me. I know things about how to optimize, you know, flavor, technique, all of that. It’s very, very second nature to me. And it’s silly for me to just say; I don’t want to talk about it. When it is something I’m still doing every single day.

Not only that; and I want to share this from the business perspective, too. But not only that, I have a line of organic spices that I’m using every single day in my cooking. And a line of these frozen meals that people can order. So how silly for me to not want to talk about food as much when that’s actually still my business. And I think that it is up to me, and I think I can handle creating the boundaries around the types of conversations I want to have when it comes to the questions that we sometimes get about; “What should I eat?” And keeping that a little more limited.

So, anyway, it was a big epiphany for me. And I’m going to give a little hat tip to someone; she is the six-figure chick on Instagram. I haven’t purchased any of her programs, but just following her on Instagram and watching what she talks about. She just teaches marketing stuff on Instagram. But really zeroing in on the thing that you’re great at, and how you can educate others on those topics. I don’t know; it just kind of knocked me back into my seat, where I’m like; Diane, chill out. It’s ok that you’re really good at food. There’s nothing wrong with that. And that doesn’t mean I don’t have more to offer, or I can’t go deeper on these other topics. But this is a better forum for that, and I’m so glad that we have it.

Cassy Joy: Amen.

Diane Sanfilippo: She’s nodding along. {laughs}

2.  Shop Talk: Finding your passion [10:29]

Cassy Joy: Next up is Shop Talk. In this segment, we talk about topics that are on both our minds and yours. We’ll cover all sides of the issue, and hopefully land somewhere concise, actionable, and helpful.

Diane Sanfilippo: Today we’re talking shop about how to identify your passion, and what to do if you haven’t exactly put your finger on it just yet. Cassy, why don’t you kick us off with some ideas?

Cassy Joy: So, this is, like we said, the beginning, at the top of the show. Right? We wanted to structure the show into these miniseries, because there is so much to be said about these topics and it’s better for Diane and I to break it down and give us three options to talk about something {laughs}.

And so, in this getting started in business miniseries, we really thought that the “do not pass go, first square” on the game board is identifying your passion. And then of course later on in the series, just to tell you what else we’re going to cover, we’re going to talk about building a plan, and then launch to-do. So we’ll get into the granularity of what to do next.

So on this one, it’s digging deep into; what is the thing that; this is your phrase, you’ve said before. I don’t know if you started it or if you borrowed it. But the “What lights you up?” kind of phase. And I think that this is a really important thing to start with, with a few caveats, which I want to talk about in a little bit.

But where I start with passions are; and Diane and I. This is one of the reasons why I also love this show; because she and I are very similar, but we approach; we cut the cake from two different corners. And we both end up with a slice of tasty cake {laughs} we’re both happy with it. But we tend to do things a little differently.

So, where I come from in this identifying; speaking personally, and hopefully this resonates with you listening. But I think that there was something when I was born, and then started to wake up in the world; right? When I realized I was alive, and that I was a player in the world. I knew deep down there was something I was supposed to do. It was a cause, and a reason for my life. And ever since I was teeny tiny; I mean, like a little kid that had access to the first-aid kit. I was the first to volunteer and run and get a Band-Aid for someone’s boo-boo. I love caring for my sisters, for my parents. When someone was under the weather. It was; what can I do? Can I bring you a tissue? I love nurturing. And I love volunteering for all the kids in the neighborhood if they ever needed anything.

It was an impact on someone’s health. It was such a personal; I understood later, as an adult, in hindsight what I loved from that was to have an impact on someone’s health. So I would say, if you have this thing in the back of your mind and you think; I think I’m here to help people. Or I think I’m here to lead. Or I think I’m here to empower. Or I think I’m here to create and inspire. I think it’s ok to pick one of these big, broad topics, and then explore the sub options from there down.

You know; I went to health careers high school. I chased this passion. I went on; I was pre-med when I was at Texas A&M. And then I discovered other avenues for myself. And eventually discovered nutrition and realized; this is where I’m supposed to; this is where this passion lands. This is where this reason for my life is really supposed to land right now. And that was ok. So medicine led into holistic nutrition.

For you; nutrition may be your calling. And it might be mindset is the thing that you’re actually passionate about. Building your business might be something that you’re drawn to; but teaching people best business practices is what you’re passionate about. Just a nod to my friend on this show.

I don’t know; that’s really where I started, Diane. Just understanding where this basic, very basic, root for why am I here. And I was able to tease that out as the years went on.

Diane Sanfilippo: I think that’s very, very grounding. And I think what you mentioned about; if someone is passionate about holistic nutrition, but the thing that they really cling to is the mindset being super critical. Not everyone is in that space. I do talk about mindset, but that’s not my real deep dive.

So, I kind of wrote some notes while you were talking. Which, I love that, because I love that we kind of learn from each other, and have ideas that spur off of each other’s notes. I think that I was driven by; haha, pun intended. Very early on. And this is kind of; we don’t need to get into all the reasons for our personality development. But I was very driven early on by the concepts of security and self-reliance. There were things going on in the house that I always felt very much like; I need to look out for myself. I need to take care of myself. And by virtue of that, I also always wanted to teach other people how to also be self-reliant. And I notice that that’s what carries through now.

When it comes to earning money, and wanting my friends to not be struggling for money, it’s in that self-protective place. And that’s kind of where the type 8 personality really comes from. The Enneagram type 8, for those of you who did not listen to the previous episodes. But wanting to teach others. Here’s what I’ve learned in my quest for self-reliance and security. And here’s how I see that working for you, based on the skills that you have and the passions that you have.

So, for me, my parents; my mom was a teacher growing up and both of my parents cooked. My mom wasn’t the best cook innately, but she followed what my dad did. He’s a very natural cook, just building flavors and things like that. So anyway, that was something that over time I realized I loved to teach people how to do. It really is from that place of wanting other people to be very self-reliant.

Cassy Joy: I love that. That makes a lot of sense. And it’s different. It’s like; you and I wound up in the same arena, but like I said, we’re cutting the cake from two different sides.

Diane Sanfilippo: {laughs} Is that a Texas thing?

Cassy Joy: I just made it up. {laughs}

Diane Sanfilippo: Cute.

Cassy Joy: Because the other expression I don’t really like. It has to do with kitty cats.

Diane Sanfilippo: Oh.

Cassy Joy: You know what I mean? It’s not. It’s just; well I can’t even. I’m not even going to feed it.

Diane Sanfilippo: Don’t tell me.

Cassy Joy: People know what it is. There are no curse words involved. I think that’s great. And I want to say; actually I really like some of the notes that you have, before we jump into a pitfall that I want to talk about finding your passion. Because I think yours are very actionable.

Diane Sanfilippo: OK. So a couple of things that I jotted down, and this idea of finding your passion. Because people ask me about this all the time. And when I look back at having identified what I’m passionate about; one of those things being food. But one is design. I’m really passionate about design. I’m not the best designer. Let’s just get that out there. I am a graphic designer by training, years and years and year ago. I was actually always better at art directing. I was better at seeing what’s on the paper, and helping someone guide it in a different direction or improve it. And that is; it’s so me, in a nutshell. I don’t always have the first grain of the idea, but I can easily take the first sketch, and help you get it to something better and bigger than you imagined.

So I tend to have a different vision. I joke, calling myself a business whisperer; I’m really good at doing that for other people. Maybe not as much for myself. But I can see the thing that’s not there that someone else isn’t really seeing in the big picture.

What is it that you find yourself doing that you are losing track of time while you’re doing it? And that might be like you’re working out. Some of you are like; oh heck no! I’m counting down the minutes. {laughs} It might be yoga. It might be cooking. It might be gardening. It might be researching something, because you’re looking for the best soap for somebody. It could literally be anything. I was just kind of rattling off things that I lose track of time doing. Working on graphic design; creating a million different possibilities visually for things. Playing with my plants. Cooking. Working out. Those are things that I’ll lose track of time doing.

You’ll go down rabbit holes, right? And you’re like; I want to learn more. I want to find out everything I can find out about this thing. I want all the angles and all the answers. And you find yourself connecting with like-minded people over this thing. So again, maybe it is; I don’t know; throw something else out at me. Maybe you’re really into yoga; and it’s not just you go to classes. But you know who all the teachers are, and what their trainings are. You know what trainings exist; like there are X numbers amount of yoga training, and you know all of those things and you have just become kind of this expert, whether or not it’s a job for you. Obviously this is something you’re passionate about.

And I think this is something that you will possibly also have friends, and family, and loosely connected friends who start asking you questions about the thing. Whatever it is. So maybe you got really into gluten free eating, and now everyone at your yoga studio knows you’re into it because you can’t shut up about it. You’re obviously passionate about that.

And I think that paying attention to your energy. See; when I’m on this show, I’m passionate about talking about this stuff. So the tone of my voice is like; Cassy is smiling at me because it’s like, obviously I’m really passionate about all of this. So when you hear the tone of my voice, it’s obvious that I get worked up. And I have a million things to say, and more than we ever have time for on one episode; which is why we started a whole podcast. {laughs} So when you find yourself speaking this way about something; the tone of your voice chances. The cadence might change. Your energy changes. You leave a conversation all amped up about that thing. You have to start paying attention to that.

Other people can possibly tell you what it is. If you’re like; I don’t know what I’m passionate about, ask your best friends. And they’ll be like; oh, Sarah. Here’s what you’re passionate about. Here are the three things that you will not shut up about. {laughs} Right?

So I think that’s something that is often difficult. A lot of people say; I don’t know what my passion is. And I basically am calling your bluff. I think for the most part, you know what you’re passionate about. It’s not a secret to you. You’re just afraid to let your freak flag fly {laughs}, or say that you’re passionate about this thing because of what we talked about on previous episodes. Other people’s thoughts and feelings about it. You might be afraid because you think “the space is too crowded.” There are too many voices on a topic.

Liz Wolfe and I started a paleo-oriented podcast in 2011, and people asked us if there were already too many at that time. {laughs} Because there were like 3. And 8 years later, we finally wrapped the show at 400 episodes. So, if we had not done that, where would we be? If we had listened to the people who thought; well, there are already a few voices on that. So isn’t that too many? No. I just realized there are 8 different food delivery services in San Francisco. And I’m like; that’s kind of a lot. That might be excessive.

But you know, I think we all know what we’re passionate about. I think it’s just a matter of cultivating that, and being truthful with ourselves about identifying it. Shining a spotlight on it. And owning it. Because if you’re not passionate about it, you can’t make a business out of it. That being said; just because you’re passionate about it does not mean you have to make a business out of it. And I do want to pull us back and ground us in that. Just because you have this passion doesn’t mean you need to monetize that thing. Don’t worry, I’m talking to myself here. I’m like; Diane, do not monetize your passion for plants. While you’re killing most of them, it might not be the best idea.

But it might be something you do want to keep as a hobby, or as this side interest of yours. It’s ok to have that. And I don’t think that’s a bad thing. I know that’s sometimes tricky to know; what’s the difference. But I think sometimes you don’t know the difference until you try and actually move forward in creating a career out of something. And then, you might realize; you know what? I actually love doing that, and I didn’t love trying to build a business out of it. And then there’s this other thing that actually it is really fun to build a business around this, and meet like-minded people, and we’re all kind of doing it. Right?

Cassy Joy: Mm-hmm. I love that. And it makes me think something new, as well. I want to call out; I think it’s tempting. Listening to this conversation; I don’t want anybody. I mean, in the pitfall nature of what I want to talk about when it comes to finding your passion. One that I’m making up on the spot, but I feel very strongly about it. Don’t choose a “passion” because it looks good and it’s easier to explain to the people in your life.

I almost would prefer you be really honest with yourself and say, I don’t actually know what it is. I would almost prefer you take Diane’s advice and go and ask some friends; what is the thing that I don’t shut up about. Because there are; there are a lot of people that I know. I am probably guilty of this, if I really put a mirror in front of myself and investigate. But when I’m deciding to take on something new, am I doing it because it’s easy to explain to my family and friends as something that I’m taking on? And I can explain it away as a passion? “I’m really passionate about empowering people so I’m going to do this business.” But it’s going to fizzle! It’s going to fizzle on the vine, because you are not actually that passionate about what that business is about.

So I challenge you. If you have something that you’re jumping to in your mind, and you’re thinking; oh, I really want to do; this is what I’m passionate about. And you’re thinking about the fact how easy it would be to get started in it because it doesn’t require a whole lot of explanation; I want you to press the pause button, and then take her advice and go and ask your friends, what are the three things that I actually don’t stop talking about. And it might surprise you.

Because I’m thinking, while you were talking, home organizing has kind of become this whole industry, in and of itself. With these; starting off as micro, turning into macro, influencers. And I think; I know people in my life, when you were talking, what is the thing that friends and friends of friends come to you about. There are friends of friends of mine who I follow on Instagram casually, and I’ll say; wow, that is a darn good organized pantry! And they did it themselves. Maybe they read Marie Kondo four years ago, Marie Kondo’d their whole house, and then took it to a whole other level that was really personalized and very homey. As what I would feel as homey. That is such a unique passion, and something that person obviously enjoys that I would be reaching out to them for.

So dig deep into the thing; I would say lean into it, if it doesn’t already exist a little bit. If it’s even scary. Then lean into that even more and ask your friends.

And then a pitfall I want to talk about also; just about how easily we scare. Just because; I have this conversation. Diane knows. My family gets together on Sunday nights. We have Sunday family dinner. And it is a room of entrepreneurs. Pretty much everybody is in a business, started their business; is knee deep in it. We’re all in different industries.

Diane Sanfilippo: I’m very jealous of that family dinner. Cassy knows this. But I’m like; I want to come. Can I fly to Texas every Sunday and just come sit? Can you just put your phone on a facetime and put me on a chair? {laughs}

Cassy Joy: Do it! Come! Please come! But we talk about this. My parents are not millennials. They are; what’s the generation before Gen X? Is it Traditionalists?

Diane Sanfilippo: After the Boomers?

Cassy Joy: Oh, Boomers! They’re Boomers. That’s it.

Diane Sanfilippo: Yeah. They might be late Boomers. Like, young Boomers.

Cassy Joy: They’re young Boomers.

Diane Sanfilippo: Because my parents are legit Boomers.

Cassy Joy: They are. Ok. So my mom and dad are young Boomers. And they employ a lot of Gen Xs. And just like so many Boomers and Gen Xs, they’ve had a hard time wrapping their mind around the millennial generation; especially in the workforce. And the happen to be surrounded by millennials, because they’re children are all millennials. {laughs} And we’re all doers. And it’s just been really interesting chatting with them over the years and seeing the evolution of the millennial employee conversation evolve. Because when they first started out, they were like; millennials scare so easily about passions. And I thought it was interesting. And their tone has kind of changed, because we’ve moved on to other topics.

But it’s this; how easily we scare. Just because you have a passion, and it starts off as a passion, does not mean that at one point it’s going to be really hard work. And it doesn’t mean that you’re supposed to enjoy every nook and cranny of your to-do list. Diane is emphatically nodding her head. Because we both know; we love what we do. We love it. It gets me out of bed. Once a month, I’ll pat myself on the back. {laughs} Just kidding. But I really enjoy it. But the work is hard. It can be tedious. It can be challenging; financially, timewise, emotionally, all the things that could cause me running for the hills. And I say don’t take challenges and hard work as a sign. And because you don’t enjoy the nitty gritty. Don’t take that as a sign that this is not your passion. That this isn’t what you’re supposed to do.

And that’s really my parents’ point; these Boomers and who they looked up to were the Traditionalist generation; were these people who were hard work is what we do. That’s what they’re grounded in. And passion is a little bit more fleeting for them. It’s more of an afterthought. And I think we have the opportunity to marry those two worlds together, to find a passion as a sponsoring thought in our careers. Even if it’s not a career. Maybe it’s a hobby you’re looking to take on. And then buckle down and get excited about the hard work and know that it’s not supposed to be easy.

Diane Sanfilippo: Good. {laughs} That’s kind of a weird inside job between me and my husband.

Cassy Joy: {laughs}

Diane Sanfilippo: That sounds more personal than it really is. Anyway. It was like a church thing. I went to church with him for a while, and there was a guy who would just shout “good.” Anyway. For the church goers out there. Which I’m traditionally not, but that was a moment.

You hit on something really important that I want to emphasis; that just because you’re passionate about the thing and the big picture of it and the vision or whatever it is that you’re like; I want to do this. There are going to be some of you who are like; I’m passionate about it, and I don’t know what the big picture thing. And some of you have this big scary idea, and you don’t know how to break it down. And some people are like; I don’t know. I’m just going to start the blog. Right? Some people go from the small and then over time maybe build a little bit of vision or a little bit more of that forward thinking. And some people have the big vision, and come back, and break it down more.

But I do want to just say; it will be hard emotionally, and you will have failure. And I actually think that those failures, or not as quick of successes. Because I’m in it; this happens to me all the time. I’m building sort of two parallel food businesses. And it’s not easy. It’s really, really challenging. It’s actually harder than anything I’ve ever done. It’s a slower build in the way I have to do it because it is all self-funded. And there’s no one way that’s right; it’s just that’s the way that I’m comfortable with, so that’s the way that I’m doing it. It’s a slower roll. And it is hard to not have as much success as quickly as I might in other things. That doesn’t mean that it’s failing. That doesn’t mean I’m not doing well.

But for me, if I looked at those moments that are hard, or those weeks that are hard, or that I’m not hitting the goals that I’m setting, and just decided; well, I shouldn’t do it just because. I’ve had some rougher, bumpy weeks. I think that is not the indicator. And I think the passion is really recognizing who is on the other side of it. Who are we helping? Who are we solving problems for? And is the solution that we have to offer; are we really passionate that the solution that we are offering is really great.

Because I think if we feel super confident in the thing that we’re offering, and we’re making it our best. So let’s just say somebody is starting a business, and they’re trying to figure out if this is the right thing for them. And they’re a little nervous if it’s the right thing, because it’s like; that blog post didn’t really go anywhere. If you can’t find it within yourself to feel confident in what you’ve created or feel motivated to constantly improve it in whatever way you can, then that could be a sign that you’re not really that passionate about it. I think you do have to have that inner sense of; nope, I’m passionate about this thing. So if you don’t know how great this was with that post, or that item, or whatever it was, I’m going to iterate. I’m going to make it better the next time.

We have to have that sense. And I know Cassy and I have the same sense of a constant desire to do better. Not because we think something wasn’t good enough; it’s just; I don’t know where we go if we don’t have that sense. I just don’t know an entrepreneur who thinks good enough is good enough. And that’s a hard thing. Because it’s really hard for us to sit back and say; I did a good job. Like Cassy said. Like the monthly pat on the back; we kind of have to do that. Otherwise, we never self-congratulate. We’re constantly looking to do better or improve or what have you.

Does that make sense? It’s not about whether or not that’s the right passion; it’s just like, can you keep moving forward with it.

Cassy Joy: Yes. I like that. How deep is this well for this thing that you’re drawn to? And I really like where we’re landing on this. Is that maybe a true passion; something that you can keep going with, is the thing that you’re excited about constantly improving upon. Right? And I really like that you can take pride in every chapter, and every step, and every milestone because you know you did your best. But you’re also excited to improve upon it.

And I also think another measure of it is that; if it works for one person. If you’re able to help one person. Even if that one person is you, and it brings you joy. Right? I’m thinking about organizing your pantry, organizing your house. Something like that. If that brings you joy, and if it then translates into maybe your neighbor or one person you’re able to give a fun tip to. If that brings you this really great sense of pride and accomplishment, and lights you up all over again, and it makes you think; wow. That was worth it. Then that’s another sign that that’s where you’re at.

Back in the day, when Fed and Fit; I remember studying my website stats and I had three readers. And I was like; hot diggety! I have three readers {laughs}.

Diane Sanfilippo: {laughs} My mom, my sister, and my other sister!

Cassy Joy: And someone I don’t know.

Diane Sanfilippo: That’s how we all start.

Cassy Joy: It was my parents, and someone I didn’t know. And by golly, that one person I didn’t know; you know I was writing for that person. I was going to spoil that person rotten. So I think it’s important to get to those moments where you’re like; was it worth it? Yep. Sure was.

And then I also want to add on a quick note to close out Shop Talk a little bit. I think it’s ok; I don’t want any analysis paralysis out there. Because you might be sitting there thinking; but I’m passionate about so many things. Diane and I; as she eluded to earlier in her updates. We’re very passionate people about a lot of different things, and we just live very big and we believe very deeply in the things that excite us. And I want to say that that’s ok. It is ok to be multi-passionate. But don’t let this hold you up in picking your think. Sometimes you have to take action. You have to start on something.

Because somewhere in me is a children’s book. Somewhere in me is a novel. Somewhere in me is a TV show. And to be a kick-A wife, and a mom, and an editor for a powerful online editorial, and a leader of a meaningful non-profit. All of these things. I’m also the aunt, friend, cousin that everyone texts their weird bug pictures of, so I can help them ID them. All of these things really excite me. And what a really strange mixing pot of passions. And I want to just say that it’s ok to choose one, and remember that you can pull all those in. At some point in time, they will all be a part of what you do and what makes you unique. So don’t have analysis paralysis. Don’t think that because you have so many options, you can’t get started on one. Just get started on one that you think might have the deepest well. And you can incorporate the other fun ones later.

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3. Listener Question: keeping your passion and joy [37:44]

Cassy Joy: Alrighty! Next up is Listener Question. In this segment, we pull questions, comments, and topic ideas from your interactions with us over @DrivenPodcast on Instagram. Brit BYNW asks, “How do you find/keep your passion and joy to keep driving when it’s hard work?” Well, what an apropos question! {laughs}

Diane Sanfilippo: Right? Well I guess I’ll dive in on this one first. And I think you touched on it earlier, when you talked about that one person that you’re helping. If this is a note to all of you who are listening to the show, who follow us or others on Instagram, or social media or blogs or podcasts that anybody has helped you in their life. Send them a note. You’re not bothering someone by writing them, even a long email. Someone you’ve followed for a decade. We get these notes all the time, and it really helps to ground me on those days when things are hard. And I’m like; I don’t know. I don’t know what I’m doing. I don’t know if this is helping people. What’s going on.

So for me, the way that I find and keep the passion and joy is by hanging on to each one person who is like; that thing really helped me. Or, oh my gosh, I started buying that pesto because you told me about it and I love it. Those little things, and finding that joy.

I don’t know if we talked about strengths finder much earlier in the show, but I know we’ll talk about it as we move ahead. But Cassy made me take the Strengths Finder test. She sent me a code because she paid for it. She’s like; you’re taking this! And then it said it was going to take me like 45 minutes, and I decided that was the time to beat {laughs} because we were on our way out the door. Do you remember that? We were in Portland.

Cassy Joy: Yes.

Diane Sanfilippo: And I’m like; but we have dinner in 30 minutes. So I have to take this test really fast. Anyway; I learned through taking that test that significance is a strength of mine. Which I’m not really sure how to think about that. But I know that it’s perhaps not just a strength. But it’s something important to me. So for those of you who might not know me more personally, I don’t have children and I’m not choosing to have children. But it is important to me to leave an indelible mark on a lot of people’s lives. I’ll just use Oprah as my personal example.

You know; some of us make this impact in different ways. Some have children and a business where you’re impacting people’s lives. Some don’t have children. So for me, it actually is important that there are people out there in the world who, in their daily life are like; this is cool. I learned this from Diane. And it’s actually not about an ego thing. I don’t need to be some special all-knowing anything. It’s just; I literally made your life a little bit better in that moment. Something is easier. Makes you happier. Feel healthier. Makes you feel more successful or empowered in a moment. That’s what I’m going for.

So for me, when it’s really hard and finding and keeping that passion and joy is about thinking about the person who is at home and my cookbook is on their counter. Or they pulled up that blog post. Or they pulled a spice off their shelf. Or they pulled a frozen meal out of their freezer. And I just really helped their life in their moment with that little thing that I just was pouring into. Or the emails where someone is like; I got off my type 2 diabetes medications. Of course, those; I’m crying reading my phone, showing my husband. This is amazing.

So it’s always about the people on the other side. And it’s not about me.

Cassy Joy: I like that. And the focus and how you keep that joy, as you’re saying, you focus on the folks that you’re creating something for. I think how I find and keep my passion and joy and drive when it’s really hard work is; again, we’re cutting the same cake, just from different corners. I think, because we wind up at the same spot. I actually; I know we’re similar in this. I am very excited by challenges. I think challenges and hard work; they actually light me up. And it’s almost like the harder something is to get through, the more I challenge myself to remain true to myself and keep pushing through it. It’s this riddle and this challenge; and you know what, if I weren’t supposed to do it, it wouldn’t be hard.

Did I say that correctly? I think that because it is hard, I’m supposed to keep doing it. And this doesn’t already exist in the world because it is really hard work. And that means it’s my job to do it. And by golly, I’m going to do it. I’ve got this shovel in my hand, and we’re going to just keep digging. And I’m going to keep working on this thing. Editing and writing a book is a great example. Building a meaningful Beautycounter business is a great example.

It’s one step. One conversation after another. Being told no by a bunch of people. Being criticized by a bunch of people. Being humble while you’re trying to figure out how do you talk about what you’re doing, and being able to adjust on the fly and be excited about the opportunity to learn and to make mistakes.

That’s really hard work. It’s hard to humble yourself publicly. It’s hard to say; “I don’t know but I’m going to keep working on it. I still believe in this thing.” It’s hard to say; you know what, I am putting in 80-90-hour weeks, like I did when I was writing my first book. And no, I don’t make any money on Fed and Fit yet, but I’m going to keep doing it. That’s really hard work to be in those circumstances and to keep moving forward. And dang it, I would be lying to you if I didn’t say that still excited me.

Part of it is because I know so few people; and you’re listening to this show, so you’re not one of the people we’re talking about. But so few people actually keep going. So many people. As soon as they get up against something that’s a little bit challenging, when they are on their own because they are working by themselves or for themselves. As soon as the butt up against something that’s a little bit challenging, they back off.

The opportunity you have is to keep going. And that is exciting. You know that your ranks and the people who keep pushing alongside with you, your colleagues and your entrepreneurs and the people who are arm in arm with you, like Diane and myself; there are so few people that kept going. And that is so exciting to know that the longer you make it on the hard work climb, the fewer your colleagues are and the more reward you’re going to have at the end. The more meaningful impact you’re going to have on the world.

And so truthfully, I keep my passion and my joy because the hard work means that I’m pushing through to the next level, and I’m taking things along with me, and I’m really excited about that.

4. Tip of The Week: What lights you up? [44:31]

Diane Sanfilippo: Alright, in this segment we have our Tip of The Week. And we talk about one actionable tip for you based on this episode.

So I’m going to give the tip this week. And here’s what I want you to do. I talked earlier about recognizing when you light up about something, and Cassy; yeah. I don’t think I heard that from someone else. It’s always possible someone else said it. But several years ago, when I was teaching a business seminar, that was kind of the expression I used. It’s like; “What lights you up? Do that.” The thing that lights you up. Do that thing. Because that will be with you.

So, as you get super excited talking about something; a specific topic. Or maybe your friend asks you for advice on something. A recommendation. Or you want to ask your friends what they think; keep a note in your phone. This is the actionable item. Keep a note in your phone. Write it down. When you just notice that you got a little animated. Or a friend asked you a question, and you didn’t just answer the question. You were like; I’m going to go search for three more good options for this. Or, again, maybe more than one person asks you about a certain thing within a week or two weeks. And you’re like; huh. That’s interesting.

So just take note of that. And I think that you will start to find a pattern in what it is that you get excited about. What lights you up. And what you are kind of the go-to for.

Cassy Joy: That’s it for Driven this week. If you liked this episode, be sure to subscribe in Apple podcast, on Stitcher, Spotify, or wherever you listen to podcasts. Follow us on Instagram @DrivenPodcast. You can find me, Cassy @FedandFit and Diane @DianeSanfilippo.

Tune in next week for more on building your plan, now that you’ve reflected more deeply on your passions.