Firstly, let me say that I’m all for people who do what they love in life, especially in snowboarding. I think focusing on your passions and what you love to do IS smart and can get you far in life.
However, there’s also a big gap between someone saying, ‘I love to snowboard’ and suddenly jumping into a random career in a snowboard related field.
Loving to snowboard doesn’t automatically mean you succeed in any snowboard related job just because you love it. It only means you love to snowboard and should find a career path that lets you snowboard more.
I think ‘do what you love’ is certainly part of the right answer, but it’s very vague. I know a ton of people who truly love snowboarding, but there’s a wide gap between loving something and being able to do it as much as possible while still earning a good living.
Personally, I think the saying can be improved to ‘do what you love AND find where it meets your skills and interests’.
I know that finding your ‘gap’ is easier said than done, so let me give you an example by sharing how I found that gap and created a snowboard blog that’s currently getting 36k unique visitors per month.
1) Identify your skills and interests other than your love for snowboarding
I love snowboarding, but I also have other interests and skills. For one, I love working on a computer (weird I know) and I’ve loved computer related things since I got my first computer long before I even learnt to my multiplication tables.
I also love business and marketing. I read marketing books in my spare time for fun and if you see me listening to music on the chairlift, it’s likely I’m actually listening to a business podcast discussing the latest internet marketing strategies and customer acquisition methods.
One more love I have is in psychology and the methods behind learning new skills. I’ve always been obsessed with taking my hobbies and de-constructing the skillsets and methods used of the top ‘pros’ in each field.
Whether it was basketball, video games or snowboarding, I could never stop myself picking apart the techniques I saw and finding ways to quickly teach myself how to do them.
2) How your weird skills meet with your love for snowboarding
I have my own weird (*ahem* unique) set of interests and skills and I found a gap where I could apply them. I saw a need in snowboard training and I knew I had certain skills that could fill that gap.
I already loved working on a computer and I already loved building websites, so it wasn’t a large leap to build an online snowboard based company around my passion.
I already loved de-constructing snowboard techniques and figuring out the best ways to learn certain tricks and techniques, heck, I was doing it in my head for years before I had the idea for Snomie.
I already learnt to spin and hit jumps and all the other fun snowboard stuff before I started teaching others to do the same.
I already loved online marketing and businesses, so I actually enjoyed figuring out my ideal customers and what snowboarders wanted to learn while figuring out the best ways to reach those snowboarders.
Nothing was forced, honestly most of this came naturally once I stumbled upon the right gap for me. You just have to be looking for it. There’s a lot of gaps, heck, I have a notebook filled with gaps I’ve seen in the snowboard industry, but not every one of those fit with me.
For me my gap just happened to be the training aspect of snowboarding, but for you it could be something entirely different.
The bottom line
I think it comes down to this. Your love for snowboarding is like being given a jigsaw piece. Your interests and skills are the other pieces of the jigsaw puzzle. You want to find that special spot where your piece fits.
Don’t force your jigsaw into some random role just because people say it fits there. For example, don’t randomly open a snowboard shop just because you love snowboarding. That may be related to snowboarding, but it’s probably not the right fit for you.
Find your interests and skills and find a way to apply them to what you love doing. Heck, it may even be something not related to snowboarding that somehow gets you that flexibility and time for snowboarding.
It’s not going to happen overnight or easily, it takes time and a lot of adjusting. Snomie was a lot of different snowboard related ideas that didn’t pan out before it settled into a snowboard training company and became powered by this blog.
And you’ll still have to work hard to get it because anyone who says you can get what you want without working hard is lying to you. Don’t blame anyone but yourself if you don’t have that awesome job that lets you snowboard year round because it just means you need to try harder.