#090: How to Discern Your Calling [Podcast]

What keeps you going when the going gets tough … when you want to quit and walk off the field? I recently had an experience that made me dig deep and reconnect with my calling. I share it in this episode.

But I’m not alone. Tough times are inevitable for each of us. If you aren’t clear about your calling, you will cave in and quit. This is why it is so important to understand what it is.

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The word “calling” comes from the Latin word, vocatio. It means a call, a summons, or an invitation. It is the same word from which we get the word vocation.

It has four attributes:

  • It is external. It originates outside of you.
  • It is personal. It comes specifically to you.
  • It is appealing. It is something that resonates in you.
  • It is optional. You have the choice whether to respond or not.

So how do you find your calling? People get confused on this point. They think they need to hear an audible voice from God or there is something mystical about it. I don’t think so.

My premise is that you will find it at the intersection of three components:

  1. Component #1: Passion: What do you love?

    Here are some clues:

    • What do you daydream about?
    • What do you love learning about?
    • What would you do if money was not an issue?
    • A warning: Just because you love something does not mean it is your calling.

  2. Component #2: Proficiency: What are you good at?

    Here are some clues:

    • Where do you feel God’s pleasure?
    • Where are you proud of your work?
    • What do you friends say you are good at?
    • Where have you been acknowledged or rewarded?
    • A warning: Just because you are good at something does not mean it is your calling.

  3. Component #3: Profitability: Can you make money doing this work?

    Here are some clues:

    • Is the market willing to pay for what you offer?
    • Are you comfortable charging for what you do?
    • Do you have a clear monetization strategy?
    • Warning: Just because you can make money doing something, does not mean it is your calling.

All three of these components are important. Each of them is necessary, but none of them is sufficient in itself.

  • If you have passion and competence without a market, you don’t have a calling. You have a hobby.
  • If you have passion and a market without competence, you don’t have a calling. You have a failure.
  • If you have competence and a market without passion, you don’t have a calling. You have boredom.

It really does take all three circles.

Listener Questions

  1. Amanda asked, “Do you have any information about your new book on life planning?”
  2. Chris asked, “How can musicians begin monetizing their platform?”
  3. Matt asked, “What is the best podcasting software to use for someone who is just getting started?”
  4. Sarah asked, “What are your best tips for those who are new to podcasting?”
  5. Robbie asked, “How can I change my communications strategy to reach my unique audience?”

Tip of the Week

Often, the right tool can make all the difference in terms of your productivity and even your effectiveness. I share my tools in a new free resource called, Inside My Toolbox: 99 Resources to Make Your Personal and Business Life Hum.

In this short e-book, I share:

  • The word processor I use for all my writing—books, blog posts, podcast outlines, speeches—everything. Hint: It’s not Microsoft Word.
  • The online system I use to manage my automated marketing campaigns. This tool has made me tens of thousands of dollars over the last year.
  • The WordPress plugin I use to optimize my blog posts, making them SEO-friendly and more likely to get a higher ranking in Google.
  • The software I use to manage my seven-figure membership site. It’s surprisingly inexpensive—and effective.
  • The earphones I use for running. They have a unique design that keeps them in my ear, so they won’t fall out.

And 94 more! And did I mention, it’s free? But only for a limited time. You can get it simply by signing up for my email list.

Special Announcements

  1. My business partner Ken Davis and I will be hosting the SCORRE Conference, May 5–8, 2014 at the beautiful Rosen Plaza Hotel in Orlando, Florida. Whether you are a professional speaker—or just want to be—this conference will teach you how to prepare with focus, deliver with confidence, and speak with power.

    Honestly, this conference has had a bigger impact on my career than any conference I have ever attended. It revolutionized my speaking and his influenced every aspect of my communication, including my blogging and podcasting.
    If you are serious about becoming a better speaking, you simply must attend. However, we have less than twenty tickets left. This will sell out, so if you are interested in attending, you need to reserve your spot now. You can find out more by clicking here.

  2. If you have a question, comment, thought or concern, please leave me a voicemail:

    This is a terrific way to cross-promote your blog or website, because, if I use your question on the show, I will link to it.

Episode Resources

In this episode I mentioned several resources, including:

Show Transcript

You can download a complete, word-for-word transcript of this episode here, courtesy of Ginger Schell, a professional transcriptionist, who handles all my transcription needs.

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Question: What do you think you are called to do? Why do you think that is?

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