Funding (vs finding) your purpose

My clients often want to focus on how to make their passion their source of income – and I totally get it! I am so freakin’ psyched that I get to do what I love AND get paid. However, I have been coaching a long time, and let me tell you: there are other options that also lead to a meaningful and fulfilling life.

How do you know when you should look into funding vs finding your purpose?

While there isn’t a hard-and-fast rule, one big sign is that you start losing your mojo and passion for your purpose once you start getting paid for it. While this can often be shifted with some mindset alchemy, for some people, the juice simply goes dry when they start “having” to do their work.

What happens next is that people often start judging and berating themselves, saying “Why can’t you just get it together and do this?! You’re so lucky that people even want to pay for this!”

This happened to me when I was a climbing guide. There were several reasons why I moved on, but a main one was that after 10 years of guiding, I started to feel burned out and missed going into the mountains just to play. But I kept putting off leaving because I knew so many people would be stoked to be in my shoes!

Another sign is if you are so stressed about making money from your passion that you are not able to enjoy life. Another way of saying this is that you don’t like being an entrepreneur – not everyone does, and that is absolutely, 100% OK! It can definitely be stressful to not have a reliable paycheck, and for some people, that discomfort is just too much. That does not mean something is wrong with you.

A client of mine loved painting, but when she started to have to paint-on-demand with commissions, and when she started to stress about paying the bills with her art, she lost the joy in her painting and it became super stressful. She was irritable, couldn’t sleep, and realized she was less happy than when she had her previous job and painted in her off-time. She realized she was not into being an entrepreneur, and we designed a lifestyle that would help her have more time for her painting – more time for her passion and purpose. She still sold pieces, but it wasn’t a stressful pursuit.

You have the option to find a livelihood that allows you the time and money to pursue your passions and live your purpose. Some of my clients have found this with massage therapy, being a server at a fun restaurant, teaching, travel nursing…there are definitely options! When you can make the money you need that also gives you the time off to simply DO what you love without stressing what income it can make for you…it can feel so freeing.

That’s what nursing did for me. Working three 12 hour shifts that paid me more than I had ever made working 24-7 as a guide allowed me to travel the world and climb for pure fun. And I loved the ER! It wasn’t my purpose or passion, but I didn’t mind going to work. I had great ER stories to tell while belaying my friends on big walls;) Then I started working as a travel nurse/locums and my freedom opened up even more.

Let me be clear here: This does not mean you should take a job you hate, or one that feels empty of any joy. What I do mean is that it’s OK to take a job that’s good enough – that you find fun and where you enjoy your colleagues – if it allows you more time, money and freedom to truly enjoy your passions!

I know that may sound like heresy in the life coaching world. The phrase “good enough” is to life coaches what the Paleo movement was to vegans. But here’s the difference: I am not saying that you should live a life that is “good enough.” I am saying that it’s OK to have a form of livelihood that’s “good enough” so that you can live a truly epic life.

The type of work that allows you the means and time off to truly live an epic life is not easy to find – but it is out there. The bottom line is don’t fall into another pattern of “shoulding” on yourself thinking the only happy people out there are ones that are making money from their passions.

Another downside of that type thinking is that some people’s life purpose often has nothing to do with a form of income, and if they keep thinking it should, they may totally miss their life purpose all together…

You’ve heard me say “Freedom is a Feeling” over and over. It’s because I know it’s true! Be open to what it might look like for you. What matters is that you feel it.


If you want to join a tribe of people that will help you navigate this wild and precious life, come check out Freedom School – for rebels like you. It’s not just personal growth for rebels. It’s Jedi training for the new world.

Days 178 to 183 Full-On Recommitting

I spent the past week getting things settled in the yurt, helping Thai build the bath house, potting pretty flowers, cooking for friends; doing yoga in the summer Alaskan sun and for some reason, nesting. I had no desire to hit the rivers or do anything more ambitious than an evening hike. Something in me – in both Thai and myself, actually – wanted to spend time in this lovely home we are building together.

No, I’m not pregnant.

Then I flew out to spend the last 4 days with badass entrepreneurial women at the W Hotel in Atlanta. We masterminded from morning till late at night, and I came up with new programs and high-level packages, I got massages and facials and – yes- even waxed. I need to tell you about that one in another post…yowza! Click here for a kick-ass video of me flying out of Alaska to Atlanta – epic mountain beauty!

In any event, the contrast in my life keeps me wildly entertained. I loved that I went from heating water to wash my face in the mornings over a double-burner Coleman stove to eating lusciously rich brownies and sipping orange cucumber water in a spa that smelled impossibly divine. And I loved both.

I wonder what wild lifestyles we’d see if more people gave themselves permission to not be put into a box, to love it all, to have a day full of contradictions that were welcomed with open arms…

Anyway, during the days with my female biz buddies, a theme came up: Recommitting.

When you are on a bold path, a new path, a frightening and exposed path, and yes, even a well-worn path, you recommit more than you probably know.

In your marriage, it isn’t the paper marriage certificate that keeps you together. It’s your recommitting to one another, every day. When you start a business and there’s a slump, or a speed bump or a drop in energy, you need to re-commit.

I know I have re-committed many times on this journey of Freedom Junkie. For me this has manifested more as recommitting to being completely authentic in my coaching, in my writing, and in the type of clients that I choose to work with. There have been times that I’ve wondered if I should try to please more people or “be nice” to a client and avoid saying something that might be hard to hear so they didn’t have to see the raw truth in front of them.

Instead, I recommitted to my clear vision (supported by my coach and my fellow badass friends!) and said no to clients that weren’t the ideal ones I wanted to work with; I say the hard things to clients even though someone didn’t like to hear it (haven’t been fired yet…but totally willing to be for the sake of authenticity); and I said no to the standard model of 10-30 weekly clients on 3-month programs because my life requires far too much freedom for that. I cuss at times when I write – especially when I am tired or passionately fired up – because for realz, there’s just not another substitute for “fuck” when you really need to use it. One fellow coach at my meeting apologized when she said, “It really sucked” (she said excuse my language!). Her peeps are not my peeps;) And that’s OK. In fact, its awesome!

I also recommitted to the belief that I can create my own Mandala of a career – doing everything that feeds my soul in my own whacky way, while I travel the world AND plant potted flowers.

Expect these periods of recommitting to come up every now and then, and see it as a choice to walk away form something that no longer serves you, or to reconnect with the Mojo behind it all.

What do you recommit to today? Share with me below, even if it’s just one sentence. Let’s inspire one another with conscious choices!


Note: Ana Verzone is a personal life coach, guide and FreedomJunkie™ She helps passionate people awaken their lives of freedom, adventure and purpose. Her monthly eZine goes out to hundreds of subscribers. Her “Full-On 365” blog posts stem from her commitment to living full-on, every day, for 365 days in a row. If you are ready to take your life and your world to the next level, you can learn more about her coaching programs and download her FREE Clarity + Courage Course by visiting