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I’ve developed a sick fascination with the British TV show Masterchef. In the show 156 aspiring amateur chefs compete for the title of “Masterchef”. They cook for two judges, an angry bald man and an equally irate Aussie who critique their food and slowly kill their dreams, one by one.
The Impossible Dream
My fascination is not with the food (although the contestant who cooked a tinned peach and tomato bread pudding was pretty special). It lies with the contestants. In reality TV, the head-shot is a vital tool for every director. This is where we hear the ambition, the motivation, the dream. Here are a few from the series so far:
“I do know what I want to do in life now, my passion is food. My dream is to run a restaurant in the Scottish Highlands” Andrew (Property Developer)
“I want my life to be completely about food. I want to do it full time.” Kirstie (Real Estate Broker)
“I’m very passionate about food – its been a hobby up until know and Masterchef will allow me to move it forward” Peter (Police Officer)
“I love cooking and to do that for a living would be a dream. Masterchef means everything to me” Kerry (Full-time Mum)
Almost every contestant is hoping to make a living from cooking. I love their passion for food and their huge dreams. They put their heart and soul into this competition. Yet at every turn, these lifelong ambitions are crushed. Only one can be crowned Masterchef.
That Makes Me Mad
The show makes me angry. When I hear contestant after contestant laying out their dream for a career in cooking I seethe. “What’s stopping you?” I scream at the screen. “Just go and do it”.
9 ways to explore your Passion
There are many ways to start making a living doing what you love. I don’t think that entering a competition with a 1 in 156 chance of winning and no guarantees of success at the end is the best way.
So how could these contestants go about making a living from their passion? The answer is one step at a time:
- Do what you love – a lot. Cook, cook, cook for anyone and everyone. Practice the skill you want to make a living from as much as possible
- Develop your skills. Go to cookery school. Learn the basic techniques and advanced skills. Hone your style, and practice some more.
- Join groups that share your passion. Find others who love food and build networks with them.
- Interview people who already make a living from your passion. Start talking to restaurant owners and chefs. Learn about the profession from those already in it. Understand what you are committing to.
- Get experience. Look for an opportunity to cook in a professional kitchen. Volunteer to clean dishes for free. Be a sous chef and chop onions all day. Get into the lion’s den to see what life is really like.
- Establish your expertise. Blog about food – share your passion with the world and get a following
- Take small steps to make money. Write a cookbook and sell it online – find a way to make a small living in a risk free way from food
- Write a business plan – look at the financial realities of being a cook or owning a restaurant and see how that fits with your other values in life. Get experts and your network to review the plan.
- Start increasing your commitment. Set up a street stand to sell food, or take a part-time job in a kitchen
None of these actions are too difficult in themselves, yet combined they will help to live the passion. Following these steps would allow the contestants to test out if this really is the dream they were looking for, and build the skills and experience to succeed.
If you are ready in making a doing what you love, think about how these steps might work for you. You can start taking action to explore the possibilities and start making the dream a reality.
What is your passion in life? What would it mean to make a living from it? What advice can you share on making this happen? Please share your thoughts with the LoL Community. Thank you.
Picture credit : Tracy Hunter (Flickr Creative Commons)