How To Change Careers By Following Your Heart (Hooking Up with Oprah Can't Hurt Either)

Guest post by Ruta Fox

Do you ever wonder what life would be like if you really, really got to do what you love? What it would be like if you got up every day and were excited about the work that you do and got paid nicely for it, to boot? 

Well, it happened to me. I made a change of career just recently -- going from an advertising copywriter to a jewelry designer, and I want to tell you it can be done. I always had a passion for jewelry, but was a writer for over 10 years. Then my back started bothering me, and I needed a career where I did not have to sit and write all day. 

I came up with the idea of the Ah Ring. A stands for Available, and h, for happy. It's the diamond ring you buy for yourself when you're single, since married women have bands, and engaged women have engagement rings. I started selling rings to my friends, and then I was picked by O, Oprah's magazine to be featured in her "O list" section. She jump-started my new career, but I did the ground work that made it all possible.

My beautiful diamond Ah Ring has a very reasonable price, and was an instant success. I went from $0 to $1 million in sales in the first year.

Here are some steps on how to create a new career.

1. Think back a little to when you were small. What are the things that excited you? Horses? Designing doll dresses? Baking? Most times, if you ask successful people why they are in the business they're in, they will tell you they were obsessed with something since they
were little children. Somehow through the years, and through the expectations of others, they ignored what gives them pleasure.

2. Make a list of all the things you like to do. Do you collect things, enjoy working with your hands, have a knack or a talent that people keep complimenting you on? Sometimes we don't think these things are valuable, but they can come in handy when redefining what you want to do. Pay attention to what people say. I never forgot when someone said to me, "mine the mother lode"....or do what you're good at.

3. Network and do research. It's's who you know, not what you know. Contact friends and their friends. Take notes. Ask people in the same business what worked, what flopped and why. Take classes, do the research in your field to know the competition. Really understand why what you want to do is different.

4. Be organized. There is simply no way to be successful in business without being organized. If this is not a skill you posses, you need to acquire it. You will be called on to do many things in the beginning of a new business and you must stay focused and not let the details slip away from you.

5. Be willing to really, really work hard and devote time to your new venture. This does not mean make a phone call or two a day. It means logging in tons of calls. This does not mean socializing at night when you should be working on a business plan. What working hard means is doggedly devoting the time you need to spend to achieve your goal. If you can not
honestly look yourself in the mirror and say you worked hard, it is just not going to happen.

6. Most importantly, trust your gut. Every entrepreneur knows they must really, really believe they can create something new. Someone told me early on in my career that when som