Do you have a Passion Project?
Some call it a “side hustle” if it tends to bring in income, but I think a hobby or pastime can qualify, too.
Whether you play golf, knit, write novellas, garden or – in my case – bake, having a creative outlet away from your day-to-day work is a fantastic way to keep you vibrant, engaged and fulfilled in your work, and life. A passion project may also nurture relationships in your life, unlock a skill that you didn’t realize you have and enlighten you in unexpected ways.
For me, baking chocolate biscotti has been a passion project this time of year since 2001.
I was a young publicist working in Corporate Marketing at Liz Claiborne Inc. and it was the beginning of the holiday season. I struggled with what to “gift” to my boss and coworkers, which was a tall order, as fashion executives tended to have very specific taste. I was also told that “gifting up” was frowned upon in corporate culture.
What to do?
Who can say no to an elegantly packaged box of homemade double chocolate biscotti? And there was no concern with “gifting up” since it was a box of baked goods that could have been easily shared with the team.
That holiday season, more than one coworker came up to me to say, “These are so good….I’d pay you to make these for my own holiday baking needs.”
And a seed was planted. As well as a passion project.
I never really thought about launching a baking business. But that next holiday season, I did. LMD Biscotti Company was formed and word-of-mouth referrals propelled it forward.
Over the next few years, at the holidays, LMD Biscotti Company sold at house parties, continued to flourish via word of mouth, and even provided hundreds of packaged baked goods at an AIG corporate party in NYC (for 2 years in a row)!
Of course, there were a few years that LMD Biscotti Company turned the ovens off – when my mom was ill and when I was pregnant with my son and daughter. But the nice thing about a passion project is that you can just pick back up again and carry on where you left off.
My biscotti business is fulfilling for me and allows me to work outside of my everyday format (seated, at a desk, on a computer) in a commercial kitchen, alongside my dad and bring joy to others in the form of a decadently sweet chocolate confection.
I love what I do, and wholeheartedly believe that it shows in the product.
For now, my passion project is tied solely to the holiday season and Valentine’s Day. But as I continue to network and as word-of-mouth picks up, I’m coming across new opportunities to consider taking LMD Biscotti to the next level.
If you’d like to share in my passion project, you can learn more about LMD Biscotti Company here: http://momalamode.net/lmd-biscotti-co/
Lisa Pisano is the President of Groupe a la Mode, LLC, a boutique Public Relations and Social Marketing firm based in Bergen County. Reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org