Everyone has a passion of some type. It’s possible that you’ve been indoctrinated to think that you’ll never get your passion to pay, but this simply isn’t true. Turning your passion into profits is one of the most difficult but rewarding challenges you can possibly meet in your lifetime and you shouldn’t get discouraged from at least trying to do so.
Where Do I Start?
What do you love doing? What kind of hobbies and interests do you have? Think about types of businesses you’ve seen
throughout your life like being a one-woman consulting firm or starting a frozen yogurt shop. What appeals to you the most?
Your ideal business idea needs to take realism into account, such as if that doggy daycare you’d love to open just wouldn’t have enough customers where you live. But now it’s time to think outside the box and come up with ways to incorporate your passions into your business. You want something that you will get so excited about that it doesn’t feel like working half the time.
Business Trends and Finding the Problem or Market Void
Take a look at current and historic business trends for the type of business you want to start. For instance, if you’d like to open a brick-and-mortar shop you’ll find that the core dynamic hasn’t changed much but the ways you can advertise the business definitely has. Some business types come and go as consumer preferences and technology evolve. An evergreen kind of business or one that capitalizes on a trend both present risk and opportunity. But regardless of which one you choose, what kind of problem does your business solve? Or, what sort of void does it fill?
Niches = riches. If you’d like to start a consulting business, what can you offer that NO ONE else is offering? What special skills and experience do you bring to the table, and what kind of problem are you ace at solving that is a common pain for businesses? Think of HR expert Liz Ryan’s pain letter here.
Or maybe you like donuts and want to start a donut shop, but there’s already 10 popular donut franchises in a 20-mile radius. How you can make the experience something unique that local people are missing like a place to hang out with neighbors or maybe see live bands?
Find that void or problem to solve.
Changing Your Attitude to a Growth Mindset
This is often the hugest obstacle in starting a business. When you spend your entire life working for someone else and your income doesn’t really budge, that cost-cutting mindset is ingrained incredibly hard. You need to completely change your attitude about money and not go too far with the penny-pinching where it matters: do you need to hire someone? Don’t put it off or else profits will sink. Professional headshots because selfies look cheap and amateurish? It’s time to take some risk and spring for it.
How can you focus on earning instead of cutting every cost imaginable? How can you GROW the business? This is the mindset you need to change to.
Taking that First Step: What Are You Afraid Of?
Even if you’re excited about your passion making you money, it’s also common to be utterly terrified. What exactly are you scared of?
- Losing your life savings
- That you won’t make any money
- That it will be impossible to start over again if your business fails
These are fears every prospective entrepreneur has had. But remember that it’s only a failure if you fail to learn from it.
Mustering Up The Courage to Act
You may feel readier to take the plunge if you hold onto some of your savings or a have a back-up plan for a job if your business doesn’t pan out. Whether it’s assuaging a fear or realizing what your “X factor” is (such as really hating your job or loving what your new business will be), something is going to push you to act.
Tapping Into Your Network for Help and Inspiration
As cliche as it sounds, your net worth is your network. How can other entrepreneurs you know inspire and help you? Go to conferences, co-working spaces, and other places to meet like-minded business owners who you can learn from.