Passion or Profession?
Have you found yourself sitting at your desk, going about your daily work and imagining spending your day doing something you love instead? Perhaps you have a trade or a skill, a craft or a hobby that you long to be absorbed in. Perhaps you dream about how you could turn that into a profession?
While some business professionals believe that passion and success in business are incompatible, the fact is that many successful businesses are launched based on the passion of the business owner. Success is founded in their love for what they do coupled with good business decisions and a whole lot of hard work. Studies have shown that a decision to align your life with your passion brings happiness. So who are we to argue?
But how does that work in practice? How do you start turning something you love into something you do? And make a success of it?
Focus and Research
You know what you’re passionate about. You are invested in it on your own time. But when you think about that passion as a business, how much do you really know? It’s crucial to figure out how your interest can be applied in practice. To get a full picture of the industry that surrounds it and how you could operate within that.
Spend some time doing research into the industry. Look at potential competitors and see how they’re doing it? What is it that your customers or clients need? What are the gaps in the market, the problems that needs solutions? Based on the information you amass here, you can begin to fine-tune your offering so that you’re confident you have something your customers want or need.
Many of us have passions but few of us are truly great at them. Make sure what you choose is something that you not only love but that you can be brilliant at. Be the expert the industry needs. Be the change maker. Be the creative that moves your passion forward. Being okay at something even when you love it might not take you very far so make sure you bring passion plus ability to whatever you choose.
Taking the leap into self employment based on something you love might appear daunting. In particular if you’re holding a secure full time position elsewhere. Consider taking small steps to give yourself a better idea of the reality of doing what you love. Perhaps you could volunteer in your industry of choice? Gain experience in the trade or craft that you love while also gaining business insights that will serve you in your own business? Alternatively you could start very small, in your evenings or weekends, gradually launching and building things up. All while retaining your salaried job and feeling secure until you are completely ready to make the change.
Know you don’t know
As with any business launch, be prepared to realise quickly that there is much you don’t know. Being passionate about the core offering of your business will not cover every fact of the business. You’ll need to be prepared to get involved in all of the details, even areas you know nothing about. Educate yourself. Outsource where you recognise your own limitations. Ultimately you need to get comfortable with knowing less than you thought.
Starting a business is a huge change for most people. Make use of all the resources you can find to inform yourself and to support you during this process. Whether you find a mentor in the industry who you can turn to for advice and guidance. Or you make use of programmes like Go For It who can support you as you pull together your business plan and help you on your path to launch. Or perhaps you connect with fellow entrepreneurs in your industry and create your own support network. Whichever method works for you, gather as much input and advice as you can. Learning from people who have been in your shoes is invaluable.
Make Passion Your Focus
You are starting your business because you absolutely love what you do. Do not lose sight of that. Try to keep your passion as a focus in every decision you make. Share how you feel about your product or your service and get other people on board. When it comes to building a team, find people who share your vision, share your enthusiasm and share your passion.
New business, or any business, requires flexibility. Yes, staying true to your original business proposition and vision is important. But understanding that the world is constantly shifting is also key. Be able to keep your focus and know when to pivot. Maybe your business launched in person but needs to move online due to the ways consumers are engaging? Perhaps your product offering needs to shift to respond to what your customers need.
Don’t be blindly attached to an original concept when it’s to your own disadvantage. Being able to be flexible without losing sight of why you’re there is central to the success of any business.
It goes without saying that to make something a success, you have to at least make a start! The majority of business ideas are just that, ideas. For every 100 business ideas, only 1 might go any further so action can be the difference between success and failure. Be the 1. Take the plunge. Be prepared to fail and learn from it. Starting is the only way to get on the path to success and to live out the passion you have.
Whatever your business idea, whether it’s just something you’ve been mulling over or whether you’ve taken some steps on the entrepreneurial path already, we’d love to help. Read some of our Go For It Success Stories and get in touch. Our business experts will be delighted to hear from you and to talk you through everything you might need to know to move forward with your business concept.