Do you know how to turn your passion into a business? It takes more than having a dream…
I have been gradually becoming aware that the business I currently, while enjoyable, isn’t one i feel called to do. It’s a somewhat scary realization, because I’m comfortable doing what I do, but I also realize that part of me is dissatisfied and wants something different, something more. I still intend to run my business, but I’m start to explore a side business, one that I feel I would find much more satisfaction with, based on my desire to help people.
What I’ve also realized however is just how important it is to have a passion for what you’re doing. It’s not always easy to find that passion, but I think it’s essential in order to feel a sense of satisfaction with your life. And I didn’t just get into owning my own business to make a living. I also did it because I wanted to do something satisfying with my life, that would fill me with anticipation for each day. That feeling of satisfaction is essential in order for me to live a happy life, and in order to give my clients the level of service they deserve.
It’s very easy to compromise living your life to fit what you think will make you money or what will make other people happy, but if you end up miserable such compromises aren’t worth the return they provide. This is so important to know, especially as you develop a business, because that business should be reflective of your values and what you enjoy and feel called to contribute. To do otherwise is to invite yourself into a situation of feeling trapped.
So how do you find your calling, your passion, in business? First it involves figuring out what genuinely makes you happy. In other words, what brings you satisfaction? In my case, I’ve learned that working with people and seeing the effect I have on them is an important part of what makes me satisfied. However, it’s important to not limit yourself to just one characteristic. It’s a good idea to make a list of what makes you satisfied as it applies to work. Other items on my list include living on my own schedule and being able to integrate my spiritual practices into my business.
The next question that arises is whether or not what makes you happy is actually a viable business. Just because you enjoy doing it, doesn’t mean it’s viable. Write a business plan and in it explore who your ideal clients are, what you will do to market the business, and how you will get in front of people. By taking the time to look at the details, you can determine if there is a market for your potential business as well as what actions you will need to take to get in front of that market. Also, as you write the business plan, put some effort into describing the services and/or products you will offer. This will help you understand how you plan to translate what you love to do into actual services and/or products that can help your clients.
After you’ve written the business plan and looked over the lost of characteristics you created, see if the business plan matches up with the list. Do you feel like you’re compromising in any areas, and if so how are you compromising? It’s important to determine if any of the compromises are deal breakers or something you can live with.
If, after all of that work, you have a business plan you can follow the hardest and most important step comes next. You need to implement and execute your business plan consistently and in a disciplined manner. This means you need to develop actions that will help you realize your business plan. For example, networking at your local chamber of commerce could be an action that helps you execute your business plan.
Choosing to follow your passion is always worth doing, but it’s also worth remembering that in order to follow your passion you also need to have more than just a dream. You need a plan and you need to follow through to realize that plan. Anyone can have a passion. It takes discipline and motivation to turn passion into a business.