Today we read an interesting article in the Huffington Post written by Libby-Jane Charleston. The article started the percolating cogs in our minds on what does it take to own and run a successful business? If one does a quick Dr Google search one is presented with a broad array of information, written by people and businesses far more successful than our own. However, that being said, basically all the articles, all the so called gurus (including the fakers as well as the makers), and all the writers come back to one key theme. If you want to own a successful business regardless of whether to simply give up the day job, work online, become an international brand, have a lifestyle of your choosing, one has to start with: What are You Passionate About?
If you happen to be a fortunate person who has a range of ideas, strategies, tasks, activities that one is passionate about – wow, go for it. You have not only got the topping on the cake, you have the whole desert smorgasbord to boot. Whilst this can present one with a range of other dilemmas, for example, which passion should you choose – you’re ahead of the pack so to speak. Now word of warning: turning your passion into a highly sought after product or service is another matter entirely. However, being passionate about what you do sure helps!
Let’s take this one step further. Grab that trusty notebook and pen; open to a blank page (after all your business starts as a blank slate); and start listing all the tasks, activities, interests that rock you boat so to speak. Now that you have your list, on the next page of your trusty notebook start grouping these tasks and activities together. Are there some tasks and activities that neatly slot together? Are there some tasks and activities that appear to be standing apart all by themselves?
Next rate your groups and your stand alones from i.e. 1 – 5. One being, yes I’m passionate about this, however, I really would prefer to keep this task/activity as a personal passion to give my head a break. With 5 being: wow, I could spend all day everyday on this task/activity; I don’t even notice the time as I’m so caught up with the doing that time simply flies because I’m having so much fun.
Hopefully you now have a clearer idea on the activities that really rocks your boat, preferably two or more. Take your top 3 and again rate these activities from 1 – 5 asking yourself this question. If I were to meet with 3 highly experienced business people requesting they invest their dollars into my business how would I rate my business ideas to put to this erstwhile panel of experts?
As you can see, what we’re doing is gradually going through the process of ascertaining not only what we are passionate about, but also whether our passions will stand the scrutiny of a panel of experts. Imagine yourself, like that show on TV, having 3 minutes to present your business idea to a panel of experts who you want at least one of them to invest their time, expertise and potentially dollars into your business. If you were the expert what questions would you ask? What information would you want to be given? Why should you invest your time, energy and/or dollars in your business.
Now before you think: yea, that’s it. I’ve worked out my business idea and what I’m really passionate about. I’ve worked out my business case as if I were the business expert wanting to invest in my business. Home and hosed. Let’s get started. Whoa, hold your horses. Just because you happen to be passionate about your activity and think it will make a very good business, what makes you think that others will indeed purchase the product or service your business idea is about? All you’ve undertaken to date is weed out the wheat from the chaff so you can see the which direction you would like to go.
Now the hard yards start. If you do not research whether there is a product or market for your business idea/concept, you really cannot pitch to the panel of experts. The next question once you’ve decided there may indeed be a market, rather than lots of people want this, that or the other; is what makes your business so unique? What is going to make your business stand out from your competitors? Then just because you may have a PhD in whatever, doesn’t mean you know how to run a business.
Um, why goes to these lengths? You know what you’re passionate about. You know you can spend hours on end and have fun in the process. You may even come from a circle of family and/or friends who successfully run their own business. You’re ready to make the leap of faith and become the entrepreneur of your dreams. So, why one earth go to all this trouble just to start the business you’re incredibly passionate about? Because the real world of business demands this. Knowing what you’re passionate about is one thing. It’s an entirely different matter to turn your passion into a highly successful business.
Many people start business they’re passionate about, however, they start part time, whilst they still have the day job. So, they can test the waters, gradually build up their businesses to a point where they can take the leap of faith to go full time in their business and actually earn a decent income. Some businesses are best to remain activities that you’re passionate about as personal activities to give you a head break from the usual daily activities. Others, can indeed become fully fledged businesses in their own right, giving their creators heaps of joy, money to live on and have the freedom a business can potential create.
Hence, before you start any business endeavour ask yourself: What Am I Passionate About? What activities really rock my boat? Then go from there. Passion is the spice of life. Having a business one is highly passionate about is like having one’s cake and eating it too.