Do you wake up Monday morning and wish it were already Friday? Are you tired of getting a pay cheque for doing something you hate? Are you ready to take the plunge into an endless sea of opportunity? Are you prepared to start your own business but can’t figure out the great idea? If you are, buckle up and get ready for the ride of your life!
We’ve all heard it, right? “You’re starting a business? Make your passion your career!” That’s the usual business advice you get when you tell someone you want to start your own business and become an entrepreneur. Sounds incredible! I mean, who wouldn’t want to spend their days getting paid for something they love to do?
But the truth is, it’s absolutely possible. I am living proof. So is Martha Stewart, as well as many others who have turned their passion into their pay cheque. But if there is one key ingredient to your new business venture becoming a success, it’s the passion.
Questions to ask yourself when deciding on the big idea:
What would you love to do daily for many years to come?
Before taking the plunge, think: “Am I going to love this in 5 years? In 10 years? In 20 years?” I know that may be hard to imagine, but you have to envision yourself doing it day in and day out, for a very long time. If you can’t, you haven’t unlocked your passion. (See next question!) When you love the work that you do, the days fly by. Think back to your favourite courses in school. Didn’t you get your best grades in those courses? The same principle applies to success in your business. If your business excites you, you will work harder, and therefore achieve much greater success.
I have friends who are accountants, and they love it! When they get numbers to balance, it brings them a tremendous sense of satisfaction and accomplishment. If I had to sit behind a computer all day and crunch numbers, I would be in tears. But that’s what makes our lovely world go ’round. One man’s (or woman’s) meat is another’s poison.
When you love the work that you do, the days fly by.
What are my passions? And can I make my passion my pay cheque?
What makes you tick? What is your passion? I’ll never forget how I started my first business. I always knew I had an eye for purchasing. For trends. I loved buying gifts for people. So when I finally decided that I wanted to sell gifts for a living, my family looked at me and said, “That’s what you want to do with your life? Sell picture frames?” But I knew that I didn’t just want to sell one picture frame. I wanted to sell 1,000 picture frames, 100,000 picture frames. I knew that taking my passion, my hobby, and turning it into my career, was the perfect choice for me. My Dad said, “With your personality, why don’t you consider selling insurance? Insurance salespeople make a lot of money, and it will give you the flexibility in your life you will want down the road as a mother.” But my passion for selling insurance was about as strong as my passion for sardines – not very strong.
What am I good at?
If the previous discussion does not seem to connect, and making your passion your pay cheque isn’t happening, let me ask you another question: What are you good at? I used to mentor a group of businesspeople each month who were looking to either change careers or start their own businesses. As one of the five mentors, I first ask the protégés about their passions. If they truly cannot make a career out of their passion, I always ask them, “What are you good at?”
One member of our group had been in operations for over 25 years. He had worked for large corporations and had completely re-organized their internal corporate structure. He had tremendous success doing this years ago, but the company he had recently worked for fell upon hard times, re-structured, and he found himself out of work. So when I met him the first time, and the other mentors asked him, “What’s your passion, what do you love to do?” I quietly asked him, “What are you good at?”
Let’s face it. This man had a family to support, and he didn’t have the luxury of being out of work for too long. So in deciding if he should become an entrepreneur, which in my opinion, was not the right move for him, I suggested he build on his existing skills, which would make him a marketable asset to any corporation: “You should become the ‘go-to guy’ for operations. Either start your own operations consulting firm, or approach the company you would love to work for and show them everything you’ve done and why you would be an asset to their company.”
So if you are truly gung ho on starting your own business and the passion hasn’t come to you, think: What am I good at? What would people be willing to pay for? Your answer may be your next business!
If the big idea hasn’t come along would I consider purchasing a franchise?
Franchisees are just as entrepreneurial as the next guy. Franchise owners are operating their own companies, which by definition, makes you an entrepreneur. There are often franchise fairs that travel to a city near you where you can check out franchise opportunities and franchises for sale.
Additionally, along these lines, can you reach out to a business broker and see if any opportunities exist to purchase existing businesses for sale. I used a business broker to sell my first company, and my broker ended up being a matchmaker made in heaven.
It used to be that you had to put the pen to paper and brainstorm your ideas in a notepad, but you can map out your vision board and put your entire plan together online or in a mobile app these days. I wish you lots of luck in your quest for your next venture. Feel free to tweet me your questions @EricaDiamond!