Many of us have heard the phrase, “Choose a job you love, and you’ll never have to work a day in your life.” When we look around at our workplaces, however, it can seem like this won’t ever be true! So many of the people who have found deep fulfillment in their work have done so by identifying their passions and their expertise. Once they know themselves, they launch businesses that allow them to take full advantage of their talents, allowing them to feel the energy implied by “not working a day in your life.”
Are you unsure of how your passion and expertise translates to a successful enterprise? Here are seven ways to make that successful business happen.
Do a Skills Assessment
So many of us take for granted that we have the skills for a job, but we aren’t willing to truly name and claim every strength we have. Take some time to write down the things you do well, the training you’ve taken, the education you’ve mastered. By writing down each of these items, you are emotionally recognizing that you do valuable work that can only be done by someone with your combination of skills and expertise.
These skills don’t need to be restricted to your current job. One good place to look is in your free time: when you aren’t working for money, what drives you? Are you a dedicated cyclist, with endurance and precision? Do you knit or do woodwork or cook elaborate meals? All of these skills can be translated into traits: dedication, detail-oriented, creative. Make sure you get these skills and traits all together before launching a business related to your passions.
Identify Who Needs Your Passion and Drive
Another way to start your business is to begin to notice who is missing the skills, expertise, or passion you have. Are there whole communities of people out there who would love the product you provide, but who cannot get access to it? Could you provide a useful seminar that a big group of people would happily sign up for if they knew about it? Start noticing where your passion and expertise align with what another person needs.
This process can take time, but write everything down! You may realize, down the road, that the people who you identified as needing your assistance are now a perfect target market for your successful business.
Consider How You Can Improve Your Industry
Many of us don’t venture into this mental territory, assuming we just have to keep our heads down and get the work done. While this isn’t a bad attitude, entrepreneurs are not afraid to notice areas for improvement. If you realize that you could revolutionize the industry you know so well, why not start drafting up a business plan that shows how you would serve the customers differently? What ineffective strategy would you replace with a new and very effective one? Your business has a greater chance of success if you are well-differentiated from the competition, and your passion and expertise can be the first step to making your business truly unique.
Develop a Product or Service Using Your Passions
Many people feel like they cannot make their expertise into something that a business could sell, but almost everyone can do this, if they have something to share! Sometimes your passion will yield a physical product, a gadget, for instance, that makes some daily-life-task easier. Other times, you can use your talents and what matters to you in order to create content for others who could benefit: this may mean a podcast, an audiobook, a physical book, or coaching/consulting sessions with you. Remember that you don’t have to market your product or service like everyone else; you can use the things that make you uniquely talented to choose what method of distribution will work best for you.
Once you’ve selected your product or service, it has never been easier to “get to market,” given the ease of opening online stores or selling through other websites. Your business is at the fingertips of everyone who uses search engines to find what they need.
Assemble a Team to Support Your Strengths
As you plan your business, even if you intend to be a solo entrepreneur, you’ll need a network of support. Whether this is someone who will eventually be Vice President of Sales or someone who will keep an eye on your kids while you pack up and ship out copies of your new book, you want to know who is on your team.
More importantly, make sure that you draw in people to work with you who complement your strengths. If you are the numbers person in the business, see if you can get a great marketing/visual design person on your team to help you. The more well-rounded your team, the better the business. You will also find that keeping up the enthusiasm for your business is going to be easier if you have team members who believe in your vision. Bring them in for the skills assessment and for the evaluation of how your industry could improve: you’d be amazed at how much collaboration can fuel your creative mind.
Stay Humble But Make Room For Growth
One challenge for entrepreneurs is thinking too small; we are so willing to be limited in our imaginations! While it is true that assuming huge growth may lead to some risky investments in resources, imagining a wildly successful future is part of a technique known as visualization. When you visualize your positive progress through the world, you subconsciously prepare yourself to take the steps to get there. Not only do entrepreneurs benefit from thinking positively, they literally gain more opportunities for growth if they are willing to imagine that they will get to that next level. As you start a business based on your passions and expertise, allow yourself to daydream and visualize your company growing well: how will you scale your business and continue the growth? The dreams don’t hurt anything, and they can help a lot!
No matter which path helps you get excited about your successful future business, use these techniques to get started. Don’t delay: your passion and expertise are meant to be shared with the world.