“Mrs. Bizzy” (fake name) sat in my office telling me all about how she wanted me to help her figure out how to fund her passion. She had been a successful client of mine for years, but now she wanted to follow her heart. If you are reading this post, I have no doubt that you can relate (and no she is not the client in the picture). As I rolled over her idea in my head, I wanted to know more about her plans. The more questions I asked, the more it became clear that she didn’t really have a plan.
It’s easy to be driven by passion and purpose, but it takes solid planning and preparation to execute, finance and sustain a concept. After all, we are literally talking about starting a business! In essence, when you decide to go after your passion, you become a full fledged entrepreneur. Here are 6 tips to help you design strong framework to launch your passion.
1. PASSION ISN’T A SERVICE: Many of us get so caught up in our passion that we don’t actually offer a service, which leads to a weak bottom line. Keep in mind that a quality service generally solves or minimizes a problem. So when you dial back the emotion, what problem does your passion tackle? Once you’ve determined the problem, go for creating a service that addresses the issue. I can’t stress how important it is to provide a QUALITY solution, that is what will make or break your business.2. DO YOUR HOMEWORK: It’s been said that it takes 10k hours of study to become an expert, which is EXACTLY what you should do with your passion.
- Be knowledgeable about your subject matter
- Create a solid business plan to help you execute your strategy
- Research your industry
- Gain practical experience, volunteer if necessary
3. KEEP YOU EYE ON THE COMPETITION: Stay ahead of the pack by keeping a close eye on your competitors. Notice what they are doing then work to set yourself apart, but not out of reach. It is also important to watch for changing trends such as technology advances or updates in industry standards.
4. POSSESS A GREAT ATTITUDE: A great attitude goes a long way to ensure that your employees, partners and surroundings have a positive energy that is contagious. This is a priceless commodity in difficult times! Remember, being an entrepreneur can be the best and worst time in your life.
5. COMPROMISE AND COMMUNICATE: Similar to marriage, businesses require strong communication and lots of compromise. It is important not only to develop verbal and written skills, but also listening skills. Business associates and clients need to feel that they can come to you and address any issues or concerns openly. Communication is most certainly a two-way street. Be willing to ‘give’ on an issue. Keep the big picture in mind, the ‘my way or the highway’ approach does not serve for long term success. Don’t let your passion/ emotion blindside your bottom line.
6. GO ALL IN: You and anyone affiliated with your business be in 110% at all times. Respect each other’s weaknesses and celebrate the strengths, then learn to work within the parameters of both. If there is any in-congruence, it will show up in your work. Clients see a misalignment as a key indicator of the quality of your organization.
All in all, you DON’T have to become an entrepreneur to breathe life into your passion. That route can be quite cumbersome it’s not the true path for everyone. Should you decide that you need a different approach, consider becoming part of an existing project. There are organizations and non profits that could always make use of your talents.
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