3 best practices when following your passion

Okay so you are thinking of your “soon to be” startup. You are talking to people asking questions, debating options but nothing seems to click.

You want to be an entrepreneur but don’t know what to do. Someone says… What do you love to do??? Do that! Follow your passion!

You think… She’s right! I am gonna do it. Then you go online and everyone is talking about what a bad idea it is to follow your passion for business.

Why? What was the problem? Well It might be a few things but generally the issue is this: does it fill a need or provide value?

Here are three things to consider that must align with your passion for success. Value, skill and monetization.

Here are some examples:

1. Value: Loving something yourself and having others believe that item is valuable enough to buy are two different things. Sometimes people turn hobbies into jobs but sometimes they don’t. A hobby turned job must be a hobby others will benefit from. For example the ladies who started Robbie’s shoes for babies didn’t sell them because they were cute designs… They were making shoes for their own kids. They sold them because the elastic design means the shoes stay on kids feet and the leather soles prevent slipping. Those are two things moms need.

2. Skill: Being passionate simply isn’t enough. It’s a great start. In fact it’s the best start but it needs to be aligned with your actual skills. In other words you may love consulting with others but how do you make money doing this? Perhaps the one on one hourly system will work but given there are only a few hours in each day you better charge extreme rates to make serious cash. So you consider speaking to groups of people. That’s certainly more bang for your buck. But consider this. Public speaking is a skill. It’s one you can learn but before you jump in and leave your audience asleep make sure you have studied and honed your craft. Learn and educate yourself! As a new start up there is room for trial and error but make your best effort to align your skills with your passion.

3. Monetization: Lastly think about how your passion can be monetized. What is it that you do that can be turned into an income producing activity. It’s not about focus groups and market testing. It’s about thinking to yourself… if I didn’t know me would I buy this? Follow your gut and be objective. Step back and analyze your idea or ask someone to help you do this. If for example you design purses what will make me buy yours over someone else’s? First assume that I like your “design style” there are still 100’s of options. But what if your purse came with a matching wallet or a special pocket so you don’t loose your phone or a special waterproof lining for moms carrying juice boxes. Start your process with a unique proposition. Be creative. What can you do to stand apart from everyone else? It’s not merely price point. There must be a unique opportunity that you can capitalize on. Look for it and try it. The benefit you have over your competition is you are new, small and flexible. Change, evolve, test, be creative. There are financial opportunities out there you just need to find them.

Long story short your passion may lead to great things or may need to remain a hobby. Just consider your options before you start. You will know in your gut what to do. Good luck!