How To Turn Your Passion Into An Actual Business
We’ve heard it all before, that you should follow your passion and work on things that really inspire you. You know the whole “do what you love spiel”? If I had a dollar.
Of course it isn’t ever that easy, and I’m sure many of you:
A) Aren’t sure what your passion exactly is, and
B) Don’t know how to turn that into a career or something that at least pays the bills.
Now let me start by saying that if you think there is a silver bullet for this, just close this article. There’s no abracadabra moment, or a simple answer.
But I’ve got a series of steps that will help you turn your own personal passions and aspirations, into a fully functioning business.
#1 Get Specific With Your Goals
Think about a passion of yours right now. What is it? Marketing? Travel? Writing? Kombucha, Avocados and Affordable Housing? (Warm welcome to the millennials in the house.)
Whatever it is, sure maybe start broad, but aim to get granular. Let’s dummy test this one. Say you really like being social, and a passion of yours is entertainment or even going out for example. But what you really love is the experience of spending time with friends in a social environment and having memorable nights together.
So while your immediate passion is entertainment, your focused passion is social engagement, and improving social experiences for everyday people. Moral of the story, get specific on whatever drives you.
#2 You Need To Be Commercially Minded
If you have a strong commercial attitude and mindset, you could probably sell grass to farmers. From the design of your proposals and website, to the actual service or product you sell – being strong commercially is what makes people actually stand up and take notice.
Let’s stick with the above entertainment example. Based on that passion of entertainment, you now know you want to improve social experiences for people.
From that you might create an app that let’s venues promote special offers when a lot of people are in the area. For example, you’re in the Sydney CBD on a Saturday night and your app allows bars to drop their cover charges to help get people into the venue for two hours (I’ll invoice you for the equity claim for whoever launches this.)
Make sure that app looks sharp (even if it’s an MVP, or trial), please create good looking and aesthetic proposals to send to partner venues, and make sure you email signature is professional. If people see you have put effort into your branding, they will think “oh okay, this person is legit and not just taking the piss with some little side thing.”
Check out places like Themeforest where you can buy super cheap templates that do a lot of the hard work for you. And then just customise away.
#3 Research, Research, Then Do Some More Research
If you have the ability or funds to do wide-scale research then by all means do it, but there’s a decent chance you wont. Research is arguably the most frustrating and boring part of starting a business; let’s not polish a spud here. But it’s also, arguably, the most important element.
Now I’m certainly not saying you have to do a super large-scale research study, but even a drip study of 1-200 people for example of people who are in your target market is solid. You just want to work out if there is an actual market for your product/service and get some feedback from your potential customers.
The earlier you do this the better, because there’s nothing worse than planning, creating prototypes etc and then finding out that there is already a similar entertainment app that provides special offers, or that the concept is not something people would really use even if there isn’t any competitor out there.
#4 Time To Become A Salesman (Or Saleswoman)
The idea of being in sales can often be daunting to people in general. But if you’re trying to start your own project, and you’re bootstrapping (probably a good chance of that), being able to sell your product/service, vision and plan is the absolute golden nugget.
Unless you have the luxury of being able to hire a salesperson or team off the bat, you need to work on your charisma, pitching and vigour. You’ll need to figure out how to approach customers or clients, sell to them, and keep them happy once they’ve bought your product.
So no excuses here, if you want to be a Founder get ready to sell like never before. Create a sales funnel for your product/service, network all you can (here are some tips if you’re new to the game), make sure you follow up, and start making some well earned cash.
Ultimately, it comes down to awareness. Every single person that breathes has a passion, but you need to know how to convert that from concept to real life.