Are you building an online presence and business model around something you’re passionate about?
Seems like an easy enough question to answer doesn’t it? In reality, sometimes it is not completely obvious until you do some soul searching and analyzing to determine your true business passion. If your business generates income for you, but you’re not passionate about what you are doing, ultimately you are not going to be fulfilled. To the extent that you can align your business with something that you are truly passionate about, you will be much more successful in the long run.
Finding your business passion will give you the energy and enthusiasm you need to stay on track, push through the hard times, and out-hustle your competitors. Business passion fosters business sustainability.
3 Ways to Discover Your Business Passion
Your business passion really goes beyond your hobbies and interests. The ideal scenario is creating a profitable business driven by passion that can provide you with the freedom to pursue your true hobbies and interests! It goes without saying that along with discovering your true business passion, you need a market to serve that can afford to pay for what you offer, and a value proposition that fulfills a need or a want for that market. Otherwise pursuing a passion as a business won’t have any chance of being profitable.
If you don’t know what your business passion is, you should start by doing some deep soul searching. I’ve recently put myself through this experience in order to refocus and get back on track with my businesses.
To the extent that you can do the work to discover your business passion before you launch, you will build a business that is better aligned with what you want out of life. If your business is already established and growing, work through the 3 elements of finding your business passion that I’ve listed below (keep reading) and see where you stand. The good news is, in a wired world, you can make changes that are not going to cripple your business. Testing a new idea, program, or model can be done very efficiently online today.
What is your vision for your life? If money were no object, what would you want to do with your time? What are your specific life goals and your deadlines for accomplishing those goals? What kinds of things do you enjoy spending your time on? Who do you want to spend more time with? What do you want your life to look like in 5 years? What sorts of experiences do you want to create in life? How do you want to spend each day of your life now (not in 20 years)?
Answering these sorts of lifestyle questions can help you better design an ideal business model that fits with the kind of lifestyle you are passionate about creating for yourself.
Work design encompasses the type of work you enjoy doing and the type of environment you enjoy working in. Do you work better alone or with a team? Do you enjoy managing or leading people? What kind of work do you enjoy doing? Do you want to work from home, from anywhere, or from an office? Do you like creating, teaching, or working directly with people 1-on-1? Do you prefer a structured 9 to 5 schedule or to set your own hours?
Establishing a work design that aligns with the way you like to work will help you keep up the energy level and enthusiasm you need for sustainable business growth.
People design means very simply, designing your business around the kinds of people you enjoy working with. Who do you want to help? What personality styles do you work best with? Where are the people you want to help in their journey or process? What kinds of people can you best add value to in order to make their lives better, help solve their problems, and/or help them achieve more?
Once you can clearly define the types of people you enjoy working with, you will know who to accept as a client and who to turn away.
Evaluating these 3 areas of your current business or a new business you want to launch will help you to better discover and define your true business passion.
A Story You Can Learn From
Up until mid-2009, I spent 15 years as a financial advisor and wealth manager. Looking back, my business passion was missing for most of the latter part of that career. Irregardless of external circumstances (market crashes and collapses), my passion for the business left for other reasons. The majority of my clients were in the process of retiring or retired. I loved my clients, but most of them had a scarcity mentality and worried constantly about their futures rather than living each day to the fullest. This is the complete opposite of my worldview. On top of that, the negative news media constantly reinforced risk and fear with my clients, who were no longer earning incomes through working. This just compounded the problem. I found myself having to constantly support my clients emotionally and pump them up day after day, month after month, and year after year. Ultimately, after 15 years, I finally made a change and left the business. Even though I’m the one who chose the type of clients I worked with, I chose them for the wrong reasons. The lifestyle design and work design were both tolerable, but the people design was completely wrong for me.
Sometimes it’s tempting to pursue business opportunities that you are not passionate about because of the promise of great reward. That can cloud your judgement. You may not consider the personal costs of achieving that reward. Other times you may pursue a business opportunity because you perceive it as the “logical” and right thing to do (and your friends and family agree).
Building a business around what others think is best, or because it may promise financial reward will not make you happy in the long run nor will it be sustainable.
Personally, I like to do a gut check twice a year to see where my passion meter sits for my businesses. By the way, it is normal for the meter to fluctuate. There are going to times when you get frustrated, feel stuck, or you need a break from your business even if you have mapped out your lifestyle, work, and people designs. If you can’t push through these kinds of feelings for an extended period of time, that’s when you may really need to reevaluate your goals, and your business model.
Your Business Passion Can Change
Beware, your business passion can also change over time! As you grow personally and professionally, you may find that your business model hasn’t kept up with you although it still may be growing. However, if you’ve lost your business passion, that business likely will stop growing unless you make some changes to realign your lifestyle, work, and people designs.
What do you think about aligning your business passion with your work? Have you thought about this concept for yourself? Would love to hear your thoughts and experiences in the comments.