10 Steps to Turn Your Passion into Business

This is a guest post by Anastasiya Goers of Balance In Me, @balanceinme

Our passions are the winds that propel our vessel. Our reason is the pilot that steers her. Without winds the vessel would not move and without a pilot she would be lost. – Proverb

Do you have a dream to do what you want to do and get money for that? Support your family while being fulfilled in life?

I always enjoyed watching nature and travel shows because the hosts seemed like the luckiest people in the world to me. They could travel all around the world, do fun stuff and get paid for enjoying their lives. Now that’s what I call life!

I must say that I didn’t become a TV host of any of those programs and I am not even Chris Guillebeau (from the Art of Non-Conformity) but now I earn my living doing what I love. I have been pursuing my passion for many years (eight if you want to be exact) and now it is finally turning into a business.

Following your passion is the only way to be great at something (we’ve all heard that saying, right?). It is the only way to be thrilled with your life and the only way to be fulfilled. However if you follow only your passion then you will most likely find yourself broken-hearted somewhere along the road. Your dreams will be just your dreams and your reality will get boring and sad again. When you decide to follow your passion you must make sure that your reason is always showing you the right way. When you combine reason and passion you can create a great business that you will enjoy.

Here is what you need to know in order to turn your passion into your business.

  1. Make sure that you have a passion not just a mere interest/hobby. There is a huge difference between what we like and what we are passionate about. I like cooking, it is my hobby but I am not passionate about it. The thought of spending the entire day in the kitchen cooking for hundreds of people is horrifying to me.Ask yourself this simple question “Am I ready to do this every day of my life for 5, 10, 20 years?” If your answer is “yes” then you have found your true passion.
  2. Expand on your passion. Look at your passion from different angles in order to see what the real source of it is.I have been a fitness instructor for 8 years and I considered it my passion. However, a few years ago I realized that my true passion lied in helping people perfect their bodies, improve their health and find their life balance. This is how Balance In Me (my blog) was born. Pilates, Yoga, self growth, spirituality and healthy eating are different branches of this passion and they help me stay enthusiastic about my goals.Do not choose a very narrow passion that you might outgrow in a couple of years. Look at the broad picture by analyzing everything that makes you feel fulfilled in life. Do you see a connection?
  3. Think of all possible ways how you can pursue your passion. This is the opposite of the previous tip. Brainstorm all possible ways how you can pursue your passion. Let’s say that you are passionate about cooking. You can become a chef and eventually open a restaurant, you can write a book of recipes, you can have a blog about cooking, you can give private cooking lessons or cater for private parties. The more business opportunities you see the easier it will be to find the one that will work for you.
  4. Get support from your family. If you are married then this is a must before you even start thinking about making business out of your passion. Misunderstanding, arguments and constant nagging can kill your passion really quick.
  5. Treat your passion like business. A lot of people when they venture out in the pursuit of passion make a mistake of treating it like a hobby. There is a common misconception that when they love something they must do it only when they feel like it. In terms of writing it will mean writing only when you have inspiration (whether it is once a day or once a week). Treating your passion like business means:
    – Doing it whether you feel like it or not.
    – Having a to-do list or some plan that must be completed in a certain amount of time.
    – Having regular work hours (do not let your family or friends disturb you during those hours even if it means skipping a cup of coffee with your best friend or missing that great movie at the theatre).
    – Getting dressed for your work (you will need this if you are going to work from home. I can never come up with post ideas while I am wearing my pajamas).
    – Having an organized uncluttered work space (even if your office will consist of a chair and a table, make sure that you do not have any clutter or anything that will distract you from work).
    – Not expecting to earn a lot at once (at first you might even have to do everything for free just to gain the experience)
    – Having days-off and vacations (otherwise you will experience burnout really fast).
  6. Be prepared for the boring stuff.  Every business has its boring side. Even though your passion will be your business you won’t escape this part of being an entrepreneur. Whether it is accounting, meticulous personal tax software, cleaning tons of dishes (if you choose cooking), fighting hundreds of spam messages on your blog or dealing with customers, you will have to get used to it. There is nothing much exciting about it other than the fact that this boring stuff lets you enjoy what you are doing 90% of the time.
  7. Get some critique. You might think that your passion and idea for business is awesome but in reality it might be a disaster waiting to happen. Talk to your friends or family and let them critique your business to make sure that you have realistic expectations. Do not get offended when they criticize but rather use this information to come up with better plans for business.
  8. Try a few different ideas. It is important to try a few different business ideas to see which one will work for you. A passionate writer might be great at writing children’s books but he/she will suck in personal development articles. Figure out what works for you.
  9. Do not turn your passion into obsession. When you love doing something you must still be realistic about your plans and expectations. How do you know that your passion has turned into obsession? It is when you start thinking about your passion/business 24 hours a day and when you give up any other opportunities in your daily life (spend an evening out with your friends or take an unexpected trip to the ocean with your family). It is also when you stop noticing any critical comments of your friends or relatives and keep following your passion even when you are on the verge of bankruptcy.
  10. Always have a backup plan. When you are just starting out it is good to have some funds built up in your account (enough to let you live for 6-12 months) or have a half-time job that will let you survive even if your business idea fails. Business laws have nothing to do with passion and your business might be a failure. Be prepared for any consequences and be ready to readjust your plans if needed.

If you follow these tips you will definitely turn your passion into a successful business and start living a brilliantly better life.

Anastasiya Goers writes passionately at Balance In Me. If you feel that your life needs some balance and you are ready to join her journey to a happy and balanced life, subscribe here or follow her on Twitter

20 thoughts on “10 Steps to Turn Your Passion into Business”

  1. Wow, wonderful blog structure! How long have you been running a blog for? you make running a blog look easy. The full glance of your web site is great, let alone the content material!

  2. Hello Anastasiya,

    Thank you for the great post. Lately I have been questioning my career path. I am currently in a position that I truly enjoy however, in about a month I will no longer be in that role. I have a strong passion for helping, coaching, and developing others and my current role affords me the ability to do just that. I have really been considering taking my passion to the next level and turning it into a career. I will definately utilize your advice when I begin my journey to a “brilliantly better life”!

  3. Excellent and very REALISTIC post. As I recently wrote on twitter:

    “Do what you love, CREATE VALUE FOR PEOPLE, and the money will surely follow. (Don’t forget that critical middle step.)”

    But when you align passion, hard work, and fair compensation for your efforts by creating value that people are willing to pay for… there’s almost nothing that you can’t turn into a business to sustain yourself and your family.

  4. Before I leave my comment I’ve got to share something so funny with you. As I was reading your post I literally gasped out loud. I have been so passionately involved in my work this morning I totally forgot I made myself a nice cup of tea and sat it next to my keyboard. So when I read: “even if it means skipping a cup of coffee with your best friend” I looked over to realized my tea was cold and I hadn’t had even a sip! LOL

    I LOVE this post. Found it while doing a little research to see what’s out there as I just wrote something about passion and new business myself. So many of your points I went through over the years as I figured out what I’m really passionate about and how to build that into a business.

    Your point about not being obsessed really hits home with me. I was at a point in my business a few years ago where every waking hour was spent thinking and TALKING about my business – until my family said that had ENOUGH! That finally shocked me back into an appropriate passion level, lol.

  5. For some people this may be the only way to survive! As the economy tanks and the unemployment runs out one should look long and hard at some of the other talents they have! Keep your head up and have faith, we all have somthing to offer.

  6. Pingback: Does Life Balance Mean Life without Passion? | Balance In Me
  7. This is the best blog on the subject I’ve read I think, you make realistic points without being negative on the subject.

    One thing I would add is to make sure you know the nitty-gritty of business. Your passion will have given you a broad knowledge of the subject but make sure you know the industry too. Get business training too, you will need to know about accounts, management etc. Passion is an excellent start but you need practical skills too.

  8. Good points but i’m not sure that anyone will have a successful business just by following them. It’s not easy turning your passions into a full fledged business, many fail. I’m not trying to deter anyone, but it’s worth giving it a good thought.

    What we need here is to start thinking of our work from a business standpoint; how can we make money, what steps can we take, lots of questions come to mind.

    Having said that there is alot of room for business analysts, technologists to make their mark these days; tons of opportunities out there. Btw you did forget one factor, and that’s LUCK; which should never be overlooked.

    Defining your core business to me is more important than passion (to me) as well as staying consistent! Good luck everyone!!!
    .-= Ahad Bokhari´s last blog ..A Recap Of Chirp — Twitter’s First Developer Conference =-.

  9. Hi Anastasiya,

    Thanks for the post.

    I think you make a great point about the difference between a passion and an interest/hobby. There are certain things that we love that may have been a part of our lives for years. And while they might work perfectly as a hobby, they don’t “scale up” well to working as a passion.

    The key seems to be to really think about what pursuing this as a business full-time will entail and whether or not you would be happy with this.

    Also, I think it’s very wise that you suggested getting feedback from friends and family. At the very least, they will help you see things from a different perspective which I think is always good.
    .-= Greg Blencoe´s last blog ..Guest post at Positively Present =-.

  10. I am so glad, Phil, that you are living your … passion. That’s the most amazing life anyone can lead and I am very glad that this is the life I am living too. I’ll be sure to subscribe to your blog because you seem like a very interesting person.
    .-= Anastasiya´s last blog ..How to Make Your Life Absolutely Awesome =-.

  11. Anastaysa –

    You write so well, thanks for an excellent post. I’ve been living my passion by coaching others to make the most of their life and career for a few years now. I can simply confirm that you’ve hit the nail on the head with your suggestions and that treating your passion as a business and not letting it become all consuming are the key ones for me. Great work!

    .-= Phil – Less Ordinary Living´s last blog ..Secret Games We Play and How to Win Them =-.

  12. I literally asked myself today at my brand spanking new job “Can I see myself doing this for the next year even?”. And I knew the answer was no. I left without a word at lunch time. It will be fun to see how things pan out. I’m gonna write loads about it at my blog and make an income that way.
    .-= Richard | RichardShelmerdine.com´s last blog ..Tabata Intervals : Day 30 (Post Mortem) =-.

    • WOW! Good luck with your passion! I really hope that you’ll be able to earn a good living this way. Just don’t forget to look at different aspects of your passion and make sure that you are doing the right thing.
      .-= Anastasiya´s last blog ..How to Make Your Life Absolutely Awesome =-.

  13. Superb step-by-step advice. The hardest part is discovering the difference between passion and hobby – and it’s impossible to know, even if you try hard to visualize, how you really feel about doing your “hobby” or “passion” for days on end, and to earn from it. I think the expectation of certain level of income has to be dropped if one is switching from a very comfortable position, in order to give one time to ramp up and truly get into position for their passion…..Ah so refreshing. thank you……

    • Hi Farnoosh,
      I am glad that you enjoyed the post and I am absolutely agree that discovering passion is the hardest part. I think that a lot of times we also have to make adjustments and choices. What is more important: doing what you love and earning enough for living or doing what you do not like and earning more? This is a tough question and nobody can give a one-fit-all answer to it.
      Thank you for sharing your thoughts!
      .-= Anastasiya´s last blog ..How to Make Your Life Absolutely Awesome =-.

  14. This post really gave me food for thought. Thank you, both Anastasiya and Dragos. Unlike others though, I have fully perfected the art of writing and creating in my pajamas! 🙂 I look forward to visiting your blog, Anatasiya. I have many similar interests.
    .-= Sandra Lee´s last blog ..Acupuncture for chronic pain and chemical sensitivity =-.

  15. Thank you for making the distinction between being passionate about something, and being happy doing it. I am happy with my full-time work, which is doing website development, however what I am passionate about is my art (where I’m going to school to eventually find my way in a career with it). There *is* definitely a difference!
    .-= Eric D. Greene´s last blog ..How to use Oil Pastels =-.

    • I wish you success with pursuing your passion in arts. It’s okay to do different things in life (the ones that pay the bills and the ones that fuel our passions) and I think that sometimes by combining them both we can come up with absolutely creative and amazing ideas.
      .-= Anastasiya´s last blog ..3 Pillars of Life Balance. Do You Have Them in Your Life? =-.

  16. Hi Lana,
    I am glad that you could relate to this post and I am happy to see your comment here. Dragos’s blog is so full of inspirations and timely tips and I am extremely happy to have my post published here.
    .-= Anastasiya´s last blog ..3 Pillars of Life Balance. Do You Have Them in Your Life? =-.

  17. oh, wow, great post from my friend:) very timely for me too. I agree with all the points Anastasiya. Especially treating the business like a hobby, that’s what I was doing for a long time, no wonder it wasn’t working. And the pajamas thing, so true! The brain just refuses to work properly when you are wearing pajamas:) Thank you Dragos for hosting Anastasiya on your blog!


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