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.
- 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.
- 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?
- 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.
- 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.
- 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).
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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