How to turn your passion into a business
A wise person once said, "Don't ask yourself what the world needs; ask yourself what makes you come alive. And then be a go-getter. What the world needs is people who have come alive."
When I look at those around me who are great at what they do and are happy doing it, I realise it's the passion for their work that underpins their success.
From monetary accomplishments to the satisfaction of doing something one loves — passion is the fuel for our success. However, many give up on their passions and take up what comes first and most straightforward.
Finding your calling may seem like hopping on an emotional rollercoaster, consisting of the highest of highs and lowest of lows, while constantly pondering if this ride will come to an abrupt screeching halt.
However, the ride is worth it if every step is taken with the perfect amalgamation of what one's heart desires and the brain's logic.
Most successful businesses have been built on passion. For example, Mark Zuckerberg started a side project that became Facebook; Harley-Davidson began as a hobby of two friends — Arthur Davidson and William Harley, and Bill Gates dropped out of studying law at Harvard to pursue his passion - Microsoft.
Here are a few tips that would help one take the first step towards turning their passion into a successful venture.
Learn all there is to learn about the industry and become an expert
Research is the key to learn all there is to know about the product and the industry.
Sometimes outside appearances can be deceiving, therefore invest in learning through primary and secondary sources, including and not restricted to talking to people from the said industry, attending seminars, doing trial runs, etc.
Write a business plan
The business plan is the blueprint of your venture. According to the Strategic Entrepreneurial Journey, entrepreneurs who write a formal plan are 16 percent more likely to achieve viability than those who do not.
This should include a list of products and services, a sales and marketing strategy, a management team, and a financial plan.
Build a team of equally passionate people
Build a team that shares the same vision and passion as you. Identifying the right people is a skill, which is acquired over time.
Leveraging long-standing ties, networking in the right circles, and keeping an open mind when speaking to new people can help fasten this process. Focusing on one's strengths and filling in the gaps by leveraging your team's strengths is the key to growing more quickly.
As human beings, we have been conditioned to seek acceptance from those around us. When we rely on others to not just like us but our products and services, the temptation is to offer something that pleases as many people as possible. The danger here is if one gets too much contradictory advice, we risk questioning our beliefs. The key is to know who to ask.
Network and tell as many people as possible
The best way to figure out how to leverage your network is to connect with people who have started their businesses in the same industry.
This would ameliorate your knowledge and help you form an informal advisory board of people who have gone through a similar journey.
Have a clear goal
Being an entrepreneur sounds fantastic to others. However, what others do not see is the battles you fight every day and every minute to grow the business, so one must be clear on what the goal is and willing to work to reach this goal.
It's sacrosanct to break down your grand vision into small and achievable expectations. Planning and having a schedule to achieve the tiny targets can help profusely. To achieve these targets, establish realistic expectations to avoid dejection if slower-than-expected growth occurs.
Take it one after the other; don't over-eat the dreams you have
Every business is a risk. Taking mini-steps can help minimise the risks, monitor minutely, analyse every mistake, and learn as much as possible.
If the thought of financial insecurity and uncertainty is the core obstacle stopping you from taking the entrepreneurial plunge, start while keeping your day job.
The best way to ensure that your passion turns into profit is to commence your business while you still have the security and safety of your career as an employee.
In no way does this accentuate the lack of courage, but only the presence of true business spirit. You can quit your full-time job once your passion project renders an increasing and sustainable monetary accomplishment, that is, at least 75 percent of your current salary.
In fact, it's wise to have at least some months' worth of savings in an unfortunate event the business doesn't grow as rapidly as expected.
It is essential to remind yourself that success doesn't happen overnight. It's crucial never to overlook the most significant ingredient — passion — which gives you the edge.
The more passionate you are, the easier the convoluted entrepreneurial journey would seem; doing what you love will make the project not feel like work.
(Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of YourStory.)