I’m in the business of building people’s dreams into a visible, tangible, and profitable reality through design and media. Creativity is my passion and I can honestly say that I get to do everything I’ve dreamed of doing and often more. While hard work is invaluable in the process, smart work is what gets you results.
Are you doing what you’ve always dreamed of? If not, there are steps you can begin to take today to turn your passion into a full-blown successful career within just a few short months!
Lack of passion for your work often means you will never be able to contribute your full potential to it. On top of that, you may not be getting full potential out of your life since for most of us, work takes up a significant part of our days, weeks, months, and years. So let’s not waste any more precious time and jump right in!
WHAT IS YOUR PASSION? IDENTIFY IT.
Your passion is something you enjoy doing and are naturally excellent at. What do you want to be known for? If you haven’t figured this part out yet, it’s ok. Here are some things you can do to discover your passion:
- Make a list of all the things you enjoy doing, this could be anything and should include everything you think of even if it sounds childish or silly. In fact, you should revisit your childhood in this attempt to remember and discover what you loved to do.
- Who is your inspiration? Make a list of people who inspire you and why. Regardless of the business, there are always people successful within it. Study them and understand what it is that makes them successful in their field. Get motivated by the masters.
- What qualities do you want people to associate with you? What’s the first thing you want to pop into someone’s head when they hear your name? Write down everything you can think of.
- What do you value? List what is important to you in life, business and relationships with others.
Look at your lists and brainstorm what type of services you can offer to others that align with your interests, inspiration, natural qualities and values. Try to go over each list and groups similar items together that make sense to you. You can name these groups anything you want. This is the starting point of branding yourself and gives a good outline of what areas you should concentrate on being known for.
DETERMINE DEMAND & YOUR IDEAL MARKET
Think of the type of people that could benefit from having you in their lives. Who are the people you want to help with your passion? Try to describe them in as much detail as you can. This is called a “persona”. It is essentially a fictional character you create to help establish the demographics you are targeting. Personas are often synthesized from research and some data collection to help visualize who could benefit from what you’re passionate about. This is a very important exercise to do for any business venture.
Picture yourself working your dream job. What does this look like? Imagine yourself in your ideal environment doing work that you find love and find satisfying. Envision interacting with people you are happy to work with that appreciate you. Meditate on this in a relaxed, quiet state each day for a bit. Allow yourself to daydream positive visions of yourself and your life. Add any details that are important to you, including making more money or your own hours, spending more time with your loved ones or being a strong accomplished player in your industry. Visualization is a powerful technique of using your imagination to create what you desire in life. You don’t need to believe in any spiritual ideas or have faith in any outside power other than yourself. Program your brain to envision, and consequently cultivate positivity in every aspect of your life with simple visualization techniques you can do anywhere at any time. Allow your imagination and the power of visualization to help you reach any and all your goals.
MAKE A BUSINESS PLAN
I am surprised at how few people and businesses take the time to write out their business and marketing plans. I assure you these are some of the most important documents you will ever write. Even if no one ever sees them. Writing out a plan for your business opens your eyes and really helps you see the big picture and understanding if your passion is worth pursuing, as well as how much time and money you can invest into it. Writing a marketing plan helps you determine how many social media platforms you can tackle and which ones will work best for your type of business idea. These plans will help you plan budgets, brainstorm ideas, and truly understand your prospective market and their needs as well as who your competition is and what they are doing to succeed in the field. There is no right or wrong way to write your business plan. Some will be very lengthy, others more brief. The key thing is to get thinking about the business concepts as they relate to your passion project. Many resources are available online, so choose a template you like and fill out as much information about your business idea as you can. Here a great one from Business Development Bank of Canada: https://www.bdc.ca/en/articles-tools/entrepreneur-toolkit/templates-business-guides/pages/business-plan-template-thank-you.aspx
BABY STEPS EVERY DAY ACCUMULATE TO GIANT LEAPS
Show up every day for a year and see what happens. Sometimes reaching your dreams and goals is simply a matter of connecting with them every day, even for as little as 15 minutes to start. You and your passion must foster a relationship. Day by day, small attempts at doing anything that aligns with your passion will turn into a greater momentum of your passions becoming something you do daily. When you practise something daily, you become more expertly at it with each day. Not everyone does what you do daily, therefore it is a unique skill that is driven by your passion, making it likely you will naturally succeed at it.
PUT YOURSELF OUT THERE
Today we live in a truly amazing time for personal brands and marketing. Like never before, we are able to reach millions of people at the speed of light (and social media). This means that your passion has more odds than ever before of becoming a successful dream business on any budget. Brand your passion and start letting people know about what you’re doing and how you can help them. Befriend social media. Choose one or two social media outlets like Facebook or Instagram to start with and explore the possibilities, then add another platform when you feel comfortable. Start posting what matters to you. Keep it professional and in alignment with your passion. Start a trail of your journey and it will naturally grow into a story others will want to hear.
CONSULT WITH A BUSINESS MENTOR, PERSONAL COACH OR MARKETING EXPERT
Research and reach out to someone who can help you pave the way for your passion. It is invaluable to hear what other professionals think of what you’re doing and if they can contribute value to your dream. You may even get some great ideas you wouldn’t have otherwise thought of. Many business experts will offer a free initial consultation. Use this to help guide your path and answer any questions you have along the way.
MAKE IT REAL WITH A LOGO, WEBSITE & PROMOTIONAL COLLATERAL
Once you’re ready to make your passion a real business, start with a logo. Logos range greatly in price, and you typically get what you pay for. Make sure to find a designer that understands your market and takes the time to research, hand-sketch original ideas and work with you to get exactly what you want your brand identity to be.
Once you have a logo, the next step would be to apply it to a website. A website is the lifeline and cornerstone for any personal or business brand. An online business is the easiest to start and operate, while still allowing you to keep your job (at least for now) and work at your own pace. A website is not only there to make you look polished and professional, but it plays an incredibly important role in helping you streamline and organize your ideas. A website is ever changing and grows with you by providing you and your visitors a visual map and information that you want to be known for. A website can make or break your image and business so it’s vital to hire the right designer who can give likeness and life to your passion. Don’t underestimate the value of good honest content. Spend the time writing for your site or hire someone who can frame your ideas into a responsive digital symphony of amazing information, graphics, style and usability.
To further compliment your brand and open more opportunities to have your prospects take you seriously, it is a good idea to invest in some print promotional graphics like a business card, brochure or flyer that you can network with. When you invest in yourself, you make others want to invest in you too!
COMMIT TO A CONSTANT NEVER-ENDING IMPROVEMENT OF YOUR PASSION & START NOW!
Consider this article the first step towards doing what you love and always wanted to do! If you haven’t yet made the lists to help identify your passion, do this now. It only takes a few minutes. Make a plan of how you are going to incorporate working on your passion daily and make it easy to commit to. Do what you can, but try to do something every day. Any effort made will amount to a pleasantly surprising show of your skills in no time! You can do this while keeping your day job until you see your efforts manifest into your dream. Keep persevering and stay inspired through a constant curiosity that keeps building on your skills and foundation by researching, connecting with others, and always trying to learn more.
With all these elements in place you will be well on your way to pursuing and growing your passion into a business and career you will love.