There’s this idea we should all be capable of “living the dream”. That if only we can get the answer to “how to find your passion” and start the right home business, the land of milk and honey will open up.
It’s a mystical ideal, that your passion becomes your day job and all life’s problems melt away. Work becomes fulfilling and you look forward to every day.
At least that’s the idea…
What’s Your Passion (And Does It Need To Be Your Day Job)?
I’m just going to talk reality a moment before we go any further. Some years ago, I lived among the professional climbing community in the Scottish Highlands.
These people had managed to turn a passion for climbing into their day job. Everyday they were either climbing for themselves, or as guides, (or waiting for a weather window).
You would expect these people to be living blissful lives. They were following their passion every single day. Yet I doubt they were happier than any other group of people I’ve come across.
Does Your Career Need To Be Your Passion?
These climbers still found something to moan about: keeping sponsors happy, about the clients they guided or just the normal stuff – love, money, injuries…
In some ways, turning their passion into a career, diminished their love of climbing. Having to climb almost daily, needing to always be fit, chipped away at their dreams.
You do of course get the David Attenborough types. His passion for the natural world is undiminished at 94 and he thrives on a quest for knowledge. But I sneakily suspect that Sir David would have been super happy and enthusiastic whatever career he’d chosen.
Maybe enjoying your career is just a mindset. Try changing your perspective on the life you have right now rather than chasing dreams. Give your life an audit. Look at what’s good and see if you can change the bits you don’t like.
Does this sound a bit negative? It’s not meant to be. I just want to make the point that it’s possible to have more than one passion in life. And that’s okay! What you do on a Monday morning doesn’t have to match what you get up to at the weekend.
Discovering Your Passion
This is a blog about tiny businesses and working from home. So I’m going to narrow down this big huge subject to finding a passion you can use for your home business idea.
Why do you need to start a business around something you’re passionate about? You don’t have to but it certainly helps. Imagine promoting something you have no interest in for years and years and years… Imagine how hard it would be to get out of bed in the morning!
So here goes…
How To Find Your Passion
- Ask Yourself Some Simple Questions.
- What do you hate doing?
- What are you good at?
- Think about your best times, analyse what made them special.
- Look for the overlaps, the keys to how to find your passion.
- Test if it’s a money making idea.
- Start something!
#1 Ask Yourself Some Simple Questions.
Start with these:
What would you do if you had several hours to yourself one afternoon and no pressure from work or any other influence?
(Mine would be going for a long run or walk in the hills (possibly with friends), then curling up post run with the latest Jack Reacher novel. I managed to turn my love of the outdoors into my last 7 figure business. Still haven’t thought of a way of using my passion for fast paced crime novels!)
If you won the lottery tomorrow, and had enough money to do anything you wanted, what would you still be doing with your time in 5 years time?
When you read newspapers or magazines, what type of information do you look for first?
Make a list of the things you love doing or reading about. It can be a very short list, only one or two items or a long list. That depends on you and the type of person you are. It’s not a competition…
#2 What do you hate doing?
We need to get this out of the way. Blast away about the things you hate doing. It could be about your job, your life ANYTHING. Just get it done.
So you hate your job. You just need to make sure, when you start your business, you don’t fall into the same trap, doing things you don’t want to do.
Write your list and move on…
#3 What are you good at?
No this isn’t the same question as what do you enjoy doing. I might enjoy watching Strictly Come Dancing, but I’m a terrible dancer! It’s a shame but our skills don’t always match our interests.
Think about people who ask you for advice. What do they ask you about? Or try asking your friends and family. Just don’t get upset by the answers! (What do you mean I can’t cook!)
It’s not just topics. Do you have certain characteristics people appreciate? Are you a good negotiator, or the person who defuses family arguments. Are you good at budgets or did you ace transforming your home from an unloved empty flat into a place everyone wants to hang out?
Make another list…
#4 Think about your best times, analyse what made them special.
If you look back at all your different experiences, which ones were the best? Try and break them down into the types of things you were doing.
What were the enjoyable parts of these experiences that made them so special? For example I once ran a section overseas designing flour mills. I didn’t particularly like flour mills but I still enjoyed my work.
Breaking it down, what I enjoyed was living in an international community, teaching my staff and leading a tight knit section. I’m now using these things I enjoy to build the One Tiny Biz community.
Try thinking about the best periods in your life. What made certain times good? What can you takeaway and add to the list of things you love doing?
#5 Look for the overlaps, the keys to how to find your passion.
Take your lists and star the things you’re good at AND love. Cross off the things you’re good at but don’t really enjoy doing. What’s left?
Does anything obvious stand out? It could be something that embraces just one particular skill or something that overlaps and pulls in several of your different interests.
If you’re looking for a blog idea it could be based on a few topics provided there’s a common thread that pulls them all together. For example someone who loves food, french and travel could blog about french cuisine, seeking out authentic small town restaurants to review.
#6 Test if it’s a money making idea.
A business idea doesn’t need to be unique. It’s far easier to tell if you have a winning idea, if other people are doing something similar to make money.
That doesn’t mean copying! It means taking an existing niche and adding your own personality, your own style or slant.
Go through your ideas and check if other people are already making money from them. Of course you could be a trailblazer, the next Microsoft or Dyson, but be warned that’s not an easy path!
#7 Start something!
Navel gazing and looking for the perfect idea won’t get you anywhere. Spoiler alert! The perfect idea doesn’t exist. Instead successful businesses evolve.
They start. They find out what works, what doesn’t work. The good ones adjust.
You can spend your whole life searching for your passion, your eureka moment and let a whole pile of opportunity pass you by. Instead list a few ideas, pick the one you feel is best and start something…
Don’t let life pass you by…
Chasing the answer to how to find your passion can be something you get too hung up on. Not everyone will have one big thing they develop into a business or career… and that’s okay. Instead your business idea can be a mash up of several things you enjoy.
The important thing is to make a start. Don’t waste months, years finding the perfect idea! Life’s too short ! Just start, adapt, adjust. That way you’ll find your passion…
Make a list – what do you love doing, what do you hate doing and what are you good at. Analyse the best times in your life. Look for overlaps where you love something and you’re good at it. Test if it’s a money making idea. Just start something and adapt as you go.