They say that when you love what you do, you never work a day in your life. Yet, every day you hear about someone who turned their hobby or pet project into a huge business. But how can you be one of those people? How do you turn your passion into a business? Read on to find out.

Five Steps to Turn Your Passion Into a Business

Step 1: Identify Your Passion

For some people, it’s easy to identify their passion. If you ask, they immediately answer that they love surfing, or photography, or collecting Pokémon, or whatever. If you are one of those people who already know what you love to do, proceed to step two.

If you don’t know what your passion is, here are some ways to help identify it.

Take a Variety of Classes

Look at your local community college or recreational center, or visit a website that offers a wide range of affordable courses. Register for anything that captures your interest. Take a class in HTML, or basket weaving, or archery, or German language.

Try creative writing, video editing, soap making, karate, etc., until you find something that clicks with you.

Narrow Down Your Options

Sometimes you can help find your passion by narrowing down your options. For example, ask yourself a series of either/or questions:

  • Would you rather be indoors or outdoors?
  • Work alone or with others?
  • Engage in physical activities or mental ones?
  • Work for money or for a cause?
  • Stay in your city or go somewhere else?

Asking a series of yes/no or either/or questions helps to eliminate many possibilities and help you zero in on your passion.

Use Your Imagination

Another way to help identify your passion is simply to use your imagination. If money weren’t an obstacle, what would you do with your time? What did you dream of doing when you were a kid? Imagine yourself waking up one day five years from now and starting your day – what does it hold?

Look for Inspiration

Research other business owners and entrepreneurs and look for stories that inspire you. For example, review successful projects on Kickstarter, look up startups that have launched from your local incubators, or read about other entrepreneurs.

Remember that people have launched successful businesses at any age and from circumstances. It is never too late to find your passion and turn it into work you love.

Step 2: Become an Expert

While there is some debate about whether it takes 10,000 hours to become an expert in something, you need to invest time, money, and energy to become an expert. Therefore, no matter how passionate you are, expertise is crucial when starting your own business. Some of the areas to become an expert in are:

Equipment

From computer games to scuba diving to playing a musical instrument, many activities involve understanding and mastering equipment.

An expert knows how to operate all the equipment, choose the right equipment for different situations, determine which is best, and often troubleshoot or repair the necessary equipment. This expert knowledge allows you to better enjoy activities, make the right choices for your needs, and be the basis of a business. 

Skill

Sometimes it isn’t the tools you use, but how you use them. Experts know the best way to julienne a carrot, fold an origami robot, or grout bathroom tile. Often this type of expertise only comes with practice and repetition, as you learn from your mistakes and find efficiencies as you go.

Education

Learning is an entirely different skill than teaching, and yet teaching is a service that can often ignite a new business. Teaching is also an excellent way to become an expert at something; often, explaining something to someone else and answering their questions is a great way to expand your own knowledge.

Everyone knows someone who’s an expert. Maybe they know everyone who ever pitched for the Mets or the best time of year to catch trout or the best pairing of wine with cabbage.

The point is that these people are usually respected within their expertise, and people want to hear what they have to say.  

Step 3: Connect with Your Community

If you love something and are passionate about it, so is someone else. Find them. Finding a community of people who share your passion is crucial, not just for more enjoyment of your activities but also to gather the information you need to start your business and succeed.

You can find like-minded people on meetup and social gathering apps, online forums and discussion groups, in classes and events … simply search for your activity, and you will find others who care about it.

Participating in the community helps you learn and share more, establish a reputation as an expert, and get crucial early feedback and discussion about your business plans.

How to Turn Your Passion Into a Business

Step 4: Create an Opportunity

Armed with your expertise and backed by your community, it’s time to create an opportunity. Here are some things to consider.

  • Is there a resource everyone wishes they had?
  • Is there a common question that newcomers always ask?
  • Is there an equipment change or upgrade that people often need?
  • Is there a mistake that people make over and over?
  • Are there aspects of the activity that can be made more efficient, user-friendly, more affordable, more sustainable?

When engaging in your passion, pay attention to slow or inconvenient things, or resources that are difficult to access, or information that is hard to find. Chances are, if these things bother or inconvenience you, they inconvenience other people as well, and that’s a great place to find an opportunity.

Many people start businesses based on knowledge, showing people how to do something or how to do it right. Or they offer products backed by expertise on which products are best and how to choose the right one for you.

Or they invent a new product or service that improves on what’s currently available. Or they create a resource like a website or an app that collects information into a single destination.

Your knowledge and expertise will help you understand what people who share your passion want, need, and are willing to pay for. Then, once you know what the opportunities are, you can start making your plan to turn them into a business. 

Step 5: Start Your Business

In the very beginning, you can start your online business with just a blog or social media network, where you attract people who share your passion. Be authentic and make a real connection with your followers, who will support your new business.

The process for starting a business depends significantly on whether you are selling products or services. Here are some things to consider:

If you are selling products:

  • Will you be purchasing products wholesale and then selling them to customers?
  • Will you need to store an inventory or ship products to people who order online?
  • Will you require retail space or help with order fulfillment?

You may want to look into having a dropshipping business or doing affiliate marketing, which allows you to sell products without the hassle of managing physical inventory.

If you are selling services, several e-commerce sites are already optimized for selling services online. For example, if you want to offer group classes and workshops, one-on-one consultations, how-to guides, and similar services, there is a wide range of options.

In addition, many people selling such services also compile those courses and workshop materials into a book, which can be an additional source of revenue.

Remember that simply having a successful online presence and a large community can create other opportunities with potential advertisers and collaborators.

No matter how you choose to run your business, you will need to invest in a legal registration process to protect your trademark and make sure you are in compliance with all applicable laws. Just because it’s an online business doesn’t mean it isn’t a ‘real business,’ so it’s worth getting expert advice and starting off on the right foot.

Discuss your plan with a business expert, a financial advisor, and perhaps even an attorney to make sure you aren’t missing crucial steps or essential information.

Conclusion

While turning your passion into a business may seem like a childish dream, it actually can be done, and people do it every day.

When you are passionate about your hobby, your activities, your community, or even simply being passionate about helping others and making a positive contribution, your genuine interest and commitment can provide the energy you need to learn more, connect with others, share your excitement, and become better every day.

It’s the exact same energy you need to overcome obstacles, find opportunities, and run a successful business. Combining your passion with hard work and persistence is a recipe for success. 

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