One of the major pointers to success for any business owner is the ability to become laser focused on a specific group of people – your niche, developing a shop and environment for them, and building relationships with them. But, how do you find that place where you want to put all your focus? How do you determine where you want your focus to be?
Be Mindful of Dissatisfaction Cues
Do you know your audience? Do you understand what makes them happy, and in turn, can you do that without being frustrated and distracted? Perhaps you’re a clerk working in an office, but your hobby is creating fashionable looks like they have on the runways. When you’re at the office you feel dead inside. But you think that’s all you know so you plan to start a business that has to do with numbers, such as bookkeeping.
However, when you’re creating that fashionable outfit and adding shoes and other accessories you feel alive. Pay attention to that feeling and find a way to bring that excitement to your business by doing something with the audience who loves what you do. You might decide to focus on teaching others how to make their own outfits and styles, or owning your own shop (small or large). Maybe you add in other options to your business, like personal shopping and online website sales. You feel excited, happy and alive. You’ve found your business focus. Sometimes it is that easy!
Determine Where Your Gifts Lie
What are you good at doing? In the example above the person has an ability with numbers due to education or a former passion, but their true calling is fashion, clothing and accessories. Someone like that will always be unhappy being stuck inside an office toiling away at a computer. Sure, all businesses have paperwork to do, but it’s important for you to figure out how your gifts align with a business that you’ll love. You love talking to people and finding the right looks for them, that is your passion. But what is your style? Do you love the new, modern looks or old fashioned “vintage” style with lace and peter pan collars? Which ever it is, you can create a shop that will meet those needs to be a resource to your market and love what you do.
The fashion lover’s ability with numbers will come in handy building a business that focuses on other fashion divas and lovers of all the same style that they have. They will seek you out. Write down your skills (whether you have fun doing them or not), then write down the things you’re passionate about. Give it a few days to consider how these things can relate together.
Be honest with yourself about what you really will love doing, compared to what you’ve been told you will make money at. Making money is essential to your life, of course, but money will not cure misery if what you’re doing doesn’t bring you happiness too. Let’s be honest, even if you love what you are doing, there are days it will be just a job. But more often than not, if you are doing what you love you will find most days to be exhilarating. What’s the thing that you do that is exhilarating?
Talk to Someone
It can be helpful to find someone to talk to about what kind of business you want to start before doing it. A business life coach can be very helpful in weeding through all the questions and getting to the right answers for you. However, don’t employ a life coach if you’re not willing to think outside yourself, and let go of fears. A life coach can only guide you; you’re the one who is going to be doing all the hard work. If you’re not ready for hard work, the coaching will not be successful. I provide some coaching to help you find the right passion and get your shop on the right track with both local buyers and on the web.
There is no reason why your passion cannot also be a way to make money. You just have to figure out how to do it. Be creative, think outside the box, and before you know it, your business will fill your bank with money and your heart with joy. If your business is aligned with your values, and offers you the ability to do things that you’re good at and enjoy, you will be successful. You will find that mix of things that serve your market by making sure you are aligned with what they want, not just making money.
Even if you can’t go all the way as in the example above, perhaps you can focus your business in some way. For instance, the person described here could become a bookkeeper specifically for a boutique owner and their businesses. The sky is only the limit if your imagination ends there. And being a bookkeeper for a shop may be the best way (or a clerk, or a stylist, etc) to see what the business is like and if you’d really find joy in it.
I would love to know what your passion is. Let me know in the comments and how you plan to do more of it.