So you are trying to figure out what business to start and you’re stuck. You’ve been hearing that if you want to become a successful entrepreneur, you should be passionate about your business. That’s good advice.
“Passion is energy. Feel the power that comes from focusing on what excites you.” -Oprah Winfrey
You need something to push you through the difficult times, failures and hard work that entrepreneurship promises. Passion will do the trick.
But sometimes that’s a problem because you just don’t know what you are passionate about.
How do I know what business to start if I don’t know my passion?
Babies aren’t born with a sticker on their butt that says what their passion is. We have to figure it out for ourselves. Our school system doesn’t even try to help kids find their passion. The worst part is that many people go through their entire lives without any real passion.
But you want to quit your job. You want to start a business so you can Quit Working. You don’t have years and years to go meditate in a forrest while you figure out your passion. You’re in the right place.
Here’s some quick advice. To finally determine what business to start that you will be passionate about, look at a few things:
1. What do I love doing?
What do I love to do? We’ve been conditioned to believe that work sucks, so what we love is the last thing we’d think of to make money. It should be the first thing. Make this your starting point and keep your mind wide open. Nothing is off limits here. Don’t dismiss something you love doing because it comes easy to you or you enjoy it.
Put the idea out of your head that working is supposed to suck. That’s a terrible lie you’ve been told. Working is not supposed to suck; it’s supposed to be the thing that fires you up the most and comes easiest to you.
2. What am I good at?
Get really analytical about this. Look deeply at the things you do — your job, hobbies, special interests, etc. and look at what makes you good at them. For example, if you fix computers, what makes you good at fixing computers? Look beyond the obvious things like knowing a lot about computers or having a lot of experience or practice. Lots of people know things and have experience.
What is it about YOU that makes you really good at fixing computers? Is it your ability to troubleshoot complex problems? Is it your ability to understand complicated things quickly? Is it your ability to build great relationships with the manufacturer so you can get help from them?
Crack open your mind and figure out what you are uniquely good at. If you can’t figure it out, ask other people who know you for their ideas.
3. What do I care about?
You have to care about your business a lot — a whole lot. You have to care about it enough to make all the sacrifices required to be successful. All the long nights, the worry, the failure and the disappointment. (Don’t worry, it’s totally worth it).
So, ask yourself: What is the thing you care about more than anything?
Passion isn’t everything
Passion is just the start. To be successful requires devotion. Your passion has to be so strong that it becomes devotion. Devotion is the fierce commitment to succeed that only comes from something you care deeply about. Something you care so deeply about that you’d do anything for it.
You might get it wrong
Yep, you might totally miss the mark. You might start a business you end up hating. That’s ok. It will be a tremendous learning experience and you’ll be out of the 9-5, so you’ll be way ahead of where you were before.
Plan B: take it freelance
So, what if you’ve done all that and you still don’t know what business to start? Don’t worry, you’ll get there. You can still quit your job. Sometimes it makes sense to just chuck the passion thing out the window temporarily. Sometimes you just have to take your existing job and “go freelance.” Even if it’s not exactly what you want to do long term, by moving off the dependence of a 9-5, you’ll gain business and entrepreneurship skills and begin to get used to the self-employed life. The best part is that you’ll create more flexibility in your lifestyle and allow yourself to work on finding your passion.