As early as grade school, people are taught to get a well-paying job to support themselves and maintain a comfortable standard of living.
While many occupations financially sustain us, how many people can genuinely say their role emotionally fulfills them?
If you find yourself among those unfulfilled by their current professional path, consider taking matters into your own hands, being your own boss, and using your passion for business as a full-time hustle.
Table of contents
- Pros of turning your passion into a business
- Cons of turning your passion into a business
- 7 tips for transforming your passion into a business
- How to decide if you should follow your passion
Pros of turning your passion into a business
Starting a business is no easy task, even for the most seasoned entrepreneurs.
However, difficult does not mean impossible. Using passion in business can prove to be advantageous for those looking to be self-employed.
1. You’ll always have a source of intrinsic motivation
From competitive salaries to robust benefits packages or promotion tracks with enticing title changes, there’s plenty on the table to keep employees motivated.
However, these extrinsic factors will only go so far if your job is not something you genuinely care about.
When you’re intrinsically motivated, you have a source from within that you can replenish or tend to on your terms.
You won’t need to depend on a source outside of yourself that can potentially be taken away. You’re fully able to tap into your true passion.
2. You won’t dread your workweek
There’s a reason sayings like “TGIF” and “I hate Mondays” have become popularized.
With 41% of employees experiencing burnout, many have come to dread their workweek. For 40 hours a week, they’re simply using work as a means to an end and have lost the importance of passion.
When you turn your passion into a business, you may notice you’ll stop counting down the hours until 5 o’clock on Friday afternoons. Your passion will help transform your hard work into something you genuinely enjoy.
Instead of hitting snooze on your Monday morning alarm, you’ll be looking forward to getting the week started.
3. Your brand will feel authentic
Nowadays, consumers are becoming more knowledgeable regarding business branding.
With so much information available, consumers can be more discerning whether a business owner’s overarching mission aligns with their values and if the business is an authentic representation of the behind-the-scenes business practices they don’t get to see firsthand.
Inauthenticity and an overall questionable brand deter customers from returning. When using a business passion for building your brand, you’re less likely to create something that comes off as disingenuous since you have invested personal time and care into it.
Cons of turning your passion into a business
There are two sides to every coin, especially when building a business from your passions. Although there are clear benefits, there are also many obstacles you may encounter.
A successful entrepreneur will consider both to help make a more informed decision.
1. You may struggle to find a work-life balance
You may find yourself with a whole lot more motivation to work longer days to start your new business. You may also experience a more intense fear of failure, and reasonably so!
You’re taking a leap of faith by pursuing your passion.
In any case, you’ll likely find yourself putting in more hours than the typical worker.
Quantity of work does not always directly translate to the quality of your work. Burnout is still very possible and something to consider.
Knowing your limits and implementing a healthy work-life balance can help mitigate the risk of running yourself into the ground so you have the mental and physical energy needed for success.
2. Others may not share the same level of passion
You’ll likely be recruiting like-minded and skilled professionals to help get your business off the ground and continue as it grows. Even after the most careful vetting processes, there’s potential for the people you onboard not to be as passionate about your cause as you are.
Even business partners are individuals who have their respective passions. While you may share a lot of common ground, sharing the same level of passion can be a difficult hurdle to overcome. On days you’re ready to put your nose to the grindstone, others may need to take a step back.
3. When things get tough, you might take it personally
Passions are very personal and unique to each individual. Your passions are likely something you’ve poured a significant amount of emotional energy into before you decided to turn it into a business. Therefore, there’s a lot at stake when striving for business success.
The reality of entrepreneurship is that the road to success is not usually linear. You’ll face obstacles, setbacks, and unforeseeable difficulties.
When things start to head in this direction, it can be challenging not to take it personally. Remind yourself that this is the nature of business.
Just because you’re personally tied to your business passion does not always mean you’re directly at fault for what comes your way.
7 tips for transforming your passion into a business
After considering the pros and cons of following your passion, you may be wondering, “Where would I even start?”
The following tips can set you up for the start of your passion project.
1. Identify your passions
While this may seem self-explanatory, it’s important to discern the difference between a hobby vs. passion. Sit down with yourself and reflect.
A hobby is just a fun pastime you can ultimately step away from and come back to at your leisure. A passion, however, is something integral to who you’re, something you can’t go without.
2. Flesh out a solid idea
Building a solid foundation for your passion project is a must, and it starts with a good idea. Do some research and gather inspiration. Be sure you’re bringing something fresh and inventive to the market you’re trying to enter.
Look to other startups, successful businesses, and entrepreneurs for inspiration. Put together a list of potential ideas with business models, then discern the most viable options. Ask for feedback from dependable sources to gain some perspective.
3. Be realistic about time, expenses, and milestones
Starting a business is not only a serious time commitment but a significant financial undertaking as well.
Make sure you’ve carefully considered costs and accounted for the resources necessary to get you up and running. To stay flexible, consider starting a business from home.
Likewise, be realistic about the time frame of all the goals you’ve set for yourself. To keep your business progressing, you’ll want to reach important milestones consistently.
4. Research potential competitors
Even after you’ve solidified what you believe to be a successful idea, research potential competitors to see what you’re up against.
Does your business provide something for consumers your competitors don’t? Is there an improved service or product you can offer?
5. Network with professionals who can help
Networking is a powerful tool that shouldn’t be underestimated when starting a business. There are many lessons to be learned from those who have been in your position before. Tapping into your network can help.
LinkedIn is a great place to start. Leverage any mutual connections, and be sure to express why you’re looking to connect with the specific contact.
Offer to treat them to lunch or coffee or suggest a virtual meet-up if they would feel safer doing so.
6. Give yourself structure
Starting a business offers flexibility in your days and overall independence. When you’re not pinned to the schedule of a traditional office setting, take the initiative to structure your days. Optimized productivity is key to keeping your efforts moving.
Create a morning routine to stick to so you get up and move at the same time every day. Block off time for meetings in advance as well as particular focus time for yourself.
Plan to wrap up work around the same time every day to maintain balance.
7. Ask for feedback along the way
As mentioned earlier, getting a business idea in motion typically involves more than one person. There’s always something to learn, improve upon or rework. Asking for business advice from other entrepreneurs will bring a fresh perspective to your work.
How to decide if you should follow your passion
All things considered, is it time for you to follow your passion?
If the answer is yes, there are still a few more questions to ask yourself before getting a business plan together. Be honest with your answers so your entrepreneurial passion can reach its full potential.
Questions to ask yourself:
- Have I done enough research on my idea and competitors?
- Am I bringing something new to the market and its consumer base?
- Do I have the time and resources available to commit to this fully?
- Do I have a good network of connections to lean on?
- Will this financially support me currently and in the future?
Everybody starts somewhere
Once you’ve settled on a business idea and concluded you have all the necessary resources, take your passion for business and get it in motion. Remember that everybody starts somewhere, and a little dedication goes a long way in entrepreneurship.