Opinions expressed by Businessman the taxpayers are yours.
Which way is better to establish a business? There are possibly two paths an entrepreneur can take. The first is to follow the needs of the market and build a business plan to solve the world’s biggest problems, and in doing so, they believe they will succeed and change the world. The other path an entrepreneur can follow is to listen to his vocation, his passion and pursue it. Having tried both paths in my entrepreneurial past, I feel very strongly that the second path is the one that entrepreneurs must follow. It turns out that following your passion and being a hero in business are not mutually exclusive.
Following the market alone doesn’t work
When I started my business, Little You, I was following my passion. Originally as part of a school project, I wanted to encourage children’s creativity by creating custom 3D printed avatars and felt it was a great way to solve the problem that creativity scores drop dramatically as children get older and older. they become adults. As a creative person, I was passionate about this business and wanted nothing more than to be successful. However, as I investigated more and delved into the topic of creativity scores in adults, I learned that solving this problem would not change the world and that little could be done to maintain creativity scores from ages five to 30. I found that the custom avatar market is part of a niche category, and not as big as I initially thought.
Related: 6 Steps to Turning Your Passion into a Career
From there, I decided to follow the trend and adapt to what I thought the market wanted. I gave up Little You and started a business called U-Dimensions. U-Dimensions would offer a free marketplace for video game companies to produce and sell 3D printed products and marketing materials. After four years of working at U-Dimensions, I realized that I was not following my passion and felt dissatisfied. I decided to follow my passion and resume work at Little You. I decided never to give up my passion again.
When an entrepreneur is not passionate about his business, it will not meet his motivational needs and the business is doomed in the long run, regardless of how successful it is.
Experts agree that passion is important to your business
Many well-known entrepreneurs have spoken publicly about the importance of finding a vocation or following your passion.
For example, Apple CEO Steve Jobs’s commencement speech at Stanford University in 2005 is known as the “follow your heart” speech. He recalls a quote he heard at age 17 and the impact it had on him:
… ‘If you live each day as if it were your last, one day you will surely be right’ … Since then, for the last 33 years, I have looked at myself in the mirror every morning and asked myself: ‘If today was the last day of my life, would I want to do what I’m going to do today? ‘and whenever the answer has been’ no ‘for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something … Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.
Arguably one of the most successful and brilliant entrepreneurs of our time had about fifteen minutes to tell these young people whatever he wanted, and chose to talk about doing something you love and following your heart.
Related: As Steve Jobs once said, ‘People with passion can change the world
Another famous example is Phil Knight, the founder of Nike, in his 2016 memoir. Dog shoe writes:
I had a painful feeling that our time is short, shorter than we ever imagined, shorter like a morning run, and I wanted (my life) to have meaning. And decided. And creative. And important. Above all … different. … I would tell men and women in their twenties not to settle for a job or a profession or even a career. Look for a calling. Even if you don’t know what that means, look it up. If you are following his call, the fatigue will be easier to bear, the disappointments will be fuel, the highs will be like nothing you’ve ever felt.
Knight goes through the first few years where Nike makes almost no money, but he was so passionate about his shoes that he persevered and eventually found success.
There are hundreds of other quotes that can be found like the one above from the likes of Richard Branson (founder, Virgin Group), Oprah Winfrey (media mogul), David Karp (founder, Tumblr) and many, many more.
I realized that pursuing my passion in business would result in the following:
- The business will have a vision based on what drives me.
- Passionate business owners sell more effectively because watch out, and that shows us.
- Having passion helps create authenticity in your business plan and branding.
- It will bring clarity when you feel doubtful.
- Feel motivated to develop and grow the business.
- Surround myself with like-minded people to network with.
- Differentiate my business from the competition.
Starting a business is not easy, and a new business is often built on sweat. Without passion, there cannot be enough motivation to stick with it and carry it through its initial phase to the growth phase. If you don’t have a passion for your business, it will be very easy to quit and move on to something else.
How can you build a business based on your passion?
Establish what you are passionate about It is the most important thing to build a business based on your passion. Finding what you love to do can be challenging and you may go through several phases of metamorphosis before finding a viable business opportunity that you can fit your calling with. Finding your vocation as an entrepreneur is the grown-up version of “what do I want to be when I grow up?” and then make a plan that allows that business to prosper.
If your passion can’t be directly integrated into your business, don’t forget. I believe that the passionate vocations of most people may be involved in their entrepreneurial business plans in some way. But if there is no way to build a business around your passion, you can still indirectly integrate it into your work life. For example, if you’re an accountant, but your true passion is mountain biking, surround yourself with things that remind you of riding a bike. Fill your office with photos and keepsakes to bring you joy during your workday or network with some of your mountain biking group clients.
Remember that passion is contagious to those around you. When you merge your passion and your business, you are sure to find success. Not only will you never give up on your dreams, but your demeanor and love for your business will also stand out. Every presentation you have with investors, every sales interaction, every order fulfilled will leave your customer with a sense of second-hand passion. They are going to love your product because you love it.
Don’t be afraid to follow your passion. Being afraid of failure is something that most entrepreneurs will face. It is a perfectly valid way of feeling, and for some, everything is at stake. However, it is better to fail to do something you love and learn from those mistakes, than to be afraid of failing and never follow your call. (“Success is walking from one failure to another without losing enthusiasm” – Winston Churchill)
I really hope my story and advice resonated with you. It took me many years and a bit of failure to realize that following my passion was the right thing to do for me and my business. I will never forget the lessons learned from following what I thought was a good business plan and leaving behind what mattered most to me. Little You is my calling, and I will continue to work to make it grow with all the love and devotion that I can. I know that by doing this, I am not solving a big world problem, but I am making myself happy and I know that I will continue to be successful. Remember, follow your calling and success and happiness will follow.