Make Your Passion Your Paycheck
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Light yourself on fire with passion and people will come from miles to watch you burn, these words by John Wesley should be etched in the minds of every entrepreneur who is ready to follow his / her dream and turn it into a business. To be able to turn your passion into your business is something that everyone wishes for. Here is a quick checklist of things that you should be willing to do once you take the plunge.
Take the Road Less Travelled
Identify the gaps in your chosen industry and try to fill those with your product. You will not only have the first movers advantage but will also always be perceived as someone who is ahead of the curve. Making a niche for your business always helps in standing out from the clutter. Recognise it and then go out and celebrate it. Make your own choices and perhaps the new trail you leave could become the road more often travelled in the future.
It's a Marathon
Pursuing your passion seems like a dreamy love sonnet from afar but if not pursued with the sole grit and determined focus of a marathon runner then this sonnet can soon turn into a poetry about unrequited love. When you get into a business that you are passionate about then make sure you are in it for the long haul. Start slow but keep moving and always keep your goal in sight. Pursuing your pet passion is bound to have its days when you question yourself and raise self-doubts; put the blinders on & remember why you got into it in the first place.
Wear your business on your sleeve. Starting out on the back of your passion is extremely difficult, you need to pull all the favours you can from friends, family, classmates, neighbours, your dog, your cat everyone. Meet new people, socialize and do not forget to veer the conversation albeit subtly towards your line of business. The more people know what you do the lesser you spend on advertising.
Show me the Money..errr Maybe Not
If you are getting into the business with the sole intention being money, then maybe you need to have a rethink. The Love you have for your passion has to be the single most driving factor when you plunge into the business. Eat.Pray.Love what you do. A lesson I learnt early on in life was that in the first 5 years think only about the learnings, the earnings will follow suit. Not that the money does not matter it sure does but understand that it is more important to cut profits and spend more money on a better quality product rather than settling for average quality in return for a higher profit.
As Peter Drucker said 'Do what you do best & outsource the rest.'
Know your strengths, but more importantly know your weaknesses. Never ever... ever shy away from admitting that you do not know something, outsource to people who are better or have more knowledge in departments that you lack in. Use their expertise to deliver a high quality product / experience to your customers.
Think like the Customer
According to research 80% of companies believe they deliver superior customer service but only 8% of customers think that these same companies deliver superior customer service.
In today's day & age it's not just enough to sweep the customer off his feet you got to ensure that there is a soft rug when he lands back. Think like the customer, keep them engaged and feeling wanted. Know the pulse of the market and keep an eye out on trends that the customers could pick up and then offer those through your products / service. It is not always about making a sale, take the effort to delight the customer whether the interaction is online or offline.