Maybe you’re how I used to be - Tired of showing up for work everyday out of obligation. Not because you want to, but because you must in order to live a certain lifestyle, or to survive and provide your necessities. No longer do you have the drive for your job. Unfortunately, you don’t know what to do next.
It’s not just you! A 2014 study from the Deloitte University Press reported that nearly 90% of America’s workforce is not able to contribute to their full potential because they don’t have passion for their work. If you fall into this demographic, it may be time to discover what really drives you and turn THAT into your life’s career.
Passion is equivalent to the drive, ambition, and love of what you do and who you serve. It gives you a perspective on the world that others cannot see. Small-business owners and entrepreneurs must have a passion that drives them forward in order to become successful. Here are eight ways that you can get closer to making your passion a successful career.
1. Discover your passion.
What is it that you enjoy and are naturally wired to excel within? Your hobby is not necessarily your passion. Do not mistake one for the other and quit your job to pursue a hobby. Just because you enjoy quilting does not necessarily mean you should make it your profession. You might be better at fashion design, which uses some of the same artistic talents. Keep an open mind and explore all of your options.
2. Determine the demand.
Determine the level of demand for your skills and choose a field. You would be taking a risk to dive into a career with a very low demand, or one with a large number of competitors even though you love it. However, the number of competitors should not be the deal breaker. If you are confident in your skills, it is possible to establish yourself and compete comfortably, as long as you have developed and executed a strong marketing strategy.
3. Do your research.
Conduct a comprehensive search on what it would take to launch into this field. Do you need specific machinery or equipment? Do you need to earn a certification, degree, or special training? Do you need employees or funding? Find out all you can first, or you will be surrounded by headaches in the future.
Try speaking with people who have or are in a similar business to the one you are willing to pursue. Capture what they did to succeed and follow their path. Most cases, you do not have to reinvent the wheel.
4. Make a plan.
WRITE IT DOWN! Construct a detailed plan of the steps you need to take to make your passion a realistic opportunity. Include what you need to do and how much you need to spend. Always have a backup plan in case things do not work out.
5. Become qualified.
To be taken seriously, you must first become a professional. Having a special skill may not be enough to deem you an expert. You may need to acquire the training necessary to become marketable. HERE’S AN IDEA! -- Take a night, weekend or online class while you’re in your current job. “Get paid for what you know, not for what you do.”
6. Be flexible.
The road to success is never smooth. Plan to be able to make adjustments along the way. It is important that you always make yourself open to advice and criticism; other people’s insights may open your eyes to something new.
NO ONE CAN SUCCEED ALONE
Network and surround yourself with talented individuals, or form a personal committee, or advisory board to help you make the right decisions.
7. Hire Passionate Employees.
If your business involves hiring employees, hire those who share your zeal for the business. This will help your company succeed. You need employees that will be willing to stay up through the evening to help solve a business problem. By hiring staff who share your commitment, you'll be able to trust the business to your employees as it grows.
8. Keep The Passion Alive.
Once your business gets going, you can become bogged down in the daily tasks of running a company. Keep your passion alive by staying involved in the areas you love most. Don’t spend too much time on repetitive tasks you can delegate to others. Recall the elements you loved most that got you started on the path of your business, such as creating a new design, and make an intentional effort to include some of those activities in your ongoing role. You don’t want your work to turn into mundane tasks that kill your passion.
TIME TO DISCOVER WHAT REALLY DRIVES YOU
Take a step every day (or week) that gets you closer to your goal by finding ways to be proactive and staying motivated. If you put in the work to develop a plan, strategize, and take action, the fruits of your labor will pay off and you will be on your way to doing what you love.
DeWayne Johnson, PMP (firstname.lastname@example.org) is a Co-Founder and Business Management Consultant with BridgeBuilder Education & Investments, which provides consulting for businesses interested in ways to improve process, strategy, leadership, and staff development. For more information, please visit www.bridgebuilderinvestments.com.
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