Article by Anna Letitia Cook
So now you have decided you want to do something you love and make money at it, what is the next step? You need to be objective and analyse with a clear mind. This can often be the most difficult part of the project as when we are passionate about something we don’t always see the flaws or complicated, we are blinded to them by our eagerness to believe…
Here are some brief tips to get you thinking about what is necessary to get you on a sound footing towards success and a new fulfilling future:
- Market research – I know, I know, the boring part! I hate it too, best thing I know for sending me straight to sleep! However, to avoid sleepless nights after you have set up your business, better to invest some focused time on this now.
- See who is already doing something similar to your passion
- Are they successful
- Are there many competitors
- In what way are you different
- Which niche will you fit in to
- Is it profitable
- Do you need to spend a lot of time and effort in the creative stage before you start seeing returns?
- Income strategies – Do you need to be earning while developing your new passion before it becomes a business/revenue stream? If so how will you do this?
- Work part time instead of full time to have some money coming in during the transition
- Consult to your current industry taking short term projects while developing the next business
- Economise on where you are living now and your general outgoings – we all tend to live to the maximum of our income, much of which can be discontinued. Personally, I can think of at least 4 monthly expenses I could cut out straight away without feeling any pain if necessary…
- Start by working your passion as a second job, evenings and weekends to let you build it up a little before moving over to full time…
- Think of the practical side of where you will work and what you will do with your passion. Go back to my article last week (Feeling the Pinch: From Passion to Profit). The examples I gave, Patricia, Lou and Bee all work from home, or sometimes in their client’s premises, so they have a minimum of overheads or hassle. They have also chosen passions that can be developed or expanded on into other areas, if they so choose.
- Will it be part time, full time, all day, every day? Will you have regular hours or can you be flexible. What are the days and hours you choose to do? Are they realistic to achieve your objectives? AND, do you have the self-discipline to decide these hours and stick to them? You can’t keep sloping off to lunch, or having friends drop in for coffee etc just because you are at home. Passion or not, a commitment to set up a business is just that, a commitment. You have to be professional about it, it is no longer a hobby, it is a real job. You have to be the boss, manager and worker all in one so don’t let yourself develop bad habits that you wouldn’t dream of in a real office where you would have a real boss watching you.
- Planning and analysis. Do put the time in to work out the what, where, when, why and who before you launch. You need to know exactly what each part of the process entails. Don’t hesitate to go to entrepreneur meetings, business start-up seminars, pick the brains of the local organisations that are there for this type of advice. It is best to get the ‘admin’ and ‘financial’ side of this really well planned so you can then dedicate your time to the bit you like best – seeing your passion grow and loving every minute you can spend on it!
Believe me, working with your passion, creating your own business and living a fulfilling life is worth every minute! Enjoy!
Why not share your thoughts and questions, do please write them in the comments box below (or contact/email me). Together we are stronger and by sharing our experience we can help each other along our chosen paths
Anna Letitia Cook is particularly passionate about mentoring women executives, and the 50+ sector, in finding clarity in their career choices. She created and became CEO of her first company in the entertainment industry at age 32. Midlife approaching, hungry for a dynamic change, she refocused her experience, founding WomenUP Ltd, focusing on helping women shape their own future. Creator of the process SCOPE for career, fulfilment and success, she is currently working on her first book ‘Liberate Your Career: The Women’s Guide to Freedom and Fulfilment’, with plans for a second, ‘Glass Ceiling Grans’, early next year.