How aspiring entrepreneurs can turn their passion into a viable business

Many of us search for more meaning at the moment and we’re looking to work in a field we’re passionate about. Passion is one of the magical ingredients of business. Not everyone has it and many business people spend their lives searching for it.

They say “do what you love and you’ll never have to work a day in your life” and there is certainly truth in that – but passion doesn’t always guarantee business success. When you’re getting a new business off the ground, blind passion can come with dangers and challenges. When you’re super passionate, you risk having blinkers on that won’t allow you to always see things clearly and objectively.

I’ve worked with many passionate people during my career, from people who live and breathe a particular sport to those who are passionate about working with kids. It’s all about harnessing your passion so you can make it work for you. How do you successfully translate passion into a business that allows you to impact people’s lives and build a lucrative career? Here are five tips for turning a passion into a successful small business:

  1. Treat it like a business
    The danger of working with your passion is that there can be too much ‘heart’ and not enough ‘head’. Make sure you treat this as you would any new business venture – do you research, suss out your competition, budget and do a business plan. Even though you’re eager, be realistic about your time, budget and milestones. This planning will give your passion the best chance of translating into profit.
  2. Test it out
    Can you test your idea out with your key target audience and gauge their enthusiasm? It’s your passion – but do others love it too? You can test the waters in a small way. Perhaps survey your target audience, create a sample of your service or product or start at a small scale and try getting the business of the ground as a side-hustle before fully committing. Make sure your passion has potential and if it does – go for it!
  3. Soundboard it
    It’s great to have a few trustworthy and experienced people you can soundboard with along your business journey. You need to be open-minded to their views and consider their opinions and feedback carefully. This will enable you to check your decisions and share your ideas along the way with people that aren’t as personally invested as you are. Passions can become all-consuming, so check yourself regularly to ensure you stay on track and make sure you don’t take criticisms personally – use them.
  4. Add to it
    You’re passionate and that’s great – but it doesn’t mean you have all of the skills required to get your business up and going. I’ve seen this many times with franchisees who are so driven but need a little helping hand with finding a location, marketing and finance. Don’t be afraid to ask for help and find the experts who will help you join the dots together to create the full picture.
  5. Safeguard it
    One way to ruin the passion is to get deterred when you hit hurdles and get so serious about building the business that you forget why you started it in the first place. Remember, hurdles are just a chance for both you and your business to grow. Make sure you allow yourself some time each week to do the thing you actually love – don’t become so caught up in the business that you lose that. Ultimately, it’s your passion that will drive you and those around you – so keep that flame alight, always.