Very often I meet or get connected with people that are looking to start a new business, wanting to transition from part-time passion to full-time business.
We all know of people who have done it and made it successful in their own way. Some of us have so many ‘business start-up ideas and just thinking about which to choose from or implement throws us into a whirlpool of doubts and emotions. There are also some of us that just do it, have lukewarm successes, try to learn from our mistakes and then get started with another business venture with the same lukewarm results. I confess, I have been there myself. I had a boutique marketing agency called Image Conceptualist. I was 22, ran the business for 2 years and worked with an ex-colleague. He had networks but no money, I had growing networks and little debt and small overheads. There were some successes and jobs were consistent. I made enough to survive, my business partner had larger financial needs, went back to being an employee. I went on for about 6 months to work on my sole business. When an opportunity of a full time job came about, I took it. The rationale was that I was younger, more vulnerable with unsure where or who to turn to find business support. I thought at that time, it would be best to gain more life skills, had the opportunity of working with international company and marketing different brands. This journey helped propel my confidence and desire to venture into my personal passion-driven ventures.
Fundamental Question for personal clarity
The fundamental question I asked myself daily is “Who do I have to be?”
I’d like to share with you that there is great substance in that question. It has helped guide me to be true to my unique self, recognising the talents that I’m blessed with. No doubt it takes time to grow any new endeavor. By recognising one’s passion and purpose, find out what makes you come alive! Then validate by profiling and asking your prospective customers if they are willing to purchase or trade with you and just get started! If you think there might not be enough community of customer in your immediate location to grow, find out from web-based entrepreneurs how they have work to reach more customers, by presenting their product or service online.
As someone who has moved into a new country in 2008, I wanted to share my passion for belly dancing, wellness, balance and living a positive lifestyle. I began the challenging journey of settling in new environment, community and with socially shy partner, it was a challenge to make new friends. I knew I needed to get out there, connect with people and share the art of belly dancing with ladies in Taranaki New Zealand. After writing in to local community magazine, TOM published an article about me and my background in performance arts and desire to run a bellydancing for fitness class, if there was enough interest. Shortly after the article ran, we had a first bellydance class to 6 enthusiastic and relatively shy women. We met weekly at Oakura Boardriders club. From 2009, six years on we now have a performing group called 5th Element Dance and 25 to 30 ladies religiously come classes in New Plymouth.
I also had the opportunity to be a contract marketing tutor at WITT for 3 semesters, learning how to tutor an academic subject which I learnt through practical work experience was a challenge. Now, eight years on, presenting consistent efforts in belly dancing business,I asked myself, ‘What was the biggest achievement I have till date? What have I been most successful at? And coming back to the fundamental question, ‘Who do I have to be?’
I enjoy connecting with entrepreneurs and I would like to support them by being ‘a digital marketing specialist who create better web, mobile and social actions.’
Learning all my life and business lessons, I knew what I can deliver is of value. I asked myself the question again. Who do I have to be? My answer is, besides a dance entertainer and instructor, I have to return to marketing and communications. I’m most passionate when working with entrepreneurs and business to connect their passion with positive business actions: Through better web, mobile and social action that is consistent to build digital marketing presence. My goal in the next 3 years is to grow my business beyond myself, have a system of connecting brands and their value to their customers, through mobile computing.
Here are some questions I like to post to you as a passion driven entrepreneur to think about.
It really is a simplified outline to help answer a lot of elements business creation plan:
- What is my Passion & Purpose?
- What is my Product or service going to be? Is it a new brand or established brand?
- Who are the People who are going to value it? Am I prepared to go out and ask them if they will pay for it?
- What is the Price to facilitate the exchange or sales?
- How much do I need to earn? Is there any established business that can help me distribute or jointly promote?
- What is my start-up investment going to be?
- What are my overheads and start-up costs in terms of my time, efforts, materials to purchase items, stock or equipment for my venture?
- Who are my mentors and advisers I can seek out for support?
They could include Business coaches, marketing specialists, Accountants, lawyers for legal matters, business mentors on local economic development board,
- Which are the networks out there who can help me in both social and business engagements? Do they have offline and digital presence (i.e: Local chamber of commerce, Linkedin groups, social media meet-ups, specific interest groups)
- Which accounting program that is simple and automated, return in investments and savings to set aside for marketing, potential product development and business growth?
- What is my weekly ritual to commit to the growth of my business?
How much time am I willing to devote in creating, communicating and actually delivering my passion, product and service to my customers?
- Who can I partner with that already have flow and success in what they do?
How I can help them be more successful?
Now that you have thought about it, note them down, make a list, research it, mind map it, draw it and go out and talk about it! Then put a timeline to starting and how you see yourself in 3 years time?
Your future success is your present imagination.
But of course, when times are tough and you think it is just too much to handle everything, ask the fundamental question: “Who do I have to be?”
Keep passionate and pursuing!