Do you love what you do, or are you trapped in the daily grind?
Today, many Australians feel stuck in a job that doesn’t bring them joy or fulfillment. A recent survey found 57% of people name work is the biggest contributor to stress in their lives, while 70% would be happier at work if what they were doing was making an impact.
On top of providing security and financial success, we dream of a career that and brings us meaning. Experience teaches us that working towards something you feel strongly about – whether it’s a cause you believe in, an industry you love or a goal you want to reach – goes a long way towards achieving success, provided you have the right approach.
If you’re looking to turn your passion into profit, here’s some tips to help you along the way.
1. Identify your purpose and passion
Make sure that your passion is more than a hobby or a passing phase, as it wouldn’t be wise to make big changes for something that isn’t going to last the distance.
It’s also worth considering what your purpose in life is. Marketing educator Julie Solomons says following your passion is not enough. You also need to pay attention to your purpose: the unique way you want to impact on this world for the better. Identifying what your purpose is and aligning it with your passion will help you determine what kind of business venture or job will bring you ultimate satisfaction.
2. Determine the demand for your service
Starting something new in an area where there is little demand is risky, especially if you are launching a new business. Find out whether there is enough demand for what you plan to offer by analysing trends in established markets. Look at the competition and examine who your potential customers are.
Also, think outside the box. Look for gaps in the industry: things that could be done better, demographics that aren’t being catered for, or problems that need solving. Having a passion is one thing; being able to meet the consumer’s needs is the key to growing success.
3. Do your research and don’t go in blind
Find out what it would take to start a business or launch a new career in your chosen industry. Will you need qualifications? Equipment? Registration to government bodies? Specialist training?
Some ways to build your knowledge are speaking to people who have walked a similar path ahead of you; attending seminars and training events; listening to podcasts, or reading media specific to that industry. Also remember to research benchmark salaries for your industry, to ensure that following your dream will allow you to pay the bills and reach your financial goals.
4. Find people who can support you along the way
Author Roy T Bennett famously said, “surround yourself with people who believe in your dreams, encourage your ideas, support your ambitions, and bring out the best in you.”
Find a network of people who will encourage you to reach your dreams, and offer sound advice when things get tough. Also consider who can practically help you along the path to success. There are several options available for creating a business, from going solo to buying a franchise. If you choose the latter, find a company that will partner with you, support you, and genuinely care about your success.
5. Break your dream down into achievable steps
Being at the start of your new journey can be overwhelming, so break down your ultimate goal into smaller, manageable chunks. Make each step something that you can action, and reward yourself when you reach those smaller goals. Celebrating the smaller wins can be a great motivator.
If you’re stuck, follow the SMART rule: set goals that are Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Time bound. This will make your goals far more powerful, and help you make inroads towards reaching your dream career.
6. Be open to change
It happens to all of us: we set out on a path that we think is right, only to have the unexpected happen or our preconceptions challenged, causing us to change our well-laid plans.
Changing your offering or service doesn’t mean you have failed. Quite the opposite – the most successful businesses can quickly pivot towards change and seize unexpected opportunities that come their way. Reassessing and fine-tuning (or even completely changing) your strategy is part of the process, so embrace change, learn from it and feel confident that you will build a better business in the long-run.
7. Find your transferrable skills
Don’t box yourself in! You may be surprised to find you already possess some of the skills you need to launch your dream business. Things such as leadership qualities, communication skills, creativity and being a people person transfer across industries.
You may also have training that can be used in a different way from your 9 to 5 job. Claire Zhang, one of our successful franchisees at HomeCaring, put her nursing skills to good use when she started her own home care business. This has helped her build the successful business she has today.
8. Picture the positives
A well-known US study tested the impact of positive thinking on our thoughts. Research subjects were divided into groups: half were shown images that created positive emotions, while the other half were shown negative images. Afterwards, the participants were asked to imagine themselves in a situation where similar feelings would arise, and write down what they would do. Those who saw positive images wrote down a much higher number of actions compared to those who saw negative emotions.
When we experience positive emotions, we tend to see more possibilities in life, and our mind opens up to more options we can act on. Spend time picturing what positive benefits you want to achieve. Is it making an impact in an industry? Finding more balance in your personal life? Running a family business? Helping others? Focusing on what you want can empower you to take the steps needed to get there.