One of the most common pieces of advice you hear when thinking about starting your own home business is to find your passion. It sounds like great advice, but how much thought do you really give to what that means? Is passion for your home business your ultimate goal?
Having a passion for your business means you have an emotional involvement. You have great enthusiasm for the project. The idea is that this will help you to succeed in a home business, as it means more to you.
But is that really how it all works out?
Can You Find Your Passion For A Home Business?
Finding your passion may not be as simple as “I love cats. I want my home business to have to do with cats.” That’s great, but is it something you can build a business around? You have to balance the practical with the passion.
Start out by thinking about why you really want to start a home business. There are all kinds of reasons, from wanting more time for your family to needing the additional income and so forth. However, keep in mind that your home business will likely take a lot of time and is a financial risk, so keep your expectations realistic, particularly in the challenging early days.
Don’t just go with the first business idea you have. Start brainstorming and write a variety of ideas down.
Some will appeal to you quite a bit and may be worth further development. Others won’t appeal at all as you give it more thought.
This brainstorming session may come up with some surprises for you. As you think of all kinds of ideas, both wild and serious, you’ll realize how many of your skills and interests could be marketable.
Where Are The Ideas?
You may have difficulty in coming up with ideas at first. Many people feel for a time as though they don’t have any good home business ideas.
You’re probably wrong about that.
There are lots of places you can get ideas from, ones that you can worth with and enjoy using. Here are a few:
- Magazines you read.
- Websites you visit.
- Things you do for fun.
- Things you keep doing.
- Stuff you wish you could do but haven’t started doing yet.
For each potential business that appeals to you, make a list of ways you could make it into a business. Not all your ideas will be practical, and you want to weed the impractical out. Some may make great online businesses while others would do better offline.
This is one of the first steps to take in starting your own home business. It’s a wonderful challenge with a lot of hard work. If you don’t accept that challenge, the business probably won’t work.
Here’s where many people go wrong in this process: They expect that there will be passion for their home business. It will be fun all the time.
They don’t expect it to be work.
Any home business will be work at times, even if you mostly adore what you’re doing. There will be days that you’re slogging through it all, just getting things done because they have to get done.
No passion. No fun.
That doesn’t mean you’ve chosen the wrong home business, not at all. It might mean that you need to remind yourself that hard work is a part of the process.
Do You HAVE To Find Your Passion?
There is no rule saying you must find your passion before you start your home business. It may even be a bad idea. Passion doesn’t always outlast the challenges you’re likely to face when starting a home business. Sometimes going more toward the practical makes more sense.
The problem with relying on finding your passion is that it assumes you have that one thing that you will love doing. It can be a fixed mindset. A growth mindset, on the other hand, can be better for running a home business. That says you can develop a passion for what you do, even if you didn’t have one at first.
This is something they teach at my kids’ school. The teachers don’t assume that the child who struggles in a particular subject will eternally be bad at that subject. Instead, they spend more time teaching the things the kids have trouble learning.
The idea is that eventually, all of the kids in the class will learn to do well in all of their subjects.
This is why the students may be broken up into groups at times so that the ones that need help in a particular area can get it, while the ones who are ready to forge ahead may do so.
A growth mindset gives you much more flexibility as you grow your business. You take something that you’re willing to learn, regardless of previous interest or ability, and you do it. Passion develops over time this way.
Passion for your work doesn’t have to be inherent in you. What you need is a willingness to work hard.
Don’t Limit Yourself
One of the great things about running a home business is that there’s no rule saying you can only have one at a time. While you need to be realistic about how much time each business needs and how much time you can spend on each, it makes a lot of sense to do more than one thing at a time.
For one, you never know which home business will really succeed. Sometimes the idea you thought wouldn’t work out succeeds wildly. The idea you thought would be an easy money maker fails miserably.
In the long run, most people will take earning a good living over passion. If they combine, that’s wonderful. You’re fortunate. But that will not work out for everyone. So long as you are willing to do the work, you’ll be fine.
Here’s the thing: You can always work on your passion project as a side gig or even a hobby. It doesn’t have to be your main thing.
Of course, you can only take on so much at once. Don’t do so many projects at once that you fail at all of them. Start with one, then add things on as you figure out how much time each takes and how much time you are able to give them.
What If You Lose Your Passion For Your Home Business?
Losing your passion for your home business is one of the worst things that can happen in many ways. It becomes so much harder to work on a project that relied on passion, and then you lose that.
How does that happen?
It’s pretty simple.
The day to day slogging through, trying to earn a living from something can take a lot out of you. It really isn’t easy.
There are also some things that are fun to do just because they’re fun, but really hard to do as a business. Consider the following scenario:
You love to knit, so you start a home business selling things you’ve knitted. It gives you the perfect excuse to buy all the knitting supplies you’ve ever wanted. You make all kinds of beautiful projects to get started.
Then the problems start. Disappointed customers whose orders weren’t exactly as they pictured it. Other customers try to negotiate your prices to ridiculous lows considering the effort you put into your products. People demand custom orders faster than you can usually make things. Mistakes happen.
Now your favorite hobby is nothing but stress, stress, stress.
Some people can maintain their passion for their business despite the stress. Others come to realize that the thing they love to do for themselves or their loved ones really doesn’t make a great business.
Your interests will grow and change as you get older no matter what you do. What you love as a young adult may not be what you love later in life.
The real question you need to ask yourself if you lose your passion for your home business is “Can I keep doing this anyhow?”
Hopefully, the answer is “yes.”
That’s especially true if you have generally been having success with your business, but your passion for it has flagged. It’s a terrible thing to have a successful home business that you give up just because you’ve lost your passion for it.
The loss may be temporary anyhow. Don’t confuse temporary frustration with your business for a lack of passion or even interest in your business. Your love for it can come back with time and effort.
Give yourself that time. Figure out why you’re frustrated and what can be done about it. Solve the frustration, and the interest may come back.
Having a passion doesn’t mean you have unlimited motivation to work on that thing. If you assume that your motivation will never decrease, you’ll be incredibly frustrated when you go through hard times or find something difficult.
Avoid that trap. Understand that a change in how you feel doesn’t mean you’re on the wrong path.
Don’t Confuse A Hobby With A Home Business
While it’s true that many people have turned hobbies into amazing home businesses, that doesn’t mean that will be the right choice for you. Consider what it takes to run a successful business as well as work on your hobby when you consider this.
Using the knitting example from above, you might decide to run an online store of some sort. That may not be too hard if you sign up with a site such as Etsy, although you will still need to learn to work with their interface and how to market your shop successfully.
You’ll also have to:
- Find your target market.
- Learn which designs sell best.
- Learn to track the costs of making your product.
- Figure out prices people will pay which are still fair to you as a creator.
- Figure out how to ship your product out efficiently and at a good price.
And that’s just the beginning.
It’s entirely possible that your favorite interest won’t suit you as a home business. There’s nothing wrong with that. There are a ton of things you can do for a business while still enjoying your hobby as a hobby.
Work On Your Growth Mindset
The more you live your life with a growth mindset, the easier it should be to work on your home business, whatever you decide it should be.
Know that your interests can be changed.
Know that if you decide to learn something, you can do it.
Be ready to work hard on whatever it is you decide to do in life.
If you do this, you’ll find your passion develops for the things you decide to focus on. It may evolve over time, but it won’t depend upon a fixed idea of what you want from life.
You might surprise yourself with the things you can do if you don’t rely solely on passion. Plan instead on doing the work it takes to make the life you want with the business you choose.