Passion, Hobbies, Vision, and Real Business
While searching for a type of business or business model that fits you or your team’s personality, it is important to consider several factors. Let's call this your Entrepreneur Self-Discovery!
These include knowing yourself, understanding the dynamics of risk versus reward of the business type, knowing your potential customer, and a keen understanding of return on investment (ROI). When these questions have been answered to a certain degree of satisfaction, only then is it time to go to the drawing board and developing a solid business plan.
Before taking the leap into the exciting world of entrepreneurship, you need to first understand the difference between hobbies, passions, and a true business venture. You also need to know yourself.
Do you create remarkable wood burnings, portray them on your Instagram account, and sell a few at trade shows? If you create those works of art in your spare time and find some success with expendable income, you may think it is time to take the big leap and quit your day job.
Would you like wood burning if you had to do it 60 hours a week? If you have before, and you would, you at least have a passion for your hobby, that’s good.
It’s a start.
What about when a customer gets the wrong product by mistake and calls to complain? Can you handle criticism? What happens if you sell so many that you have to hire a staff to keep up with demand? Will you know how? Will you put off needed business tasks or the hobby itself?
We often plan for failure, but we rarely plan for success.
Do you like Excel spreadsheets? Could you learn QuickBooks to keep a balance sheet and invoice customers properly? Do you know how to do taxes for your business? Do you have an idea of what your website should look like, or what it would take to build?
Or…do you just like wood burning?
See, if you ONLY like the actual task, and doing it to pay for the food on your family’s table would make you hate your passion, then you have an awesome hobby. You may be so good, a true craftsman, an artist even, but it would be difficult to bridge the gap between hobby and a true business model.
You could partner with someone who enjoys the business side and find success. There are people whose passion is the business model itself. These personality types enjoy structure, logistics, and have a penchant for learning new tasks that are related to business development. Some create websites, ad campaigns, form consulting services, or will even run your business for you.
You could, of course, just continue enjoying the craftsmanship and passion of your hobby. There is nothing inherently wrong with that, just don’t quit your day job.
Could you have a little of the entrepreneur personality type up your sleeve? If you could develop a business mind, you would certainly have a better chance of turning your hobby into a real enterprise.
Do you have vision?
Understand scaling, or, how to take your operation from the garage to the warehouse with employees? Do you have a dream of having your cutting boards in every kitchen? How do you get there?
Wood burning alone won’t do it.
Do you understand the needs of your potential customer base? What would it take? How many units/clients to see a return on your initial investment or to scale up?
How about marketing? Do you love talking to people, or are you an introvert? Does building a social media profile scare you?
You can, of course, hire out some of these tasks to those that are passionate about business, but you still would need to know enough to understand what you need to find success and not get taken for a ride.
You need vision.
If you eat, sleep, breathe, and understand every facet of your hobby, you may have the skills and passion ready to take the big leap.
To start, you must first know yourself.
It is so important to develop the skills to recognize your strengths and weaknesses. Once you can officially acknowledge and be honest with yourself, you can make the necessary changes to move forward.
We recommend two tools for starting self-discovery with the entrepreneur in mind:
- Take the Myers Briggs official test online. There are many fake tests out there looking for clicks, so be sure to take the official online version. If answered honestly, this test will give you a good understanding of your personality type and successful career paths. You can even use it to see how your team will interact in the most effective way.
- Read Where Did You Go?: A 21st Century Guide to Finding Yourself Again by Andrew Brechko. This book provides a way forward in this distracted world and the sense of immediacy to take control of your life.
By taking these self-reflecting steps and discovering what makes you tick, you can be well on your way to the journey of entrepreneurship. This is only the beginning.