Starting your own business begins with an idea. And if you’re anything like me, I have had an extremely hard time coming up with good ideas. There are so many others that have that eureka moment that sets their plans in motion but unlike some, most people don’t have the creativity to think of out-of-the-box products, apps, or services for people. I was totally lost with what I wanted to do with my business. I knew I wanted one, I just didn’t know what.
Until I read this book by Chris Guillebeau entitled “The $100 Startup: Reinvent The Way You Make a Living, Do What You Love, and Create a New Future”. In it, I came to realize that not all business plans needed a eureka product. And definitely not all businesses needed a particular skill that you’re good at. It could be as simple as finding something you are good at and like doing while at the same time meeting a demand for people in your area.
(Image from Amazon)
One example he gave in the book was about an executive working for a company that handled tech stuff. She wasn’t happy in that company and decided to venture out into her own thing. Mostly because she wasn’t passionate about what she was doing. She loved yoga and attended every single class, workshop, and even had a license to be an instructor. She started out by getting friends who were interested in starting out yoga to sign up for a 1-on-1 with her. Soon she started to gain a following and before she knew it she was running a 6-figure monthly business just giving regular yoga sessions to CEOs, big-wigs in the industry, and even whole offices. This simple shift in her lifestyle has not only made her happier but has made her feel more fulfilled because she is doing something she loves while making the income needed for her to live comfortably.
Sometimes all it takes is a simple tweak of what you’ve been doing to cater to the right target market. You need to match your passion with the right audience. Another example in the book he gave was of a podcast creator. She was passionate about science and grammar and had 2 podcasts that focused on each topic. She loved science more and focused most of her energy on the science podcast, however, later on, she realized that it was the grammar podcast that had more potential for a larger following. She, later on, changed course. Trading science for grammar. She didn’t abandon her passion for science, rather, she made sure to connect the right passion (in this case grammar) to the right audience.
To make a business successful you need to be adding value to people’s lives while being able to enrich your own (not just through money). The critical and key point here is to get the formula just right.
(Passion + Skill) -> (Problem + Marketplace) = opportunity
Passion is just the first step, you have to also make sure you’re skilled in the area you want to get into, that’s when you can turn that passion into a business model by studying your market and turn it into an opportunity.
If you’re interested in reading more case studies, pick up the book at any local bookstore.