Ephraim Glick is a serial entrepreneur, host of The Ultimate Shift podcast and founder and CEO of Midsouth Commerical Roofing.
I remember that at 9 years old, I had goal I wanted to live out, but I had no way of making it happen at the time: I wanted to work for myself when I was grown and make my own decisions as much as possible.
But when I was a child, I couldn’t even fathom, much less comprehend, what achieving that goal would take and all the failures I would have to go through along the way. You might have a dream of your own that seems to have a number of roadblocks in its way. Perhaps you have family, friends or financial challenges keeping you from going all in. There are many things that can prevent us from finding our own passions making them happen. Life gets in the way. But it doesn’t have to.
It’s not that the desire isn’t there, but that the practical steps needed to achieve success have not been put into place. But as a serial entrepreneur who has been able to make that dream a reality, I want to share five steps you can take to find your passion and turn it into a career:
1. Find your passion.
Let’s start with this question: What would you do if money were no object? In other words, what does your ideal life look like? If you had everything taken care of financially and all your needs were met, what would you do with your time? Would you start a business? Would you start a nonprofit? There is no right or wrong answer to this.
When you answer these questions, you’ll gain a general idea of what you’d love to do with your future, and you can start taking steps toward achieving that goal.
2. Plan it out.
At this point, you have an idea. You have an inkling of what the thing is that you would love to do. The next step is to plan how you’ll turn that idea into a reality.
For example, perhaps you want to open up your own boutique shop. Think of a name first — something that stands out, will set you apart and is easy for people to remember. Next, look at the competition you will have. How will you compete, and what channels will you use to get the word out that you are new? How competitive is the industry? You’d also want to start considering the location of your store. How can you get people into your new shop?
Planning details such as these can help you start making progress toward bringing your idea to fruition.
3. Figure out your finances.
How much will it cost you to build your business? What about the lease, overhead, inventory, etc.? It’s important to write down a plan that establishes your budgets for all of these things, as you cannot run a business effectively without knowing your costs. In this plan, you will also need to figure out your personal expenses. What does it take for you (and perhaps even your family) to live, eat and survive? If you don’t have a grip on your finances, you are gambling with your money and simply hoping for a return.
4. Finance your vision.
Finding funding is always the hardest part to break through when I am consulting startups. The popular solution is to borrow money, but this is not an easy task.
I personally recommend trying to finance your vision yourself. From my perspective, when you are personally invested in your business, you’re driven to help it succeed and never give up. Why should someone else risk their money for your idea if you aren’t willing to go all-in yourself?
This isn’t always easy to do; you might have to keep your current job to help fund your idea until you’re able to solely focus on your passion career. Look at all your costs, and figure out how much money you can save. Then, start setting money aside. Don’t switch to working full-time on your passion idea until it is making you the same amount of money that your current career is. To me, it’s worth sacrificing a few years in a job that might not be your ultimate dream if it means you will get to do what you love in the future without financial strain. Be smart, and don’t rush.
5. Do it differently.
This is, by far, the most important step to turning your passion into a career. I started a self-funded business that was already crowded with competitors in the industry. So many people asked me why I would do this, but within 17 months, we made more than $1 million in sales. We saw this success because I believe we did things differently.
It’s essential that you find what makes your offering unique to help you stand out from the competition. Look at what your competitors are doing, and find a way to do it better. If the industry has a bad reputation, for example, then give it a good one. Communicate with your employees and your customers. Always stick to your word. Honor everyone you work with, and be appreciative of your clients. I believe you will be surprised at how people will talk about you and your business.
As you can see, it’s not impossible to turn your interests or passions into a business or career. By following these five steps, you can set yourself up for success and begin turning your dreams into reality.
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