What does monetize your passion even mean?

I define the phrase as doing what you enjoy and making money from it.

Ask yourself, what would you rather be doing? How would you prefer to spend the workday? What would make you look forwards to Mondays or ANY day for that matter?

What if I said you could turn your hobby, interest, or passion into extra income or even a full-time gig?

It’s possible. Hundreds of thousands of people have done it. In fact, I’ve done it, and I believe you can too.  I believe you want to be in charge of your own income. I believe you want to be happy in your work. I believe you want to be an entrepreneur.  Yup. An entrepreneur. It’s a big leap, but in this blog post I break it all down in a 5-step roadmap to turning your passion into profit.  Let’s start.

 

Step 1: Identify Your Passions

What are your “passions”? The dictionary defines a passion as:

  • an intense desire or enthusiasm for something
  • a thing arousing enthusiasm

My definition of a passion is simply, any activity or interest that you enjoy doing.

I know for some of us, identifying our passions can be the hardest part about taking a big leap in life, becoming an entrepreneur, or making a career switch.

Here are two important things to remember.

  1. You can have more than one passion. There are people who have always known who they want to be, what they want to do, or what they want to have in life.  Perhaps they’ve always wanted to sing, paint, or play in the NFL.  For others, no one interest resonates that deeply.  If you’re a part of the other clan, can I just welcome you to the group? =) For years I struggled to figure out what I really wanted to do.  I felt like I enjoyed activities, but didn’t LOVE them enough to make a life or career out of them.  I had SO many ideas and felt like I was all over the place.  These feelings are OK.
  2. Your passions are as unique as you are. Passions go beyond the more obvious talents like singing, sports, or art. Your gifts and passions can be less obvious, like having a knack for networking, organizing events, baking cakes, detailing cars, or landscaping.  No interest is too insignificant if you enjoy it.

The big takeaway here is to remember you are human.  That means you are allowed to love volunteering overseas, technology, marketing, travel, teaching, singing, coaching, and law. You can enjoy all of these things and build a business, or many businesses, that embrace  them all. You are allowed to be multi-passionate.

Watch This Video On Being Multi-Passionate:

 

While it may look like some of the most successful people have one true passion, a second glance will easily dispel the myth. Oprah is an amazing media personality.  She also enjoys public speaking, reading (Book Club)  teaching (Oprah’s Life Class), philanthropy (Oprah Winfrey’s Leadership Academy),  organic gardening (Oprah’s Organics), etc. Marie Forleo was a fitness guru, sold online courses, wrote books, and now hosts an online Tv Show. Richard Branson, CEO of Virgin Atlantic,  has over 400 brands under the Virgin umbrella including an airline, record label, and mobile phone company.  Not only can you too, do many things, but you SHOULD do many things!

Some of us need to walk multiple paths to discover what we enjoy.  The point is to discover what you enjoy while on these paths and do just that. Identify an interest or activity that brings you joy and try to monetize it.   Here’s the 3-step process.

  1. Identify Your Passions – Make a list of activities and interests that you have. (Check out this blog for help.)
  2. Monetize Your Passion – Identify ways to monetize the activities and interests that bring you joy. Here’s a list of 101 Business Ideas.
  3. Prioritize Your Passion – After you’ve applied business principles to your ideas, prioritize them by profitability.

Once you’ve done the above, move on to the next step!

 

Step 2: Validate Your Idea

Now, that you have prioritized your ideas, let’s choose one near the top.  Choose just one and designate this your new business!

Yes, that’s right. You’ve got a business!

(Don’t worry about the other passions on your list. You can always come back to them.)

Let’s validate your business idea.

 

What’s “Idea Validation”?

Idea validation is the process of evaluating your idea for viability.  This means answering a few important questions like:

Will this idea make make me money?

Are people going to buy what I’m selling?

Is making this a business the right thing to do?

 

Why Should You Validate Your Idea?

Imagine that you have a wad of $100 bills. Wait! Don’t run to the mall yet!

Now imagine ripping each $100 bill up one at a time.  UGHHH! Hurts your heart doesn’t it?  That’s sort of what you’re doing when you don’t validate your idea.  You can have awesome intentions with your product or service, but if no one wants to buy it, you can end up wasting tons of time and money trying to push a dud.  

 

Here are 5 Ways to Validate Your Business Idea

 

 1. Identify A Problem Your Business Solves

Many new business owners make the mistake of assuming they know what a potential client wants.  The goal here is to make sure to identify a real problem so that your business can focus on creating a product/service solving that problem.  How do you find problems?  Ask! Here’s a tip.  Ask ONLY about problems, not for a wishlist of solutions.  People have problems every day.  If they knew a solution, they would have found it already.

Here are a few other ways to identify your target market’s problems.

  • Ask open-ended questions similar to the deep-dive survey in the book “Ask
  • Talk to your demographic by sending private messages on Social Media
  • Lurk in the comments sections of posts and groups
  • Put some feelers out on Reddit
  • Reach out to people who leave poor reviews on your competition’s products

2. Market Research

What’s selling?  Have you noticed that women are really into natural hair these days?  Well maybe, it’s time to get into the natural hair market!  Or have you noticed that people around you are really interested in vegan diets and clean eating?  Perhaps a natural foods product would be a great niche for you. Researching current market trends can be a great way to validate your business idea.  

3. Identify Your  Ideal Client

Create and ideal client profile. An ideal client profile is a detailed description of your target customer. The profile includes the name, age, interests, etc. that describe your ideal client. Need Help? – Check out my Free Ideal Client Mini-Course.

4. Competitor Analysis

This may sound counter-intuitive, but the presence of competitors will also help validate your business idea.  The great thing about the existence of competitors is that they have already done the work of identifying the target market and testing products that sell.  Even better is if you can identify what is already out there and just upgrade it!  Here are some ways to validate your idea by checking out the competition.

  • Use Search Engines
  • Search Amazon
  • Create A Google Alert
  • Instagram
  • Talk To Potential Customers
  • Yellow Pages
  • Purchase Directories (InfoUSA)

5. Test

I’m talking finding customers and making sales. The process of actually creating and selling a small batch or samples of your idea is as close as you can get to validating your idea.  This works in all cases.  If you are selling food, why not sell small goodies at a local event or to your neighbors?  If you are offering a service like design or coaching, try recruiting a few test clients at a discounted rate.  I even suggest larger test runs that include investing in a simple website, logo, setting up tracking, collecting leads, and making sales. It’s a small investment that can pay off in the long run.

Check out this post for more on validating your idea.

 

Step 3: Get Your Mind Right

These next few steps are going to require you to take real action.  This is the place where most people fail.  We get distracted by courses, coaches, doubts, kids, family, etc.  When this happens, your business reverts back to being just an idea or a dream.  That’s why in Step 3, I’m going to help you Get Your Mind Right.  What does that mean? It means you’re going to prepare to tackle the doubts, laziness, lack of discipline, confusion, fear, and emotional roller coaster that is entrepreneurship NOW, before you find yourself 10 months deep and nothing to show for it.

So, why do you need to get your mind right?  If you get close enough to someone that has successfully started their business, they’ll tell you that the biggest block to success is all in your mind.

You need to believe in yourself, believe in your product, ASK for money, work long hours, and just keep going. You may experience rejection multiple times, ridicule from friends and family, bad customer reviews, sinking sales, laziness or lack of productivity, and even loneliness. Can you keep pushing your business after experiencing all this?

Well, you’ll need to. Because right before everything works out, everything goes bad!

When I first started Fulfillity, I’d just put up my new website. Sales were coming in with my influencer marketing and I was confident that I finally was on my way to creating a successful business.  Then one day, while attempting to clean up the files on my website, I deleted the entire thing. Yes, I deleted my website. I had no back up. At. All.  That same day I started receiving emails from my influencers saying they never received the product. After a bit of research, I learned that the last batch of product that I sent using a new system got lost in the mail and I had no tracking. The next day, two influencers responded to my instagram DM, saying they didn’t want to try my product because it didn’t look legit. My spirit was just crushed. When it rains it pours right? On top of all that, I didn’t have anyone to talk to about this. I was in a new city with very few friends. Even the ones I had knew nothing about online business to really empathize with the disaster.  Plus, my family was not supportive of my business venture from the get-go.  My mom pleaded with me daily to just go back to law school.

I wanted to quit. I felt foolish for trying and stupid for making mistakes.  While this disaster passed and was eventually solved, there were many more disasters after that.

I have to let you know that you’re going to encounter disasters too, but I want to give you tools to traverse them. So here are 7 things to remember to help keep your mind where it needs to be.

 

 1. You Are You And No One Else

Just because a business already exists or someone is doing something similar to you, doesn’t mean you’re not allowed to do it. You are literally the only you in the world. Do what YOU want and brand around your uniqueness.

2. Watch Your Buts

You might be saying to yourself, I want to start a blog, but everyone else has one too. Delete everything after “but” because it negates what you want. You want to start a blog. Do that.  Don’t let fear lead you.  Your life is something you create, not something that happens to you.

3. Learn, But Not Too Much

Don’t get caught up in learning everything before starting.  You learn so much more from your mistakes.  If you’re anxious about moving forward, set a deadline for your research and commit to executing on a specific date. The sooner you jump, the sooner you can get what you want.

4. Know Your Why

Your “why” is what is going to carry you through the hard times. And believe me, there will be some hard times. So you have to ask yourself why you want to achieve your goals.  We all think getting rich will make up happy, but even rich people are sad.  What you need to figure out is WHY do you want to be rich? Do you want to go on family vacations? Do you want to be debt free? Do you want to move, or buy things for your family?  You see, your “why” allows you flexibility when you hit roadblocks.  If your product doesn’t sell, it’s not so hard to start again with a new or improved product because it wasn’t about the particular product in the first place.  It was about the “why.”

5. Take Your Own Advice

Here’s an activity.  Imagine yourself where you want to be. Whether you’re the owner of a successful business, in a job that you love, or just financially stable.  Just sit with this vision of yourself.  This vision of you has gone through the struggles, made a lot of mistakes, and overcome the doubts to emerge on the other side of the success that you want.  When you’re stressed, what advice would this version of you have? Keep going? Be patient? Call your best friend?

6. When You’re Stuck, Stop

There may be days where you feel stuck. You may want to give up, things aren’t working, and you feel like you’re not getting anywhere. This is the time to take a step back.  It’s like a fly that keeps banging into the glass pane trying to get outside. They can see the other side but just can’t seem to get through.  You know that if the fly just stopped, it would see that the window is actually cracked at the bottom and they can go right through, pain-free.  That’s how you get unstuck. Don’t be the fly. Take a step back. Assess where you are. Identify your goals.  This simple assessment can help realign your compass and get you moving in the right way.

7. Be Kind To Yourself

Treat yourself well. Be your own cheerleader. Tell yourself nice things. There are a lot of critics out there… You don’t have to be one of them.

 

Step 4: Gain Traction

Now that your passion project is validated, it’s time get your product or service out there.  You need traction.Image result for warm cold hot audience

What is traction?  Traction is growth. More specifically, traction is a sign that your business is growing. It’s obvious in your metrics: if you have a mobile app, your download rate is growing rapidly. If you are a coach, you’re getting more clients. If you sell a vitamin, your sales are increasing. If you are a chef, your contracts are getting bigger. You get the point.

Think of your potential audience in terms of cold, warm, and hot.

A cold audience is one who has never heard of you or your brand before.  People rarely purchase from a cold audience.

Warm audiences are those who have heard of you or your brand before.

A hot audience in one who has interacted with your brand. They’ve completed activities such as signing up for a free sample, joined your mailing list, are asking questions about pricing, or have added your product to their shopping cart.

The goal of traction is to move people inside this circle.

Here are a few traction channels to move people inside the circle:

  • Influencer Marketing
  • Referral Program
  • Social Media Ads
  • Viral Marketing
  • Guest Posting
  • Public Relations
  • Search Engine Marketing
  • Content Marketing
  • Display Ads
  • Offline Ads
  • Email Marketing
  • Expos
  • Affiliate Programs
  • Trade Shows
  • Facebook Groups
  • Podcasts
  • Speaking Engagements

For a better understanding of traction channels, check out the book “Traction” by Gabriel Weinberg and Justin Mares It’s more start-up orientated but filled with some really great information.

 

Step 5: Hustle It Out

Now, this is the hardest part.  You’ll need to strategize and execute, but that’s what I’m here for.  On TheSixof7.com I will personally help you execute the following:

  • Build Your Website
  • Create A Logo
  • Brand Your Business
  • Write Your Welcome Email Sequence
  • Create Your Promotion Plan
  • Create You Content Plan
  • Grow Your Email List
  • Increase Your Sales
  • Find Your Audience

 

Ready to monetize your passion? Make sure to join the newsletter to say up to date on the latest lessons!

 

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