By NANCY GINTER-MILLER
Have you ever wondered what it is that differentiates a successful business from a not-so-successful operation? What motivates employees to provide better service and inspires customers to become repeat clients? What is that elusive component that creates a successful environment?
You’ve got a business plan, some funding and a good idea. But do you have the “X” factor in business, the passion to realize your dream? Here are some guidelines for discovering your passion in business, and ways of figuring out what your passion is in the first place:
1. Define your core interests.
Many of us over time have found ourselves working in situations where our core interests are not being served, but our basic necessities are being provided for. While being thankful for a job, there are moments when the possibilities and potentials present themselves all too clearly – “if I had the chance I would do this…” These moments remind us of our basic “core” interests and desires.
2. Identify your abilities.
You must be brutally honest with yourself. The world is a competitive place. What are the things that you do well, that you excelled at in school, the things you yearn to learn more about? Does that inspire you to create a business? Do you have desire to run that business and be responsible for everything that goes with it?
3. Learn on the job.
That day-to-day job may have more to offer than just a weekly paycheck. It may be an opportunity to learn from the best, from those who are actually in business as self-employed entrepreneurs or corporate employees. A successfully operating business is an ideal environment to explore your interests.
4. Enjoy the process.
Life is continually changing. New technology constantly opens up new opportunities. But the basics remain the same, how do I earn an honest living, how do I provide for myself and my family, how do I embrace the process? If you are not born into money, this is the reality. Enjoy the ride. Create opportunities. Are you starting to feel the passion yet?
5. Step outside and get real.
Be straight with yourself – is this something I like to do? Is this something I’m good at? Is this something that can provide a reasonable income? Or am I only serving a small group of potential customers?
Passion can provide the drive, but you still need to know and understand your market. Passion, combined with knowledge and preparation, provides the budding entrepreneur with the tools for success.
OK, you’ve read numbers one through five above, and you’re still excited about your “next new thing.” But how long have you felt strongly about this new venture – a couple days, a week or two? If this is truly a passionate endeavor, the desire to make your dream a reality will burn brighter every day, and you will be drawn to creating new opportunities for your ideas to grow.
Good things take time. But sooner or later your head will answer your heart’s call and you’ll be motivated to act. There are few greater challenges or joys than starting and running the business of your dreams. But it is the enthusiasm that we bring which demonstrates how much passion we really have. Passion is the spirit that gives life to business and allows you to put your own personal stamp on the process. This could be your opportunity to create a new venture. Go for it!
Nancy Ginter-Miller is a senior consultant with the Kailua-Kona office of the Hawaii Small Business Development Center, a program of the University of Hawaii at Hilo funded in part by a grant from the U.S. Small Business Administration. We invite your comments and questions. Please write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.