Categorized | Advice

Turning Passion Into Profits: How to Get Started

Posted on 16 April 2009

Writer Peter Mayle explains his own move into self-employment by saying, “I would rather live precariously in my own office than comfortably in someone else’s.” It’s a notion that’s catching on with an estimated 40 million of us who already are working on our own. Here are some basics for anyone wishing to start down the road to self-bossing.

1. Create a written statement about the kind of business you want to have. Focus on the essence, rather than the precise form. A marvelous example of that came from Wendy Nemitz, a student of mine, who wrote, “The word entrepreneur brings to mind Bill Gates or some other techno-wizard, seeking to build a multimillion or multibillion-dollar firm.

I seek to work passionately on a variety of projects in my small back porch office. I want to make a reasonable living, keep control over my working conditions, enjoy what I do, follow an honorable path and spend some time in the Greek Islands.” Once you can get a clear notion of the larger picture of your life and can identify the kinds of rewards you seek from your work and the contribution you want to make, you can make better decisions about how to accomplish that.

2. Read about others who have taken the entrepreneurial road. The more stories you know, the more you’ll begin to identify with other self-bossers. What prompted them to start a business? What defeats did they suffer? What is their guiding philosophy? Ferret out entrepreneurial role models and listen to what they have to say. They are the best teachers around.

3. Support others who are self-employed. Make it your personal policy to patronize small businesses whenever possible. It might cost you a couple of extra dollars to buy that best seller from an independent bookstore, but do it anyway. Don’t overlook service providers, either. My travel agent works from her home. My accountant, doctor and dentist all own their own small practices. Not only is buying from small businesses good for the owners; it’s good for you, too. You’ll pick up tips by osmosis while helping to create a small business-friendly environment.

4. Keep a file of business ideas. Start a file or notebook with ideas, including clips of article that catch your fancy. Keep notes of your ideas as they occur. Read the Yellow Pages. An idea folder is like a compost heap; some of your thoughts will be cooking for a long time before you’re ready to act on them. Ideas are, however, an entrepreneur’s stock in trade, so build up a fat collection for future use. It also boosts your confidence to see that you can keep generating ideas and implement them as needed.

5. Get in the habit of doing something every day to further your dreams. Open a business checking account, make an appointment with a potential supplier, visit a small business that interests you, set up a filing system; get the name of a good accountant and interview him or her. Taking regular action will send a powerful message to your subconscious mind that you are serious about your success. It will also cure you of the notion that you must wait around for circumstance to improve before you can get going.

6. Invest in your entrepreneurial self. While a lot of people talk and talk about what they want to do someday, there’s a foolproof self-test you can give yourself to see if you’re backing your dreams with action: look at your checkbook and your calendar. Are you spending your time and money in ways that reflect an investment in yourself? Are you building a library of helpful books? Attending seminars? Meeting with other entrepreneurs? If you don’t support your dreams, you can’t expect anyone else to, either.

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1 Comments For This Post

  1. Work from Home says:

    I agree Emily – when you work in a field you are passionate about, its like a perpetual holiday. When you do what you love and love what you do there is a tendency to do more that average, achieve more than average and consequently far wealthier than average – in more than just money.

    That’s why you see so many successful entrepreneurs who are passionate about what they do.

    Great article Emily.

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