How To Start A Career And Business That You Love- Part 2
Welcome to part two of the How to Start A Career and Business You Love series! I'm so glad you're here. If you haven't read part one yet, take a moment to read it now! Then come back and catch up here.
Okay, all set?
I hope you are hanging out somewhere peaceful with a great cup of coffee and a notepad, because we have a lot to cover today.
In today's post, we’re going to talk all about how to take your passion and use it to connect with future clients and customers in a way that makes them feel excited to work with you. In essence, we’re going to talk about how to meet them where they’re at.
We’re also going to talk about the nitty gritty details of your platform (aka how you will reach the people you plan to help). This will give you a solid basis for starting out with your new career, and will set the stage for a business or freelance style model that allows you to make a great living doing what you love.
Okay, let’s dive in!
Consider What Frustrations Are Out There Surrounding Your Topic
Yesterday I asked you to spend some time thinking about the one thing you would like the world to know about your passion. This is an important step in building a passionate career, because it will be the one big thing that sets you apart from others in your industry.
There are thousands of artists, writers, photographers, coaches, and teachers in the world. Believe it or not, you definitely don’t need to come up with a completely unique industry in order to be competitive.
What sets you apart from others is your personality and your “why”. Why do you love your particular topic? What is the big thing about your topic that you want to share with the world?
Just by the fact that you are an individual in this world, your message will be unique. No one in your industry is going to have the exact same message or personality as you. And that’s a good thing!
People respond to people. Transparency, personality, and vulnerability are all things you should incorporate into your passionate work because they build trust with the people who are following you and your work.
So now that you’ve started thinking about your message and your own personal “flair” if you will, it’s time to step forward and start thinking about your future clients/customers/readers/followers, whoever they may be.
What big frustrations are they facing in regards to your topic today? What is that one thing in your industry that no one seems to have solved?
Think back to our example about the Fresh20 website. What is the big frustration found in the lives of the Fresh20’s primary market? (Families who have younger children and a smaller grocery budget.)
Parents with young kids are super busy, and they don’t have time to always think up new dinner recipes and go on complicated shopping trips every couple of days for new ingredients. They also don’t have time to cook for 1+ hours every night just to get dinner on the table. And finally, they are on a budget and just want to provide cheap, healthy meals for their families as quickly as possible.
The Fresh20 was crazy successful in their mission because they were able to meet their clients where they’re at. They solved “the big problem” in their market’s meal times.
Take a look at your short list, and write down one of the big frustrations next to each of your passions. You may need to narrow down your list a little more as well.
For example, if you put “writing” on your list of passions, narrow it down. Do you love short story writing? Blogging? Teaching others about writing? Writing about home decor?
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How Can You Help As Many People As Possible Within Your Passion?
Now that you’ve gotten crystal clear on your specific passions and the kinds of frustrations that people are facing in those markets, it’s time to figure out a specific plan for how you will help your future clients or customers.
You may be thinking that you just want to find enough clients per year to replace your current income and enjoy your work. Maybe you aspire to be an artist, an interior designer, or a photographer. That’s okay!
But I want to push you to think bigger than that. Why? Because the problem is, traditional service providers are at major risk for burn out. Typically a freelancer or other service provider can only take on somewhere between 5-20 clients at once, and this seriously limits the provider’s income.
On top of that, it also limits your time. You only get paid for the hours or jobs you complete, which puts in you in the predicament of only being able to increase your income if you increase your workload. At some point, you just don’t have any more time or energy.
I’ve been there too. I started a pet care business in my early twenties which I loved right off the bat. The trouble was, I soon found myself working 12+ hour days, doing overnights for clients routinely (especially around the holidays when I wanted to be at home with family), and trying to squeeze in all of the computer and email work in between.
I became super burnt out, and I didn’t have anyone to help me. It was nearly impossible to take a sick day with so many clients relying on me to show up, and scheduling days off became increasingly tough as well. On top of that, my income plateaued when I physically couldn’t fit in any more work hours into the day.
I did eventually hire an employee to help me take care of the pet appointments, but hiring brought its own sets of challenges and in the end, only saved me a bit of time while costing a lot.
There are many, many ways to fulfill your passionate work while leaving your career open to more income and more time. The point is, don’t trade your time for money. Doing so is a recipe for burnout and a limited income.
Instead, trade value for money! When you trade value instead of time, you put yourself in a great position to do what you love, help others, AND have the freedom to take breaks and increase your income beyond what a per-hour or per-job pay structure can provide you.
The more value you can provide to people, the more money and freedom you can create.
Let’s look at some examples.
Let’s say that you are a gluten free eater who has a knack for making beautiful desserts. You’ve noticed that not a lot of bakeries offer gluten free pastries, most likely because they don’t really know how and aren’t sure where to start. But you know there is a huge market out there for gluten free pastries, and bakeries around the country could really increase their profits if they provided them.
There are a TON of options out there for this particular situation, but we’ll look at just three of them for this example.
First, you could open up your own bakery and offer gluten free goods, effectively out competing your competitors. But, you may be limited by start up capital to do so and the hours it would take to produce all of the goods.
Another option would be to start producing gluten free pastries in a commercial kitchen and wholesale them to other bakeries. They would pay you a certain amount per pastry, and you wouldn’t have to go about opening up your own shop.
Again though, your income would be limited to the number of pastries you could bake and deliver in a day, and it would be tough to take days off without hiring another person to fill in for you.
The third option would be for you to find a way to teach bakeries how to produce and market gluten free pastries themselves. Instead of trying to do the work for them and finding yourself limited in both time and money, perhaps you could create an online course or a DVD series that teaches them the nitty gritty details of baking and offering gluten free goods from start to finish.
This, of course, is the best option for people who want freedom of time and money. Instead of only being able to provide goods to a handful of local bakeries in your area, you could provide the knowledge and training to bakeries all over the world.
When more business owners benefit from your help, your income is much higher. And once your training sessions are produced and recorded, you’ll have much more time to do other things than if you had to repeat the same work day in and day out.
How To Choose The Best Platform For Your Work
In the last section of today’s post we have effectively been talking about the platform, or the medium, of how you will deliver value.
Your short list now contains several topics each with a common frustration and soon a solution to that frustration. At this point, one or two of those passions should be standing out to you as the ones you think you’d like to work with.
So now let’s talk about your medium.
Your medium is the way that you are going to help all of the people in your industry solve the current frustration that they have surrounding your topic.
95% of the time your medium will include a website. That is pretty much a given in today’s world for almost any business. But that doesn’t mean that a website has to be your only medium.
When you think about the message you would like to deliver to your target audience, how do you see yourself delivering it? In what format do you help them learn more about your topic? I’ll give you some examples of possible formats:
- Book or ebook
- Recorded speeches
- Youtube videos
- Recorded DVDs
- Blog posts
- Phone app
- Online course
- Membership site
- Social media platform
Remember, many people will use 2, 3, 4, or even 5 of these mediums to deliver their message effectively. It can be a great thing to use a handful of them, as some of your audience members will prefer reading, others listening, and some watching or interacting.
Take some time to think about which of these mediums would be best suited to the people you are trying to reach. Is your passion more visual, such as art or makeup? Or perhaps your passion is more of a technical expertise, where a book or podcasts would be most effective.
I know this is a lot to think about, and believe me, I don’t want you to feel overwhelmed. Most businesses START with just a website, and you probably will too. You can always incorporate other mediums later.
Alright, I think that wraps up today’s post.
Stay tuned tomorrow for part 3 of the series! Tomorrow is going to be a big day, because we’ll be creating a step-by-step plan to help you start doing the work you love right away. I think you’re going to love it!