This is Part II of a three-part series that will help you find a passion business that is tailor-made just for you.
In Part I, we discovered why we should live and work with passion, where our passions lie and what our rules are for the type of business we want to create. Now we’ll look at our values and purpose. And how together with our passions, we can create a life that we deserve.
The Value Proposition
Our values are our beliefs. Our standards or principles that are important to us. Every action we take, will most likely have a value associated with it. They influence our choices. Values are at the core of our being. They are our moral code, our rules of conduct.
So it makes sense then, that we start by discovering our values. When we run a business that has our core values at its heart, then we’re essentially making sure we really believe in it; that we won’t get bored or after a while feel discouraged by it.
For it to be a successful endeavour, it needs to satisfy our morals, ethics, standards, our principles of life. If we have passion for an activity that inadvertently hurts others or rips people off, then it will lead to failure and scar our conscience in the process. We may subconsciously distance ourselves from the operation and it in turn will do poorly and fail. And no one wants that.
We don’t want to start any business with any negative repercussions, so we make sure our values are represented in our endeavour. This also ensures that we don’t lose interest with it no matter how difficult it gets.
You will be fully committed to making it work because in some way, it represents who you are as a person. When you’re that strongly invested, you give yourself the best chance at success. This is what makes a strong, sustainable business.
There are a ton of values out there, but here are some examples to give you an idea of what we’re talking about: achievement, adventure, boldness, beauty, challenge, creativity, community, friendship, fame, growth, honesty, learning, pleasure, reputation, security, success, wisdom and wealth.
Make a statement
Some businesses have mission statements. These statements define the beliefs of that company and what it stands for. It helps them make decisions, decide on what actions to take, to honour their commitments, mould its employees and guide the company towards a certain objective.
For us individually, we have value statements. The value statement helps guide us to what we believe is truly important, so we don’t lose focus or forget why we’re doing this. This value statement can also be applied like a litmus test to other businesses or endeavours you take on in the future.
Once you’ve explored what your values are, choose your most important top-level values and try to construct them into one or two sentences that you can keep handy or memorise and refer to on each step of your journey; just to make sure you’re always in sync with your core beliefs and don’t waste time, money and energy veering away from the path.
Greater than Ourselves
What kept coming up in our research for our purpose, was that it needed to be worth something greater than ourselves. It needed to be bigger than me wanting to start a business, wanting to make money or wanting to be happy.
I like to think that passion is the fire in our bellies that drives us to fulfil our dreams and purpose is the reason why we’re doing it. A reason bigger than ourselves.
Purpose should be an idea that in some way makes life better, the community better, the environment better, the world better, humankind better, something bigger than you. It’s about giving back, sharing, inspiring, entertaining, encouraging or helping others in some way.
“The meaning of life is to find your gift. The purpose of life is to give it away. ” – David S. Viscott
It might just be something that provides joy to children, such as a party entertainer. Something that makes people show an appreciation for life, such as art. Something that gives back to the world, such as proceeds to a charity or people in need. It’s about giving.
After all, that’s what we should all be striving for, shouldn’t we? A way to make the world a better place in some way. It will also feel like you’ve got purpose in your life. Provide some beauty, some inspiration. As Mahatma Gandhi says, “Be the change that you wish to see in the world.”
Carving out a niche
If you have found your passion, have discovered your purpose and created your value statement, then congratulations, your passion business is starting to morph into something tangible. Let’s mould our idea a little further by niching.
There’s no point in being just another photographer out there, for example. The competition will be fierce and your efforts will be drowned out. If you can carve out a niche, then you can offer something unique, you can pin point your target audience and get better traction in your business.
It will also help you later in building your brand and identity, and stand out from the crowd. When we effectively niche our passion and have purpose, we strike gold.
For example, if we niched our photography business idea into newborn photography then we could set up a marketing campaign for ‘Baby’s first photo’ and target expectant parents by advertising at hospitals, clinics, parental classes, baby stores, etc.
One way to carve out your niche is to combine your passion idea with other areas of interest for you. With our previous example, we might have had a love for newborn babies and a talent for photography.
If you’re a baker who likes dogs, maybe you could make dog designed cakes and cupcakes or make dog-appropriate cupcakes that they can actually eat. If you’re a mother who loves watching movies, maybe you could create a site that reviews movies that are appropriate for children.
There are many ways to combine your interests and they can be as random and varied as possible. In fact, the more random and varied, the more unique and niche.
It doesn’t have to be a brand new idea. The world is a huge place although the Internet makes it seem smaller. There’s a good chance that someone has had the same idea as you and given it a go. There’s no point reinventing the wheel after all, but don’t be discouraged or intimidated by having competition.
Competition is good. It shows that there is already a market out there for what you want to sell or service you want to offer. But if you can create a super passion, you can essentially have an edge, a hook that speaks to a unique subset of people. Stand out from the noise.
When we give, we have purpose in our lives. When we combine a passion business with purpose, we are rebels with a cause. Incorporate your purpose with your passion, niche down for competitive advantage and you’ll be giving yourself the best possible chances for succeeding in your business.