As exciting as it is to start a business, if you want to maintain that enthusiasm in the long run, you absolutely must choose something that you care about.
Being an entrepreneur is hard. When you truly care about your business, you’ll have greater motivation to stick with it through the tough times.
Even more importantly, a genuine passion will drive innovation and help you carve out a distinct niche in your own marketplace. Tasks like constructing a business marketing plan won’t feel like a chore — they’ll be something you’re eager to do because they bring you closer to your goals.
Whilenothing can truly guarantee success in the entrepreneurial world, building a business you care about definitely provides a solid foundation.
1. Identify a niche you’re passionate about
This is the essential starting point for any entrepreneur: What are your interests? What things excite you? What would you be working on in your free time if you had unlimited options?
It’s easy to get stuck overanalyzing things like what the future holds for a particular niche industry. But if a business concept doesn’t excite you, it doesn’t matter how stable its future seems. As 2020 taught everyone, nobody can predict the future.
While you should obviously do research to confirm that a business idea has some viability, your first concern should be whether the concept is something you think you would enjoy doing. If you’re passionate about a particular niche or solving a specific problem, you’ll have a drive that simply won’t exist for other projects.
2. Start with what you know
Your experiences are unique — and quite often, they can provide insights and knowledge that other people need. Chances are, you’ve built this knowledge because you were already interested in the niche or subject you were working on. When you consider the knowledge you already have, you can find ways to turn it into a viable business.
One great example comes from digital marketing expert Jenna Kutcher. She explains that after starting a wedding photography business, “I realized that MY way wasn’t the way that most people in the industry did things, that my techniques were different and valuable and viable. That lit the spark under me to create my first digital course all about marketing, and then my next one all about running a successful photography business. From there, I went on to build courses to teach the things I had experienced success in and had shown others the way in: Social media, email lists, Instagram, and podcasting.”
In this case, knowledge and experience in one area led to the formation of a successful business in a completely different niche.
3. Find a deeper ‘why’
In an interview with Influencive, Alexy Goldstein, founder and CEO of New U Life explained, “Having a greater purpose behind your business is essential if you want to make a lasting impact in your market. With my company, our goal is to help people support whole body health without going to extreme lengths like surgery to feel younger again. Better health is possible in safer and less invasive ways, and that gives people confidence and self-esteem. Obviously, that reasoning is very specific to our niche, but any startup can find similar ‘big picture’ reasons to give proper motivation to everything they do.”
People are increasingly expecting brands to make a positive difference for the world — but this doesn’t necessarily require that you get involved in major social causes.
Instead, find ways that your business idea can create genuinely good outcomes for others. Whether you are legitimately improving the lives of those who use your products or services, or your business is making donations to a charity you care about, this will give you (and your business) a greater sense of purpose.
4. Solve your own problems
Many of the most successful businesses are born when a founder is trying to solve a problem for themselves. When you’ve experienced a problem firsthand, you know what your target audience is going through. You’ll understand what they need, and why they need it.
For example, tech startup Prometeo won the IBM global coding challenge in 2019 with its device focused on firefighter safety. The company was founded by a firefighter with over 30 years of experience in the industry, who understood the need to monitor hazards like temperature and smoke.
Consider the problems you currently face that don’t seem to have any viable solution. What would be needed to solve this problem and make your life easier?
Chances are good that there are countless others facing the same challenge. Solving your own problem is immensely satisfying — but it gives you a deep, personal connection to your business idea that cannot be replicated.
Let your passion guide you
When you use these tips to identify the things that excite and motivate you, you will be better equipped to start a business that you actually enjoy working on day after day. Having passion for what you do is perhaps the best way to generate the drive and energy needed to turn a business into a success.
The more you care about your business, the more you’ll nurture it. Let your interests and passions help define your starting point, and you’ll be well on your way.