I am a big advocate for small business and doing what you love.
Sure, it’s more difficult to follow your dream; it involves belief in yourself, passion and tightly-crossed fingers, but the benefits are many. When you chase your dreams, you often have to make hard choices and sacrifices - mostly time and money. But, after many years of helping business owners market their businesses, I’ve come to realize most are happy to make time and financial sacrifices to do what they love. As a business owner myself, I have no need for shopping sprees or mindless hours of screen time to anesthetize myself from regrets. Instead, I find peace in doing what I love.
Denelle Smugala is the publisher of 573 Magazine
From the outside, I am sure there are people who view following their dreams as too daunting a task, but tears and fears are a part of life once you’re off the sofa. When you are pursuing a dream, you have everything to look forward to and no time to waste on indecisiveness. Afterall, it’s impossible to know true satisfaction without first experiencing hardship. We were born to laugh and cry; to feel pain and uncontrollable laughter. We were born to live in the moment, but rarely are we able to do so. Doing what you love will bring you as close to living in the moment as possible.
...now is the perfect opportunity...
Although there may never be a perfect time to change your life, now is the perfect opportunity to move toward living out your dreams. The present economy is ripe for hardworking entrepreneurs to be successful, as 80% of all successful companies are started in recessions. As the economic tide slowly begins to turn, I think this may be the perfect occasion to start a new business.
But first, you will have to face your fears: fear of failure, fear of criticism, fear of the unknown. The benefits you gain from doing what you love make those fears easier to overcome. The realization that you are in complete control of your destiny is the biggest high anyone can imagine; it makes the sacrifices bearable. Being able to plan and orchestrate your own life is the greatest gift you can give yourself. The cool thing is, you can have it all, as long as you don’t need it all. That is the single best benefit of doing what you love: It’s uncomplicated once you conquer the doubts.
Don’t start a business doing what you hated doing for the last 10 years for someone else.
Before you even begin to think about what the best business to start is, you need to do a little research. But don’t lose sight of the fact that the best business for you is the one that interests you and inspires you to do great work. This is exactly what many people lack in their day-to-day jobs, so it doesn’t make sense for you to start a business that puts you in that same position. Don’t start a business doing what you hated doing for the last 10 years for someone else. Choose something that you are genuinely passionate about. It’s that passion that will make the difference between success or failure.
Maybe your town lacks a shop that offers a particular product, or maybe you can do something cheaper. Be careful here - thinking you can provide a similar product or service but offer it cheaper is the fastest way to the poor house. It’s far better to provide good service at a fair price, than bad service and product at a cheap price. Sure, you’ll make the first customer sale, but you’ll lose your repeat clients. And if you don’t know the difference between customers and clients, this should be where your research begins.
...a few simple surveys...
If you have an idea for something, finding people that share a similar interest may give your idea validity and viability. Ask around and do a few simple surveys of the people in your area. Keep in mind you can’t assume that just because a certain business is doing well in one place, it will also do well in your area.
Most importantly, don’t lose sight of the fact that the best business for you is the one that interests you and inspires you to do great work. That’s where doing what you love will pay off: You will be better able to handle the long hours because it won’t seem like work.
words by d. smugala