Passion is always bandied about when it comes to business. Elders always say to the young, “Pursue your passion.” And now for seniorpreneurs, it’s even more prevalent. “Now I’m retired, I’ll be my own boss. I’ll go after my passion.”
But how exactly do you translate passion into success? There’s the rub. And if you’re not successful, did that mean you lacked passion? You just need to get some more?
Dictionaries define passion as “a compelling enthusiasm.” I’m passionate about dogs. But if you sit me down to plan turning that passion into a profit, I’d come up empty. It’s that plan that’s necessary for success, not the passion.
“Passion” and success are mutually exclusive. Passion alone wouldn’t give you success.
But if your passion drives you toward excellence in the passion you’ve decided to pursue– there’s your recipe for success.
If you believe in what you want to contribute to the world, that’s good. But if that passion doesn’t extend to acquiring or improving the skills you need to make your vision a reality, where does that leave you?
From their passion, successful entrepreneurs take a resilience to push their way through obstacles. They study, they learn from mentors and also teach themselves, they strategize. They focus. One thing at a time, one step at a time,
This focus rewards them with victory. And winning is addictive. It’s the incentive to repeat and even improve what was done to arrive at that victory.
Passion begets passion.
Passion Turned Into A Recipe for Success
What would you love to do? What do you know to do and also love? Some senior entrepreneurs have always known this. Some get an epiphany by thinking back to their childhood. For myself, I’ve been doing business all my life– the only difference now is I get to share what I’ve learned all those years ago, while learning, myself!
Do your research. Are you really passionate about it if you don’t get to know it? Research your market. Look at the competition. Look beyond. Look back to history to get ideas for the future. Look in the present, and perhaps you’ll get to provide what’s missing, what’s needed.
Write a business plan. Or not. For the business plan, write down what you need to do. Do you need a website? A social media presence? A financial strategy?
Use a creativity board. Make it huge, a whole section of the wall by your desk, or make it digital. Use Pinterest or Canvazify. What will you put here? Images, quotes, tips, articles, influencers that inspire you and your work. These are people who are already where you want to be, ads you want to imitate, marketing tricks that worked, and words that buck you up.
The business plan can be a creativity board. It doesn’t have to be something complicated and sophisticated. It will be for your eyes only, for now. It’s enough to have a map of all you need to accomplish.
Don’t spend so much time on the business plan that it eats all your passion and nothing is left for the ACTUAL doing. So dive in. Just do it. Get out of that initial state of paralysis and trepidation. See your work in action. Sure, you might lose some, and you might do some newbie mistakes, but you also win some, and that winning will just feed your passion.
Delegate. Outsource. Trust me, even the hottest passion can be doused by the quotidian. Don’t let those background tasks kill your enthusiasm. Delegate them. There are plenty of trustworthy and skilled virtual assistants, who would be even more invaluable especially because they were with you from the very start.
Focus on your core competency, your passion, your goals. If you’re constantly called away from it, you get tired. If you get tired, you lose focus. If you lose focus, you lose success.
Get into a business mindset. It’s your passion. Might be even something you consider sacred. But profit is business. If you want profit, learn business. There’s marketing. There’s funding. There’s piggybacking to existing communities and brands to get your own name out there. Take advantage of the digital marketplace and social media.
Reach out to communities and influencers who will get your business acknowledged and recognized.
For example, there was this woman who was passionate about dogs. She prepared her dogs’ food herself. The results were fantastic–hair and coat dazzling, eyes bright, energy and digestion both top-notch. She decided to sell her mix of raw food. She ‘piggybacked’ to communities already talking about raw diets for dogs.
She didn’t market to them– she talked to them. Shared recipes, tried some and raved about them, and use the community as a sounding board.
The result? Her product got word-of-mouth recognition, she’s well-known within her own market, and she didn’t spend that much money on marketing at all.
Look around you and look at what your peers have done. They don’t have to be in a similar line of business. They don’t have to be the same age, or the same country. They don’t have to have a similar market.
Just look at their success. What did they do to get there? Imitate. Emulate. Steal tricks and techniques!
Finally, take regular breaks from business thinking. I have financial and business goals every month, and I take steps to reach them, but I don’t obsess over them, and I don’t throw a fit when I ‘fail’. Step away from the cut-throat suspense of it all and keep your love alive. Don’t turn your passion into something you’re tired of.
Like many people around my age we are redefining what retirement is all about. Our generation is not satisfied with just sitting around waiting for time to pass. We’re breaking the rules and making our latter years mean something.
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