There is a saying that if you do what you love, your vocation becomes a vacation. Then you enjoy your work, invest the effort to always give your best, and don’t mind the time it takes to build a business that makes you wealthy. The book “The Millionaire Next Door” found that two thirds of all millionaires were small business owners, and the majority of those were in dull-normal businesses doing what they loved, finding a niche and excelling at it, or in some cases, being the top performer in a crowded field. Here are the steps to making money doing what you love.
Consider What You Want to Do
Initially, make a list of what you like to do and the skills you have. Since this is the brainstorming phase, you want as many ideas as possible. You’ll look at combinations of skills or study the market for them later. Don’t limit yourself to a particular industry or field – you’ll winnow these ideas to a smaller, practical set later.
Determine How You Can Monetize Your Talents
You love to cook. You enjoy cooking for your family or serving meals to your friends. You want to turn this into a business. Once you’ve decided the skill set, determine several ways to monetize it. Do you want to be operating a restaurant and serving what people want at the pace they demand? Would you like to publish a cookbook? Would you be able to make money catering special events, spending some time cooking on demand but without the cost and hassle of a restaurant? Could you come up with enough ideas to host a cooking channel online and get advertising revenue from it? Remember that you can build on one method once it is in place, like setting up the channel on the subject and then promoting a book on the topic to your new followers.
If you like to read or write, you need to look at how to monetize this. Few people sell all American novels. Can you make money writing, ghostwriting others’ memoirs? Do you want to write marketing copy? Would you do better earning a living as an editor for others as you work on your manuscripts on the side? Would you be able to tutor others in English or for college admission essays?
Once you have a list of ways to monetize each skill set and interest, you can investigate them in detail to determine what you do not want to do.
Pick Ideas to Research in Detail
If you have ideas about businesses you’ve never actually been in, find people working in the field to job shadow or interview. Learn about the industries you are considering entering so you don’t start up a business in a crowded field. You want to strike ideas off your earlier list through direct experience. If you were thinking of running a restaurant and learn you can’t stand the pressure, now you can investigate bottling your line of signature sauces or catering. You may even find a mentor in this process or a new job you like.
Try It Out on the Side
If you have a business idea, take the classic advice and don’t quit your day job. Try assembling gift baskets in the evening and weekend, promoting it through word of mouth or a website. Try writing through freelance websites or tutoring the children of friends. This gives you the hands on experience in the field while you have the luxury of making changes, since your livelihood doesn’t depend on it. It’s better to shut down one business and switch products or services altogether now than when your ability to pay the bills depends on it. Once you find a business model that works and makes money, start growing it. This isn’t the quick and easy process on how to become rich, but it is a tried-and-true method that gives you room to make the mistakes you’ll inevitably make.
Brainstorm what it is you want to do. Pick a few ideas and consider how you would monetize them. Learn about the realities of the work you want to do so you can weed out jobs and businesses that aren’t a fit for your personality, schedule and needs. Then start doing your thing on the side so you can determine pricing, marketing and market interest. If you fail on one endeavor while running a side business, you still have the ability to try out another until you find one that works.