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How To Build A Business That's Driven By Passion & Purpose

Written by Ryan Terrey
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As the old adage states, do what you love and you will never work a day in your life. But even with this ethos prevalent in our zeitgeist, too often people still get stuck in a boring job in an industry they don’t enjoy – and they do nothing about it.

Of course, to take a risk and make a change is scary, especially when it may impact your income. It can seem even more terrifying when that change involves you stepping out and building your own business.

When driven by your desire to achieve in an industry you are passionate about, entrepreneurship brings fulfilment and reward. It is a risk, but it might be just what you need to love what you do and commit yourself to not only furthering your own professional career, but also building up like-minded professionals around you and perhaps even shifting the benchmark for your industry.

Read on for some tips on creating a business that aligns with your interests and purpose.

What does it take to start a business?

Building your own business will naturally differ from entrepreneur to entrepreneur. In all cases, however, aspiring business owners should focus on sectors or services that they feel passionately about.

For instance, if you have a background in care and want to work independently rather than through an NDIS agency/service provider, then you can start by completing any necessary aged care and disability courses yourself and then putting together infrastructure to recruit professionals who have also attained these qualifications.

Or perhaps you want to start an art school for kids. For this pursuit, think about what attributes, qualifications and skills you’d need to be both a teacher as well as a program facilitator. Resourcefulness, a teaching degree, a working with children check, and some artistic abilities are a good start. And once you have the qualification requirements in place for yourself, you can then hire new staff with greater confidence as your enterprise expands.

Identify your passions, values and goals

It’s easier to get the ball rolling if you have a clear-cut understanding of where your passions lie. But what if you don’t know what your professional passions really are? Whether you have a clear vision or some vague ideas, using brainstorming methods can assist you in getting your ideas and questions flowing.

What do you enjoy doing? What are your qualifications, skills and attributes? What’s your motivation: to fill a gap in the market, to help others, to educate, to share creativity and joy? What financial, human and material resources do you need to achieve your vision? Asking yourself these questions can help guide you in your brainstorming and improve your chances of identifying a passion area that you could feasibly expand into a viable business.

Align your passions with your purpose

After you’ve got all your thoughts out on paper, identify the words and ideas that really resonate with you. Do they give you an idea of your beliefs, values, goals and passions?

These can help you create an ethos statement for your business. This will convey what you do, why you do it and the reasons behind the methods your business uses to achieve your desired outcomes.

Keep in mind too that everyone is different; what drives you might not motivate others, and the strategies you use might be the opposite of what others find helpful. Similarly, some entrepreneurs are better at looking at the big-picture, they are the visionary developing the overarching goals. Others like the nitty gritty operations, the details that will enable the business to achieve the goals. Both types of entrepreneurs are equipped with the drive they need to build a successful business – so long as they do so with a roadmap in place. 

Keeping differences in mind is also very beneficial when receiving feedback on your business plan. Consider your business ethos as you also reflect on what is, and is not, working.

Plan the finer details within your vision

A weekly to-do list is a broad plan that might include ‘do the shopping’. A shopping list, therefore, provides the details that are necessary to tick ‘shopping’ off the list. This in a nutshell, is the difference between a business plan and a growth plan. A sound business plan should include your overall direction, short and long-term goals and steps for achieving them, what achievement will look like, and how you will measure your success.

So how do you prepare a roadmap that works best for your own entrepreneurial style? Well when in doubt, look to your goals for direction, or perhaps even seek insights from your wider team. By devising a clear plan that’s tailored to your professional and organisational objectives, you are developing a map to guide your venture towards progress and away from pitfalls.

Measure your success 

If we look again at the to-do list analogy, the indicators of success are clear. You can look at your list and get a dopamine hit when you see the ticks next to jobs, showing how much you have achieved. 

In this regard, you could argue that it does not matter how you measure your success in the earliest days of your enterprise – the criteria for success is defined by your ability to honour your goals and ethos. It’s vital that the criteria is clear and available to all who work for you (even if you are the only employee). From the small (e.g. gain a client every month), to the large (e.g. record a profit of x dollars to recruit another employee), knowing exactly how you can progress leads to ongoing success.

Adapt and innovate

As we’ve mentioned throughout this guide, there are certain qualities that often make for successful entrepreneurs. Attributes like discipline, self-belief and confident communication are essential from the get-go. The ability to listen, take responsibility and problem-solve will help you establish a network in the industry and a loyal consumer base. 

The world is ever-changing. The jobs, technology, desires and foci of society today are vastly different to those five, ten, and 50 years ago. So when building and maintaining your business, seek feedback, keep an eye on the market and competition, and continually reflect on your small and large goals. 

Remember that there will also be times when innovation and adaptation are necessary for success. Use your values and purpose to inform what changes you can, and want to, make. If changes impinge on your passions, give extra consideration before deciding whether to implement them. 

Whether you’re developing a care services agency, a tutoring business, or a tech startup, building your own business is naturally going to be accompanied with a lot of hard work. You need to be driven, decisive and a creative problem-solver. However, by equipping yourself with a detailed business plan and a clear idea of your purpose and values, you are starting out on a firm footing. 

So to conclude, let’s leave you with one final piece of advice: always be sure to celebrate your wins, no matter how small. After all, any entrepreneur who’s able to turn their passion into a lucrative business will naturally have plenty to celebrate at every phase of their enterprise’s development.

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