So Whatcha Wanna DO?? (PART 1)
The million dollar question that seems to plague most people interested in starting a business of their own – what do I want to DO?
It’s one of the biggest roadblocks stopping people from making it happen. They can get so stuck on WHAT to do, they don’t end up doing anything!
Naturally, if you are making the decision to leave the corporate world and start your own business, you want it to be something you love doing and also something that will give you freedom to live life on your terms.
THE UNICORN ROADBLOCK
Most people get stuck because they are looking for what feels like a unicorn – that one brilliant business idea that will be a surefire success! What they fail to consider is that not all entrepreneurs START with that one brilliant business idea. Sometimes, it takes trying out many different things before you discover what is a good fit for you.
A great place to start your journey of discovery, is with the skills you know you already have, on work you know you enjoy doing. This doesn’t have to be your day job skills, but the ones you recognize you could easily get paid for.
Perhaps you know what you want to do (ie. graphic design, gardening, marketing consulting, digital strategy), but aren’t sure what aspect of that work to focus on. What types of clients should you go after? What types of projects do you want to do in your designation?
EXPLORE ALL YOUR OPTIONS
Often it is the process of trying different things, that leads us to a greater understanding of what we DON’T want to do and closer to what we DO want to do.
Why not start by trying out different types of clients and projects – especially ones you may never have had a chance to try. Through that process, you may recognize the ones that you’re most excited to work on, and the ones that aren’t worth your time. You can better determine the types of clients you want to target your services towards based on the experiences you’ve now had. You may even discover that there is a need for a specialized kind of service that either doesn’t exist or that isn’t widely offered.
When I first left the corporate world to be a full-time photographer, I had shot private events, head shots and family portraits on my evenings and weekends. That was it. So, I put myself out there and started getting requests for all sorts of different kinds of photography work. From weddings, photo booths, maternity & newborn sessions, to bat mitzvahs, anniversaries, real estate photography and marketing campaign photography – I tried it all. Through that experience, I was soon able to recognize the kinds of work I enjoyed the most and the kinds of shoots that best fit my lifestyle (weddings for instance did not, as I had to give up prime summer weekends to focus on those). I was able to determine that I wanted to focus on photography that involved people (not products, food, scenery, etc) as I really enjoyed meeting and working with new people. But while I love photography (and still do a lot of it), it wasn’t my unicorn. It is however, an important part of what makes me happy and fulfilled.
I’ve since started a kids photography service (and abandoned it – I learned that while it was scalable, the return on investment of time wasn’t worth it), a Marketing & PR agency (which I continue to run with help from my awesome team) and now Black Sheep Academy. I sense Black Sheep Academy is my unicorn, but it’s still pretty new and only time will tell 🙂 I can tell you that I wouldn’t have launched Black Sheep Academy without the experiences I gained through everything else that lead me to it.
This is how many business owners find that unicorn. It’s trial and learning until you land on something that just feels right.
YOU DON’T NEED TO INVENT SOMETHING NEW
Sometimes the big idea you are searching for is not something new or revolutionary in and of itself. It may be that you are taking a standard idea, but committing to excelling in one aspect that other similar businesses don’t.
An example would be someone who wants to open their own car repair shop. Repairing cars isn’t revolutionary on it’s own. But you may discover that most shops aren’t strong on customer service, so you create a strong customer service strategy that is unique to that industry and that becomes your differentiator. BINGO! You may have found your unicorn!
So start exploring different experiences with the skills you already have and you never know what you will learn, or where those experiences lead you. Either way, just START:)
From the Flock,
P.S. Having an idea of what you want to do is great, but what if you truly have NO idea? Stay tuned for Part 2 when we explore what to do when you really have no clue.