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Posted on 2019-08-28 04:30:00

Believe it or not, it can happen. Plus, great advice from some home-grown start-up successes.

Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, Victoria Beckham, Ellen Degeneres, Stephen King – what do these famous personalities have in common? They’ve turned their passion into a super successful career!

But let’s face it – pursuing a passion is easier said than done. For one Bill Gates success story, there are a thousand, maybe a million, more stories of those who failed. You may be passionate about something but others do not see it the way you do, hence there’s no chance of a proper business idea there.

Plus, being excited and interested to do one thing changes the minute you decide to turn it into a cold, hard business – passion goes out of the window and in comes administrative things like where to get funding, how to make a profit and more importantly, how to make your passion a viable business.

Not to mention that you will probably fail at your first few attempts. You may be super enthusiastic about your new passionate venture but that’s just you – what about the people you have to convince to buy into your brand or your business? That takes more than just passion to get them to see things the way you do!

Which is why a lot of people give up quickly because it goes from passion to pain really fast. That thing you used to be passionate about? You could probably dread doing it now.

Not to say that you should give up though – imagine if Mark Zuckerberg gave up with his first failure? Things would be very different now in terms of social media!

Success comes to those who wait and work hard. How do you become one of those people? Here are three things you can focus on to change your passion into a rewarding career.

#1 Find time to do your research
A lot of people just jump into their passion without doing the proper research only to fail because they didn’t expect something to happen. Unless your passion is really unique, know that there could be others out there with the same passion and maybe even better at it.

For example, your passion is baking and you think you could start a really successful business out of this passion. But before that can happen, you need to find out what makes you different from all the other bakeries out there – why should someone buy your cakes instead of from another baker?

Also, to hone your passion into a successful career takes time. You might have to learn new skills, develop a detailed business plan or even work on it part time first before decided to go full time.

Let’s be honest: How many times have you dropped something because you can’t find the time for it? Could this be just like one of your many other unfinished projects? If you just don’t have the time to indulge in your passion then maybe it’s not something that you really want – think about it.

Like Jonathan Weins, co-founder of popular online delivery company dahmakan says, “Having grit and seeing things through, having the flexibility to explore and try different options and just working really really really hard are what’s necessary for a great entrepreneur.”

#2 Think of it from a business sense
It sounds like a dream to be able to tune into your passion and make a whole lot of money out of it. Unfortunately, it could remain as just that – a dream! When you turn your passion into a business, a lot of other things need to come into play. Where are you going to get customers from, will your customers come back for more and how are you going to entice them to keep buying from you or engaging your services? The most important question: Is your passion something you can use to sell?

Think long and hard about these questions before you decide to take the leap. Like Kim Lim, one of the founders of Picha Project, says: “An idea can only turn to a business if people want it. And to validate the idea is very important so that it becomes what people need instead of what people want.” The team behind this social enterprise must have thought long and hard about this – in May 2017, it was reported that their total sales were slightly more than half-a-million ringgit while monthly sales average at RM40,000!

#3 Give it time
You’re not going to strike it big the minute you head out on your own. Those people mentioned earlier in this article? It took them years and years of practice, hard work and rejection before reaching where they are today. It may take someone an hour to come up with a great plan but that person probably has many years of experience backing that up.

What we are trying to say is that you shouldn’t expect your passion to turn into profit within a year – unless you strike the luck jackpot. It takes many tries and failures to get to success.

But don’t give up – doesn’t mean that it won’t happen; it just takes time! Things may seem slow right now but if your passion is something that others really buy into and you’ve really worked hard, when it strikes gold, it strikes hard. So be patient and remember that practice makes perfect. Eventually, it will all pay off.

Take this advice from Jenn Low of popular jewellery brand Wanderlust+Co: “Hustle hard and put in the hours. Be a bundle of energy and enthusiasm! Love your customers, love your people, be true to why you started, love what you do and do great work consistently.”

Photo by Randalyn Hill on Unsplash

By Mel Sim

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