From passion to business: how to take the leap in 5 steps
I mean, wouldn’t it be wonderful to be paid to do what you love?
Shocker: it is!
Picture yourself waking up every morning feeling excited about starting your day, instead of repeatedly snoozing off your alarm because you dread getting up to go to work!
I remember when that used to be me…
Now imagine being able to pay all your bills with your passion based business, maybe even quitting your job one day, or simply having a side hustle to make some extra cash, or as a “plan B “for the future.
Oh, if only it was possible! Wait, it is possible! I did it myself, 5 years ago, in my forties, without any previous business experience or 6 figures investment.
Do you know what the hardest part was?
Believing that I could.
Believing that I could turn my very weird interests into a business that would allow me to replace my very good salary.
People thought I was crazy- I thought I was crazy- to think that I could quit my job of twenty years (a job that I had chosen in my twenties, loved deeply, but slowly had come to resent for several different reasons, some of which were boredom, lack of growth opportunities, company’s financial issues).
But I wasn’t. I was just scared, full of questions and I didn’t know anybody who could answer them.
This is why I am writing this article today. To help you the way I wish somebody had helped me five years ago, so that you don’t talk yourself out of it before you even try, as I almost did.
OK, there’s also another reason…
As a Life & Business Coach, I really enjoy helping others building their own business! It’s really satisfying to see my clients turning their dreams into reality!
And just so you know, there’s never been a better moment that now to start a business, especially one where you get to share your passion and knowledge with people all around the world.
In fact, you probably already have everything you need to start it.
So let’s not waste any more time!
1 – Identify your passion
What? Yes, that’s exactly what I just said!
You have no idea how important it is to identify what your passion really is, or which of your hobbies you can turn into a business.
A “passion” isn’t just something you like to read or watch videos about.
It’s something you actually practice in your life, possibly on a daily basis or often enough to say you’re good at it or know a lot about it. Something you do only once or twice a year or only when holidays won’t cut it.
If you have more than one hobby or interest and don’t know which one to pick, don’t worry, read the next points and you’ll see that you’ll eventually figure out which one could be the winner.
2 – Choose a service or product
What will your business be about?
How exactly will you make money? Will you sell a product, a service or both?
What will they be?
Say you’re passionate about fitness: are you going to sell exercising gear or fitness clothes, or are you going to offer training services? If so, what kind of? In person or online? For whom?
You get it, right?
There are so many different options and only you know what’s the best for you.
This is something you need to figure out pretty soon and not only because you have to create those product or service, but also because their pricing will help you figure out how many items you need to sell on a daily, monthly or yearly basis to meet your earning goals.
Which takes us to the next point.
4 – Certify your skills
This is one of my obsessions when I work one to one with my clients!
Unfortunately though, this seems to be the one step most people want to skip.
I will never understand someone who claims to be passionate about something, yet they’re unwilling to learn more about it!
In my experience this is a sign that they’ve probably chosen the wrong hobby or that they’re underestimating how hard it is to get paying clients.
I’m going to be very clear about it: YOU MUST!
Remember we’re talking about a passion related business here, not one based on your professional or academic achievements, formal education, current career or previous job titles.
It doesn’t matter how long you’ve been practicing yoga or how good your friends say your vegan muffins are! You need to have a certification saying that you can teach yoga or bake muffins without killing people!
When you go from amateur to professional, you’re not going to sell your stuff to your friends (breaking news: your friends won’t be willing to pay for your products or services and expect them for free; alternatively they’ll all of a sudden disappear, show absolutely no interest in what you do and even choose to buy from your competitors).
You’ll be catering to total strangers and believe me: those strangers won’t open their wallets just because you say your cakes taste so good!
You don’t have to necessarily go back to college, unless that’s what you want to do, of course!
Nowadays you can learn, improve and certify any kind of skills in a few months or over a couple of weekends, depending on the skill and your expertise level. And you can do this either in person or online, which means you can learn from the best, even if they’re not close to you.
Isn’t that amazing?! I think it is!
3 – Decisions, decisions, decisions
Being clear about what you want from your business and what you need to make it happen is essential to a successful venture. This is why you have to start making some decisions.
Will your business be a side hustle, or do you plan to eventually quit your job and just live off your passion?
This is a crucial decision, one that will determine your course of action as you build your biz. If you’re planning to eventually quit your job, you need to be able to replace your income and that means putting a fair amount of effort since day one.
By the way, will you be able to work on your project in your spare time or will you need to take some time off work? Would switching to part time (in your current job or in a different one) speed up your transition?
You also need to look into your financial situation and assess how much you can invest in your business (nothing at all is not a good start, but you don’t need to put all your savings into it!) and create a plan.
Don’t be put off now! If you plan to work from home and offer consulting services or creating an online course, you can start with a few hundred euros or dollars!
5 – Start doing
No matter how scary it sounds, you need to start!
Take your business as an adventure and don’t be afraid of making mistakes.
You will make many anyway.
And that’s how you learn what works and what doesn’t.
Start by sharing what you do on social media, you don’t have to be on all of them, just pick one you feel comfortable in.
Ideally you should choose the one the best showcases what you do and even better, the one where your ideal clients hang out.
Write about it or create videos and show how you can help people.
Follow people in your niche, connect with them and learn from them, but please DO NOT COPY THEIR WORK!
Connecting with the experts in your field will give you an idea of what your potential clients are looking for, which problems they have and which products and services they’re interested in.
Show up authentically, be yourself and don’t pretend to be a pro if you’re just starting out, it never ends well.
Start offering your product or service for free to test it, to gain some experience and testimonials. This is also a good way to figure out if what you are offering is indeed something people want, need and are willing to pay for.
Lastly, remember that someone out there is looking exactly for what you can offer and that even if you are a beginner you can still help others. Not everyone is looking for or can afford the “top business” and that’s when you can be the perfect choice for them.
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This is what some of my clients say about me. Thank you!
Going on a coaching path with Chiara was incredibly stimulating and regenerating in a delicate phase of my professional life in which I had to question my work and redefine my future career goals. Chiara’s uniqueness as a coach, in addition to being extremely professional, lies in her extraordinary empathy and her ability to establish a relationship of trust with her clients. Chiara is a coach and an authentic professional and was able to transmit passion, courage and motivation to me thanks to a pragmatic approach, focused on practical steps that are never an end in themselves. Thanks to her, I had the opportunity to focus on my future professional goals and create a plan for their effective realization. Chiara has always been genuinely interested in my growth and has really helped me understand how to be a resource for myself and not an obstacle. His questions opened me to new ideas and perspectives and charged me with a new creative energy.
I would recommend Chiara as a coach to acquaintances and not just for the uniqueness of her approach, empathic and authentic, and her genuine interest in the personal fulfillment of her clients, qualities that are difficult to find in such fast professional contexts in which the human aspect is relational often takes a back seat. Heartfelt thanks Chiara for this journey and for opening my eyes.
“Working with Chiara has been a revealing experience. I had the chance to uncover sides of myself I had never considered before and I also worked on my own potential, which I had been unable to recognize, because I was clouded by negative thoughts.
I never felt judged, and I could talk freely about what was making feel confused. Chiara was also very patient and available even in between sessions if I wanted to reach out to her. Something worth noting is her flexible approach, meaning that she was able to understand what I needed in each moment and therefore to adapt to it.
When I started the sessions, I was deeply confused about various aspects of my life. The first goal was getting some clarity, then we started working towards the goals that emerged during the sessions. I’m glad I manage to unravel those intricated thoughts that had been with me for a while and I also feel full of energy, because I have goals to achieve.
I definitely recommend Chiara, simply because I got so many benefits, some of which become evident even at the end of the program. “
“Working with Chiara has been a stimulating and enriching experience. Chiara has been a valuable ally during a transition, fully present even in between sessions.
I really appreciated being able to work on what was coming up in the moment, without forcing things, yet remaining goal oriented.
As a result of working with Chiara I gained a clearer perspective over what I was going through and what I had to let go; I took a break, processed the end of a phase in my life and started over with renewed awareness.
Chiara is open and transparent, she helped me see things from a distance and explore what needed to be healed. Anyone would benefit from working with her and I highly recommend her to all those who tend to challenge themselves. Coaching is for you if you want to take your own personal development to a new level.”
“Chiara is a truly exceptional coach!
Working with her feels like sitting with a good friend and having a heart- felt conversation.
She helped me prepare for my TEDx talk and better understand my “why”.
After each session, I not only got valuable takeaways, but also felt uplifted and motivated to take concrete actions.
Her questions opened my eyes to new possibilities and ideas and her guidance and feedbacks helped me structure my TEDx talk into an informative, inspiring and entertaining narrative.
I’ve already recommended Chiara to my friends, because even in this global economy world, it’s hard to find a good coach, who genuinely cares about you and seeks to provide values before
“Chiara holds a warm, welcoming presence. She has a lovely smile and clean energy.
I appreciated how she was responsive to what came up for me in each session.
She always held up a supportive space for me to process my emotions and find my own answers, without pressuring me with an agenda or goals. This made feel safe and helped me open up.
Definitely recommend Chiara, she’s a lovely coach!”
“When I worked with Chiara I felt relaxed, open to talk, it felt as if we had known each other for
a long time!
I liked her energy, so friendly, so calm, so supportive and her voice and smile too!
Thanks to her coaching I solved some personal and professional issues, I gained a lot of insights
and above all, I feel like I gained a friend and coach I can go back to anytime in my life.
Of course I recommend her! Always and to everybody!”
“Working with Chiara was very pleasant, she’s very kind and helpful.
I liked her professional style, the way she related to me, how she truly helps with your personal growth without being intrusive, the way she’s able to take you to your final goal by asking you the right questions.
Thanks to her coaching, I learnt to organize my workday more efficiently, optimizing the way I use the available time.
I’ve become more aware of my own professional skills and abilities, which led me to be more self-reliant and independent and I learnt to work in a goal-oriented way. Being coached by Chiara was really helpful to me, so I definitely recommend her because I know she can help anyone else reaching their goals.”
“My experience with Chiara was great!
She’s able to create a very nice atmosphere where you feel so well and at ease!
She’s a very good listener and she asks you these very powerful questions that help you get unstuck and move on in a positive way.
Working with Chiara made me feel much better, I gained more clarity on what I had to do next and how I could do it, which led me to “feel” and then reach my goals.
I definitely recommend her!”