Are you itching to do something new? Have you been dreaming of starting your own business? Are you struggling to determine what that new thing might be or what steps you need to take to get there? Or perhaps you know more about what you don’t want to do than what you do want to do?
I’ve been there—more than once. In today’s gig economy, many people (especially women) are seeking opportunities to expand their income streams and pursue interests outside of their primary career or role. I am no exception.
I have had the hustle and desire to be an entrepreneur since middle school, selling handmade scarves at the middle school “mall” (a one-night fair at the school to showcase our projects as the culmination of our entrepreneurship unit.) Fast forward to me as an at-home-working-mom with a toddler and a preschooler who launched an online boutique selling mom and baby products and writing mompreneur content on my blog. Fast forward nearly fifteen years later, and I am the owner of an online personal growth coaching practice and a management consulting firm because I want to serve others and share my extensive business leadership experience. If there is an active or passive income stream to be discovered, I will find it!
So how did I determine what business to launch each time? For each adventure, I invested a lot of time journaling, reading, trolling the internet, and learning from others online as I narrowed down what might be the best path for my entrepreneurial outlet. I found myself following a loose framework that I am sharing below in a series of questions. I call the framework “passion mapping”- the act of aligning your passions to your why and your offerings to the world.
Part 1: Who are you?
- What are you passionate about? What is it that comes to mind that invokes immediate joy and excitement?
- What are your strengths and gifts? What gives you confidence and an adrenaline rush?
- What do you consider your weaknesses or blind spots to be? What drains your energy?
Part 2: What’s your gift, and who needs it?
- What is the goodness that you have to offer potential clients or customers?
- Let’s talk about who you may want to serve. List the attributes of who you like to help or work with. (Gender, age, generation, career, struggles and needs, location, marital status, children or no, etc.)
Part 3: What might your offer be, and what does it look like?
- Do you already have some ideas of what you might want to do for your new business?
- Do you want to offer a service, or do you have a product idea?
- What’s your “why”? Why do you feel connected to the idea of launching this business? What is motivating you? (This is critical to your ultimate success and staying focused on your goal.)
- What is the vision for your business? Close your eyes, describe all you see, or create a vision board to represent your grand plan.
Part 4: How will you get from here to there?
- What are your most significant hurdles to overcome to go from where you are today to the vision you outlined above? What worries you most?
- What do you need? (tangibly and intangibly)
- Who do you need help from? (experts, mentors, peers, helpers)
- How will you hold yourself accountable for progress towards your new entrepreneurial identity?
- What is your next step? (And I mean your next step literally. What can you do in the next 24 hours to get yourself out of the gates?)
Spending time thinking through the answers to these questions, even if you already have your idea pretty well-baked, will help you anchor your business in the deepest wells of your soul. When the entrepreneurial journey feels overwhelming, confusing, harder than anticipated, or even leading to failure, you’ll have something to point back to to help you center yourself and rise to the challenge.
When you are ready, grab your journal (or your laptop) and start your next adventure. I am over here cheering you on, you multi-passionate maven. Be brave and go get it!
All my best and more,