This article was originally on She Leads Africa.
6 Ways to Harness and Monetize your Many Passions
Asides the obvious fact that the recent economic downturn has forced several young people to have multiple sources of income, it is quite the norm these days to meet people who have a full time job and are running small businesses on the side aka “side hustles” or even full-fledged companies complete with all the bells and whistles.
Sincerely, it is now a reality that a single income cannot sustain a comfortable lifestyle and this has pushed the average young Nigerian to get creative and take a dip in the entrepreneurship pool.
Here are six ways to convert your many interests to money in the bank:
Leave your comfort zone
Starting and running a business is not for the fainthearted, it will constantly push you out of your comfort zone. For example, if you have a fear of speaking to strangers, you will have to overcome that when networking and marketing your services to potential customers.
Take on practices that will not only push you out of your comfort zone, but also work on improving your weaknesses. You don’t have to be an expert, just be comfortable enough to deliver value that people want and need.
You need more than passion
It’s great to be passionate about your business ideas, but don’t let your enthusiasm blind you from reality. Be honest with yourself! Ensure there is a market to tap into and you are ready to put in the work. Get honest feedback from people around you; even friends and family by offering your services to them.
You have to be truly good at what you do. Your passion could be making people’s faces up, but are you skilled enough to train others? Also bear in mind that as a business owner, you’ll be responsible for reporting taxes, marketing your business and sorting out your finances. Are you ready for all the responsibility?
Offer Real Value
What void can you fill in the market? For example, if you are a makeup artiste and there is no makeup studio around you, that could be a viable business opportunity. The goal is to take advantage of the gaps in the market, that way you stand out and enjoy greater returns before the copycats join you in that space.
You need to ask yourself how you can make the industry better? Is this the business that keeps your entrepreneurial juices flowing?
Let’s say your passion is making furniture. Why are you better than your competitors? Is it because your materials are sourced locally? Or your products are unique and one of a kind? That would be more appealing to customers as opposed to buying generic mass-produced furniture.
When I started my consulting company, I had used several competitors. I knew what made them great, but I also knew what I wanted that they didn’t offer. I knew how to better the services. I started it and here we are!
Convert your Passion to Cash
There are several ways to make money off your passions:
- Selling an actual product such as clothing, beauty products online or in a store.
- Sharing your knowledge about your passion by blogging, writing books or making videos. Between sponsorships, subscribers and selling your own products, you can make a decent living. For example, Arese Ugwu turned her passion for financial literacy into a book – The Smart Money Woman – into a book that is being sold in several countries in Africa and the UK.
- Offering consulting services by giving advice on anything from law to skincare.
- Investing in an idea you are willing to financially support.
- Creating a software or gadget that makes life easier for people. For example, if you were a makeup artiste, you could create an app that helps people find the right makeup products for their skin tones.
- Start an event around your passion, such as a regular meetup, seminar or a festival.
Make Fun a Priority
Maintaining your passion when starting a legitimate business can be difficult. Some people even forget exactly why they started a business in the first place.
To prevent that from happening, always make fun and passion a priority. Your passion should reflect in your company policies, your passion should be communicated to your employees when you are hiring and they have to be equally passionate about your business as well.
Improve Your Skills
It would be great if you have a lot of experience, however don’t be too hard on yourself, there’s always room for growth and learning. For example, a furniture maker may be great are creating unique tables, but not so good at creating sofas. You can learn as you go along your journey, don’t wait till you master the craft before you start your business.
Malcolm Gladwell says it takes 10,000 hours to become an expert in any field. Nonetheless, don’t let the perceived amount of time it would take you to be the best at what you do deter you from moving ahead with your plan. It may not take you that long to master your craft, as you long as you keep looking for ways to improve your skills. Always ask for feedback and track your progress.