The truth is, you can’t always turn your passion into profit. It’s a catchy little phrase that rolls off the tongue easily. And, it sounds good. Who wouldn’t want to turn a thing you’re passionate about into a profitable online business?
But, before you quit your day job and run to the bank to open another account to hold all of that new-found profit, let’s step into reality for a minute.
I have a passion for going on fun outings with my kids instead of working. I also have a passion for eating ice cream. I doubt either of these is going to be turned into a very profitable online business. And these may be extreme examples, but the fact is, not every passion can be turned into a profitable online business.
The theory that if you follow your heart the money will come, applies only to some people. The people whose heart goes in the direction of a revenue generating cause.
So, once you’ve come to grips with the fact that your online business is not always as magical as simply turning your passion into profit, where do you go from there? How do you know if you’ve chosen the right market for your online business?
You are going to invest many, many hours into your business, and a lot of money too. The importance of picking a profitable market from the beginning cannot be underestimated. It is no fun to get a year (or more) into it and realize you aren’t making money because there is no money to be made.
If you are just starting out, or if you are still up in the air about whether you are in the right market, here are 5 important considerations for you.
1. Have a Passion for Your Online Business
Yes, I just got through saying you can’t always turn your passion into profit, but, it is also true that you should have a passion for what you decide to market. Going into a market just to make money is a bad idea. First, if you don’t have a passion for your business, you aren’t going to be very good at it in most cases.
Second, even if you do make money with it, you aren’t going to be very happy. I know what you’re thinking. I don’t care what it is – if I’m making money, I’ll be happy. Ultimately, this never turns out to be true.
2. Evaluate Your Passion vs. Your Desire for Big Profits
Most everyone can come up with something they are passionate about that can be turned into a profitable online business. But this is something you really have to evaluate.
Some people have a single focus in life they are drawn to, no matter what the money is. You may be born to teach in inner city schools no matter what the pay is. You may be perfectly happy working at home sewing diapers and other baby items for new moms, even though it will never make you rich.
It’s okay to have a single, inflexible focus. Just be realistic about whether it’s ever going to result in big profits. Not everyone has to make a lot of money to lead the perfect life. It just makes me sad to see people being misled into believing they can get rich doing anything. If that’s not going to happen, you need to decide whether you’re okay with that and move on.
3. Look at Different Ways to Monetize Your Passion
It is not uncommon to have a passion that can be monetized, but in a different way than you first visualized. I have a passion for quilting. I love fabric and sewing and unique patterns. But, I am not going to make a lot of money selling my quilts. It’s too much work.
I can, however, have a profitable online business that sells information products and tools of the trade to other quilters. I’m still living within my passion in my business.
4. Consider the Problem That is Solved by Your Passion
Your online business has to solve a problem that people in your market have. People go online looking for answers to their problems. If you can’t answer the question “what problem is my business solving?,” you need a new market, or a different focus for your existing idea.
I don’t mean you have to take on world hunger. The problem you solve could be, “I can’t find the perfectly unique pair of shoes I need for the big party next week!” Or some similar shoe-related emergency. (On a personal note, TheSwanx.com has been known to solve that problem for me.)
5. Make Sure People are Buying What You’re Selling
The best and easiest way to do this is to look for other people who are making money online doing what you want to do. One huge misconception is “I want to go into an untapped market where I can make all the profits.” The internet is too old for that. If there’s money to be made in a market, someone is out there making it.
So do some research on Google and make sure (1) people are successfully selling in your market, and (2) what you want to sell isn’t being given away for free.
Get Started . . .
This is not a complete blueprint for defining your online business. It’s a caution against thinking if you follow your passion, the profits will come. And it’s a starting point to get your business going in the right direction. Too many people either get this wrong, or struggle with it for far too long. I did.
Have you run your passion through these 5 considerations? Are you making a profitable business out of your passion? I’d love to hear from you in the comments.