You look at the clock. It’s only 11:25 AM. Your shift ends at 6:00 PM. You wish you were at home doing what you love, instead of at work getting your energy sucked out.
And what is that thing you do? Your parents call it a waste of time, but it’s ART! It’s not a hobby. It’s your passion. But you need to pay the bills, too, that’s why you have a job. Wouldn’t it be totally rad if you could turn your passion into a money-producing, full-time job?
Maybe you can. Get off your worker’s hat for a second—make sure your boss isn’t snooping around—and put on the entrepreneur’s. These tips may be just the thing you need to get inspired.
Before telling Mr. Crabby Pants that you’re quitting, evaluate your personal conditions. Can you afford quitting your day job? Most people can’t. Make a list of your monthly expenses. Scratch everything you could live without. Add ten percent for unforeseen and incidental expenses. That would be the minimum you’ll need to make to survive. How long will it take until your passion generates that? As the editor of Bloomsbury Publishing told J. K. Rowling after he signed her for the first Harry Potter: “Get a day job, yaar.” Well, he probably said “dear,” because he’s British, but you get the point. We all know what happened with Rowling, but it didn’t happen overnight, and it doesn’t happen all the time.
Time and Discipline
So you need to keep your day job, but you don’t work 24/7, do you? You still have weekends off and a few free hours during the week to hustle. I remember attending my first Hollywood party for the wrapping up of “Walk a Mile in my Pradas” on a Saturday evening at this beautiful mansion in the Hollywood Hills. On Sunday morning, I saw the Director working as a bellboy at the W Hotel. No shame on that. He made good tips, and he needed a steady job until his next project started. Everyone hustles in Los Angeles because everyone has a dream. If you’re not willing to sacrifice your personal time for your passion, then it is not a passion. It’s a hobby. And a hobby won’t make you rich.
AKA mom and dad, siblings, caring partners, friends. You do not have to depend financially on them, but it’s good to know that if you ever have the need, they’re there to help. The most important thing is to have their emotional support. Getting positive feedback increases your level confidence, and you’ll need lots to succeed.
People do not like to think hard about anything, so do not waste your time trying to convince them to buy your product with rational arguments. The easiest way to close a sale is by having the customer like you first. Do you have what it takes to promote yourself? Before you can create a brand, you are your brand. Be ready to talk more about what you do and why you do it with everyone in sight. Lemme tell you, yaar, as a struggling author myself, it is after meeting new people when I sell the most books. Just remember, there’s a fine line between self-promoting and becoming a d-bag. Read people’s reactions and learn now when you should change the subject to something else.
You know your thing to bits and pieces, but before you make it a business, you should make sure you are not the only person on Earth who enjoys it. Zero interest is a big red flag. If you already have friends and acquaintances showing interest in your skills, it is an excellent sign. In any case, you need to make an assessment of the market you intend to enter, not just to evaluate your competition but also to learn more about your target audience.
-Create a buyer persona, a fictional representation of your ideal customer. Who they are, what do they want? Give them a name, a photo, a profession. The more specific you get, the easier it will be to reach them and the easier it will be to share these insights with everyone that works with you.
-Check the social media buzz related to your niche & products by using hashtags and keywords to assess the overall interest.
-Determine the biggest competitors in the industry. Review their prices and marketing strategies (e.g. social media presence, blog, email marketing, etc.)
-Identify industry trends that can help or hamper your business.
How business savvy are you? Nothing at all? If so you better educate yourself a little first. Do not worry; you don’t have to make everything yourself. There are many freelancers that can help you with accounting or by setting up a company, and it would be wise on investing in good software to help you on everyday tasks too: point of sales, inventory, marketing. Do I sound like I’m trying to sell you on the fantastic features of ePaisa? Well, I am. Your time is valuable, yaar!
You do not want the government on your back for doing something illegal by accident. Get legal and accounting procedural advice from the very start.
You are starting small, so you do not need a grandiose business plan. Writing down a couple of pages can help you visualize your journey and the resources you will need. Start by asking yourself one question: Why do I want? Answer it as succinct and clearly as possible. Then ask yourself: how am I going to get there? Break down each answer into smaller questions and, before you know, you’ll have a sketch of a business plan.
Find Places to Sell
Before you rent an expensive locale, check your options for setting up an online store. ePaisa allows you to integrate your online store easily. Keep a birds-eye view of incoming sales, stock levels, and general store performance and statistics, all from WordPress.
Establish Online Presence
For a small startup business with limited budget, social media provides an excellent opportunity to raise brand awareness, market new products, build followers and eventually drive sales up. Read our previous post on social media.
To sum up, if you want to transform your passion into a profitable business, there is a way. It is challenging. Sometimes you’ll wish someone had talked you out of it. Still, it can be incredibly rewarding, and even if you don’t end up becoming a millionaire, you’ll end up doing what you truly love.