The Wisdom Of A Passion Driven Business

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Some of us have passion in life that dominates above all else. It is the thing that gets us up every morning, and we fall asleep at night thinking about it. The dream, or so it is said is to be able to convert this passion into a career, thereby doing the thing that you love every day and getting paid for it. But how practical is this path for most of us in business? Not very, apart from the lucky and most talented few. However, there is another way, and that is to base your career or company on something that is close to or adjacent to your passion. Something that means you still get to be involved in that world and you can pay your bills. Read on for some suggestions that match this mould.

Your passion is football

Football is a hugely popular passion and hobby in The US, and many kids grow up playing the sports being pretty good at it too. However, there are only so many spots in the professional leagues, and that means, sadly not all who love and play the sport will make it. But if you can’t make your living playing professional football, what else can you do that keep you without that world?

Well, there is coaching for a start, OK you might not get to school the top teams, so you have never played for them yourself. However, youth and college leagues always need coaches, and you could even consider starting up a private academe to provide more intensive training.

Your passion is yachting

Sailing is a very particular interest, but a popular one nonetheless. Maybe some folks just have an affinity for the sea? Of course, like any other competitive sport getting to the top of the field often takes a lot of hard work, funding, and a little luck thrown in. Something that means most wannabe mariners won’t get to sail as a way of bringing in their income.

Even a passion as specific at yachting can inspire a successful commercial enterprise.

That doesn’t mean that is yachting is your passion you should lose hope though, as the sealing industry isn’t just about the people partaking in the races. Its also all about the folks that build the boats, and sell them and the items like these boat propellers that you need to keep your vessel in tip-top condition.

In fact, owning a shop that deals in boat parts can be a highly satisfying and profitable activity for someone with a love of sailing. This is because they get to put their knowledge into practice and provide a top quality service for their customers. Something that is likely to make them successful and benefit them financially in the long run too.

Your passion is writing

Writing is another activity that many people have a passion for. In particular, novel writing, usually within a certain genre is what many folks aspire to do, and although this is a little easier now with the self-publishing of eBooks, it’s still a tough gig unless you hit the big time.

Luckily, it’s totally possible to follow in the footsteps of many famous authors such as Dorothy L. Sayers and Robert M. Pirsig and earn you living in the adjacent area of writing copy or technical manuals. Something that will allow you to make a living as well as hone skills. Just in case you want to take a pop at that novel in your spare time.

Why Coaching Doesn’t Work

coach's whistle

I’ve been coaching for the past 8 years as an entrepreneur, but much longer in basketball and life. It’s a skill set you can learn, but similar to leadership there are some who have an innate ability to thrive in it and a “higher ceiling” in terms of execution. As a customer there are more reasons than not to avoid coaching, which makes it hard to “sell.” Here are just a handful:

“What is coaching?”

“How does it work?”

“How much is it?”

“What results will I get?”

“HR and management already provides that at work.”

The list goes on and on, so instead of trying to convince you why coaching works, I prefer to share my experience of hiring a coach. I worked with a coach for 18 months. We met bi-monthly and talked about professional and personal issues. I loved how he would ask me questions that were based on my agenda, set goals to accomplish before the next session and go at my pace. It felt much more like hiring a personal trainer to strengthen my mind than anything close to therapy or psychology. I liked it so much I picked my coach’s brain on how to become one and after going back to school for a M.A. in Organizational Leadership, here I am.

Now the toughest part is selling it. Coaching is a process, it provides solutions to the “how” questions. Problem is customers are focused on the results. Confidence and career advice is what my clients get from working with me. Another issue is paying for individual sessions. Going back to my personal trainer analogy, you wouldn’t hire a trainer and expect results overnight, so you can’t do the same with a coach. Sessions don’t work, programs do. P90X and Insanity sell fitness, but they’re packaged as a program. That’s exactly how you need to buy coaching. For example, my Career Bootcamp is 30 days of coaching which includes: (4) 60 minute sessions + unlimited weekday email support. If you take full advantage of this offer, you can have up to 26 “touch points” in a month’s time. Now that’s value! You get a defined outcome in specific time frame. Much easier to buy.

It’s not that coaching doesn’t work, it does. But the challenge is how it’s “packaged.” These days anyone can call themselves a coach, I get that. So if you’re in the market to hire one, contact a coach and ask them questions. Your decision to hire one should be based on chemistry (do you “fit” with them?) and confidence (can they get me to where I want to be?). Coaching is an investment in personal & professional development. A smart coach also knows when to refer clients to therapists when their issues are outside of their professional scope.

Athletes hire coaches to increase performance, so should you!