What if you could run a profitable business while only doing things you enjoy?
It may sound like a pipe dream, but this is the premise behind nearly everything we do at Strategic Coach. We help entrepreneurs identify their Unique Ability—what they love to do and do best—and set up a business where they’re able to focus the majority of their time on activities that use that ability.
There is a misconception that turning a profit in your business requires long hours, hard work, and many sacrifices. And while that may be true for some, it doesn’t need to be.
In truth, there are many ways to turn a passion into a business (and continue to be passionate about it for years to come). And more importantly, we’ve seen time and time again that entrepreneurs who focus a majority of their time on activities they’re passionate about end up with a business that provides more profit, better results, and increased happiness.
Whether you already own a business or you’re toying with the idea of starting one, this post will show you how to turn a passion into a business—and still turn a profit!
The 4 types of activities.
Before you can turn your passion into a business, you need to figure out what your passion actually is.
You probably already have a good idea of what this is, but the more specific you can get, the better. Running a business often involves wearing multiple hats—especially in the beginning—and rarely do entrepreneurs take the time to think about which hats they enjoy and which they don’t. They’re more concerned about how they’re going to get everything done in their business.
In life and business, there are essentially four types of activities we all do:
- Unique Ability Activities: These are activities that you love and do best. This is where your passion truly lies.
- Excellent Activities: These are the activities for which you have superior skill and a great reputation, but no passion. They may turn a profit, but you don’t enjoy them.
- Competent Activities: You know how to do these activities, but you’re merely adequate. Other people could do them better.
- Incompetent Activities: When you do these activities, you experience failure, frustration, stress, and conflict. You hate doing these activities because you’re not good at them.
Learning how to turn your passion into a business is actually quite simple. Do whatever you can to prioritize your Unique Ability Activities while eliminating the remaining three types of activities from your life. As Dan Sullivan says, the goal is to “delegate everything except genius.”
Not sure how to start? Let’s do a simple exercise.
Taking stock of your activities.
Think about all the activities you do in your business. If you don’t already have a business, you could focus on the activities you currently do in your life and career.
Now let’s get a little granular. Start by listing all of your incompetent activities. These are activities that you hate doing and you’re not good at doing. You would love to eliminate them from your business or life entirely.
Next, list all of your competent activities. You don’t enjoy these and you’re not great at them, but you may be forced to do them in your business. This gets a little nuanced. You’ll probably realize that some of the activities you’ve listed as “incompetent” should actually be listed here. Go ahead and move those around as necessary.
After that, start listing all of your excellent activities. Remember, these are things that you’re great at doing but don’t bring a lot of enjoyment to your life. These activities may pay well—they may even be the primary profit-producing activity in your business or job—but that’s not what we’re concerned with. One of the best ways to think about this is to ask yourself, “Is this something I’m actually passionate about, or is it something I’m just good at?”
And finally, we’re on to the fun stuff. It’s time to list your Unique Ability Activities. These should share four characteristics:
- Superior skill: They utilize a great talent of yours that other people notice and value.
- Passion: You love doing these activities and want to do them as much as possible.
- Energy: These activities are energizing for you and others.
- Never-ending improvement: You keep getting better and never run out of possibilities for growth.
Forget profit, results, and the business side of things for a minute. What do you love doing? If you could choose just one thing to do every day, what would it be?
These activities may be few and far between in your current day-to-day life. But just think about how it would feel to wake up every morning knowing that these are the only types of activities you have to do. How would that affect your energy and mindset?
This is how to turn a passion into a business. It doesn’t matter whether these activities are going to turn the biggest profit. What matters is that they will keep you energized and excited about your business for years to come. If you can achieve that, your business will already be set up for success.
How to turn a passion into a business.
You know you need to focus on your Unique Ability Activities to turn your passion into a business, but how do you actually do it? Or, if you already have a business, how do you cut out everything else?
Always remember that for every activity you hate doing, there is someone who loves doing it. While some people feel as if they need to be doing everything in their business themselves to turn a profit, this thinking is detrimental in two ways: it prevents you from focusing on your Unique Ability, and it prevents someone else from doing the same.
While you may need to wear many hats when you first start your business, your goal should always be to focus on the activities that utilize your Unique Ability. Once you start turning a profit, you can begin to delegate all of the activities that don’t—and then you will see the rapid growth you’re capable of.
For more resources on Unique Ability and how you can put it to use to turn your passion into a profitable, enjoyable, and meaningful business, visit UniqueAbility.com.