Find Your Purpose - Part 3 - Passion, Profits and Principles
Passion, Profits and Principles
As we have explored thus far, it is possible, and in fact highly desirable, to let your passion drive your business purpose. However, in doing so, you should be conscious that any for-profit business needs to be founded on a clear set of principles and with a clearly defined ethos. These principles are not only important to deliver a profitable business with integrity, they will actually define your business brand to your current and potential customers…how many people would wish to identify with a morally dubious brand?
Below are some of the key principles to consider when transforming your passion into a profitable business:
- Be sure to know your subject matter – assuming you have identified your passion as the genesis of your business idea then its highly likely that you have a good, detailed grasp of your subject, however has your passion left you with any blind spots? Try to find an objective way of mapping out all facets of your subject area (a mind map would be a good technique for this) and have this peer reviewed by a friend or colleague who is knowledgeable in the subject.
- Treat your subject matter with the respect it deserves. Again, if this is your passion its hard to imagine you don’t have a great deal of respect for it. The risk however is you close your mind to others that have a different perspective on the subject. Being respectful includes being open-minded to others perspectives and seeking opportunities to co-create and co-elevate your subject through the positive use of the other person’s perspective (by the way this is also one of the key ingredients in innovative thinking).
- Keep on top of your subject and also on the marketplace for your products/services, in the era of the internet, whilst your subject matter may not change overnight, the marketplace moves at the speed of light. Miss changes in the marketplace at your peril…anyone remember Borders Books, Blockbuster video, Kodak cameras?
- Engage with your customers. By staying close to your customers and offering a personalised service (within reason depending on your market size) you not only demonstrate high levels of customer service, you engage with your marketplace at an emotional level…and guess what? Building an emotional connection with your customers is at the very heart of branding your business.
- Build your network. Try to surround yourself with like minded people. Quite often others with similar passions will be happy to open up and share them with you (one of the key traits of passionate people is their desire to share their passion with anyone who will listen!) Particularly today, with the explosion of social media platforms, there are groups out there covering just about every subject under the sun…on some platforms you can even follow hashtags as well as people/groups! Ideally when building your network identify buyers and influencers. The latter will be key to getting your subject and your related products/services talked about in the marketplace.
You can check out how we are doing over at Shades4Seasons.