Where To Start When Building Your Business
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PHASE I - UNDERSTAND YOUR WHY AND HOW
DISCOVERING YOUR PASSION
"If you hate your Monday through Friday you are in big trouble. If you genuinely celebrate Friday you need to rethink your entire game."
That is a quote by motivational speaker and marketing expert Gary Vee who has gained a huge following on social media by making these kinds of bold statements. A lot of the times I feel like he’s over-exaggerating some scenarios a little but with this one he hit it right in the middle.
🔑 The goal is to truly love what you do. Every day of the week.
Only then will you find true happiness.
Look at it this way: Every single one of us is given only one chance at life, one chance at making this thing work in our favour. I don’t see any reason why you should keep on doing something you’re not fully enjoying over a long period of time.
Thinking about this always reminds me of an article the Forbes Magazine published in 2011 which states that “70% Of Employees Hate Their Jobs”. That’s just 3 in 10 people that are happy with their situation. THREE in ten! And let me tell you, that number is only going to get more extreme since it’s becoming ever more competitive on the market and more and more people are realizing that a different way of living can actually be attained. Job security isn’t what it used to be either - but I’m getting off track now. We have written a number of blog posts on our website that go in that direction if you want to know more.
Don’t get me wrong, loving what you’re doing doesn’t mean that every single moment will be filled with joy and overwhelming happiness. You’ll still have some bad days and days where nothing seems to be working out. These are the days when passion matters the most because it will make these bad days easier to bear. Sometimes you have to go through tougher stretches but in the end it will always be worth it. That’s why you have to keep on giving it your all.
🔑 This life is not a dress rehearsal. This is the real deal.
Make the most of it.
Well, how do you find out what you are deeply passionate about?
The easiest way to put it would be this: if you’re truly passionate about something then you’d even gladly do the work for free. You’ll encounter boring tasks and long nights and when motivation dies out, let discipline take its place - and trust me, it’s much easier to do that when you actually like doing it.
To get one step closer to finding your passion, think for yourself what your ideal life would look like and visualize yourself living it. What would your hobbies be? What would you be working on? How would your daily routine be structured?
These are some of the questions you should ask yourself so that you can reverse engineer your vision, which basically means working your way backwards from the finish line to now. Think of ways how you can achieve that dream life of yours and then start thinking about a plan to write down. Most of our dreams have something to do with our fundamental desires (e.g., financial or physical freedom and health) - that can make it a little easier to create some sort of plan because you now know what it is you truly desire.
Other questions you could ask yourself are:
-What do you get so lost in that you lose track of time?
These are the kinds of activities that put you in the state of Flow. Everything is clicking for you, your ideas are sparking and you don’t care about the passing of time. These are also the things you could talk about for hours on end without actually getting bored.
-What isn’t working for you? What drains you, makes you stressed, or wastes your time?
Drawing back to the last question, you probably also know some activities that make time seem to stand still - are these really activities that spark a light in us?
We often think about our passions as "what wakes us up in the morning", but I like to think about passion as what wakes up our souls. This could be something you like to teach others, a topic you enjoy debating, or something you continuously research or read about.
-If you were secure in every way, what would you do with your time?
This is the question that rules them all. If there’s nothing left to worry about - you are financially stable, are healthy and enjoying life - then what would there be left for you to do? These are the activities that touch the fundamental parts of your desires.
-In which areas of life do friends and family ask for your expertise and skills?
Chances are, if you are good at something and people approach you from time to time to get a helping hand, you may also be helpful to dozens of other people. Are you enjoying these helpful actions? If that’s the case, you could think about providing your services to a wider audience.
If you can’t immediately think of an answer to these questions and need some help to find your passion, then I have another valuable advice for you: Try everything. As stupid and impossible as it sounds, it has actually helped me a lot! Who knows, there may be a hidden passion in you that you simply haven’t discovered yet.
Getting out of your comfort zone and spending time going on adventures, meeting new people and trying new activities will spark your imagination and open your eyes to new opportunities. This could be something out of time or unusual like recording you and your friends with an old VHS Camera while having interesting conversations or while doing fun activities. You can cut and edit the footage, upload it to YouTube and BOOM, a new and original idea that may boost your popularity on social media and allow you to record these sorts of videos for a living!
FIND YOUR WHY
I’ll start this part with another quote by Gary Vee because that’s what this whole book is basically about:
🔑 "If you’re earning what you need to live the life you want AND loving every day of it, you’re crushing it!"
Everything coming up is based on what it is you really want to do with your time. So every time you want to try something or you’re thinking about something new, ask yourself "Why?". For example: Why are you reading this book? Why are you so determined to change your life for the better?
Is it because you feel like you could be doing more?
Do you want to become independent and work for yourself so you can crush it, too?
Are you up for a challenge and want to satisfy your curiosity about what you could achieve?
Is it because you want to inspire people with your attitude towards life but don’t know where to start?
The last question is something I want to talk about a little more because social media and inspiration go hand-in-hand. This means I’ll take a quick detour to talk about more meaningful topics because they are really personal and important to us.
As you probably have already seen on the likes of Instagram or even TikTok, many creators try to inspire their audiences to do something in their own personal way. The emphasis is on "try" because showing your stretching routine after a workout just to get views isn’t what I mean. What I mean - and want to see - is something like showing your own mistakes in a photography tips video, sharing helpful lessons by packing them in meaningful motivational quotes or even offering dating advice gathered from past relationships.
If you can find a topic or hobby that won’t leave your mind and are positive that it can have an impact on others once you reach the right audience, go for it! This should be the core of everything you do in life and it’s the WHY we’re talking about - the right intention or motivation to do things.
Unless you are living isolated in the jungle (can’t blame you), you’ve heard of everything going on in the first half of 2020 with a global pandemic, an economic crisis and social movements all around the globe. But there’s one thing that overshadows every other problem, the one issue that’s urgent to us all, no matter if you’re poor or rich, black or white, from the southern hemisphere or the northern: Global Warming. There are a ton of influences that contribute to that but the main driver, or maybe even root cause, of it is something that’s been around for ages and really took off over the past 75 years - the years after WW2. That’s capitalism.
Capitalism is based on the principle of the free market which basically means that the government should control the market as little as possible. Policies and laws obviously vary from country to country but one thing is common throughout all industrialized nations: the economy is determined by supply and demand and those who control these factors the most have the most influence - this leads to what might be the underlying issue of it all: consumerism. More and more countries adapted this economic system over the past decades which led to a drastic increase in CO2 emissions and tons of side-effects ranging from wars to social injustices and much more.
Don’t get me wrong, capitalism has opened the doors to a wealthier and more secure form of living for people around the globe. Constantly seeking to make progress in every area of life helped cure illnesses, expand life expectancy and raise living standards everywhere. However, it’s obvious that the economy can’t keep on growing like this forever until we find a way to live greener - raising awareness isn’t enough because everyone knows about these issues; it’s time to take action. Our planet is threatened tremendously by nations’ and people’s greed and it’s been a big reason for why society put growth over sustainability for so long. But there’s one thing we often don’t think about:
🔑 “The real nemesis of the modern economy is ecological collapse.”
For example, in recent years, upper class Chinese citizens started building domes over tennis courts and their backyards to shield themselves from pollution and toxic air. Why am I telling you this? The “problem” is that over a billion Chinese and over a billion Indians want to live like the middle class of the west and they see no reason to give that up when westerners don’t want to give up their huge SUVs, excessive consumption and lavish lifestyles - and rightfully so; why should they pay the cost of giving up on something that others already enjoy? On the other hand, westerners see the rising living standards all around them and say, “Why should I slow down if they don’t?” and the “blame” keeps on being pushed around while looking for someone else to offer solutions.
The situation of climate change is so critical that the International Energy Agency (IEA) has forecast an increase in emissions of 130% by 2050 if we continue unabated. In December of 2015, the nations declared that they want to limit the average temperature increase to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels. The problem is that many of the painful but important to take steps have been postponed to after 2030 or even after 2050. It seems like everyone wants to help but we’re taking things way too slow.
How rational is it to risk the future of humankind on the assumption that scientists will discover unknown planets or technologies that will save us? Aren’t our world leaders supposed to be rational people? If so, why are they taking such gambles? Firstly, because they don’t fear that the consequences will affect their lifetime, simple as that. Secondly, they expect scientists to build some sort of hi-tech Noah’s Ark that will save the upper class in case of a total disaster.
But why aren’t the poor protesting? The one simple reason for that is that they’re going to bear the full costs of economic stagnation. In a capitalist world the lives of the poor improve only if the economy improves. Hence, they are unlikely to take any steps to support economic slow downs: “Protecting the environment is a very nice idea, but those who cannot pay their rent are worried about their overdraft far more than about melting ice caps.”
Furthermore, Harari explains that if someone is content with their current situation they still strive for more because yesterday’s luxuries become today’s necessities - one of the most basic principles consumerism tries to exploit...and a really irrational one. Capitalism controls the minds of consumers and it’s no wonder since it’s easy to feel left behind in this rapidly moving world. Our society constantly pushes each other to buy the latest iPhone, to show off your possessions and to compare yourself with others...for what?
🔑 “Money is the most universal and most efficient system of mutual trust ever devised.”
Just because humans all over the world believe that a small piece of paper has value, our economy is running and we are functioning - funny thought, right? Now what if we slowed the pace of economic growth? If investors are satisfied with a 6% return on investments, maybe they would be happy with a 3% return in 10 years and 1% in 20 years. Instead, we run even faster, constantly aiming for more growth. New problems will emerge and with that new companies will rise to solve these problems and, who knows, make it even worse than before? In that case we simply build artificial worlds that provide us with all good things in life while our planet slowly goes to waste. Doesn’t sound utopian, does it?
So, to bring this to a close there’s just one thing I can ask of you: be the change you want to see in the world. I know that sounds cliche but most things that are cliche are based on truths. You don’t have to change the world but changes start at the level of an individual. It’s time for us to be rational without letting the concept of consumerism cloud our decisions. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: it’s not about having a ton of money but about the freedom that money can bring you - or at least it isn’t if you’re acting rationally and know what it is you really want.
If you know what you want you can give it your all until you get there. Just don’t make the mistake of thinking that you have to go on forever, spending your time chasing something you won’t ever get. Remember “yesterday’s luxuries become today’s necessities”? It’s up to you to know when to slow down - if we don’t realize that we already have more than we need, nothing’s going to change. Don't put money as your main focus, instead try to think problem-solving and become impactful.
Impactful means trying to educate the uneducated and inspiring others to change. When you work to improve the lives of others, you indirectly improve your own. Also, educating others, doing acts of kindness and spreading love and understanding are all things that will fulfill you as a person - or at least much more than a new pair of sneakers will. We’re all in this together and if you don’t take the initiative and start educating, who will?
To call back to what made me go on this detour: with this book I’m taking the opportunity to try and inspire you in the hope that, one by one, we can make a difference in people’s mentalities. Whatever it is you want to pursue, you have to be 100% sure about your motivation - your WHY. Don’t let false goals cloud your vision and darken your intentions. And don’t forget to write down your WHY so you will always remember what it was that made you try it in the first place.
Purchase the whole book here.
In the next chapter you'll learn how to read the market and evaluate whether there is demand in your niche. Once that is done you are going to create your perfect customer avatar with his/her pain points and hopes which is essential for the funnel and marketing section later on.