I always say (as long as I’ve “always” said anything, that is!) that your business idea–you know, THE thing for you–has to start with you and what you love the most. I say it all the time. ALL the time. If you’ve hung around here with me for any length of time, you know that.
I always ask people what they love to do….so much that they could do it all day and not get bored. What often comes up here? Hobbies. Lots of hobbies.
Now, we all know that hobbies are wonderful. And necessary. And just plain fun. (And if you know anything about me at all, you know how important I consider fun!) But are your greatest hobbies necessarily translatable into viable, potentially money-making business ideas?
Well….I’m still wondering if there’s a way to turn binge-watching Downton Abbey into a successful and sustainable business, so I guess I’d have to say that the short answer would be “No”….(although I’m still working on it! 😉 )
HOWEVER….when you’re trying to nail down your business idea–and nothing seems to be making its big entrance and dazzling you with its power, fury, and brilliance–looking back at your hobbies might actually provide some hints. Hints that might get you thinking, feeling, and imagining…and you never know where THAT might lead!
So what does a love of,say, Harry Potter or Distance Running (two of my favorite things) have at ALL to do with coming up with your breakthrough business idea?
Two things: the things that you do most effortlessly and the things you do because you just flat-out love them can tell you this: 1) what is important to you, and 2) what it is that you actually take the time and effort to not only contemplate but also actually DO.
That begs the question: what is it about my hobbies that makes them so attractive? In other words…
Why do you love doing these things? What do they mean to you?
You might not think so at first, but looking at your fun-time activities and the reasons why you love them so much can actually show you a lot about your major mission in life–a careful examination of the the things that you love can tell you a lot about who you are, what you want, and why you want it.
What is it about your favorite weekend whimsies really gets you jazzed? The kind of spirit that you’d wish everyone to have?
Now….what really gets you jazzed can actually begin to reveal your passions. And by “passions”, I mean the things that you believe really make a difference in this world. Something that you wish you could teach to everyone. A “wrong” that you believe you could make “right”. Like teaching the world to sing. In perfect harmony. (Raise your hand if you remember THAT one!)
Hobbies can help you discover what these passions are….and from there they just might get you on track to discovering what that BIG passion is.
Let’s look at one of my personal examples: I love distance running. What do I love about it, other than the obvious health and fitness benefits? That it requires that you go ALL in. Set a goal and stay with it, no matter what. Keep going no matter what comes up, don’t ever give in and ever quit, no matter how bleak the road might seem. And the huge rewards that come of keeping your promises to yourself and doing what you believe you need to do.
Now…what came up here? What internal beliefs and ideals started to emerge? That I am passionate about big goals. Big dreams. And things that might seem to crazy to try, things that most people might believe that they could never do. That I am passionate about trusting in a true calling and testing myself to see what I’m really capable of…and from there revealing my true character, and getting closer to knowing and celebrating the person that I really am. And then sharing that all with the world!
WHEW! That sure is a lot to get from being crazy enough to enter a 26.2 mile race, isn’t it??
But that is the point right there–understanding the WHY behind the the passion for the race was what made me see what I was good at. I saw the true metaphor for what I wanted in this life, and that was this: to help people see that they CAN create their dreams. And not to let anything stop them, no matter how difficult it might seem. To help them see what they’re really capable of, and turn it into something that lets them be free, be themselves, and share their passions with the world. (Like a business of their own!)
And-BOOM! That’s how looking carefully at one of my favorite hobbies helped me realize what my greatest passion was–and how it could be melded into a full-blown idea.
And this business was born! (So that wasn’t just any hobby we were talking about, huh?)
I invite you to do this: take a moment and consider your favorite hobbies, what they do for you, and why you’ve kept them up. What core beliefs and feelings do they bring up? From there, what passions are revealed? And then….how can you serve others and yourself with said “passions”?
It can be summed up like this:
Hobbies–>What you love about yours–>Passions–>Wrongs you wish to Right–>Potential Business Idea That You’ll LOVE
Want to see how it might work for you? Try this:
-Make a list your favorite hobbies. What you love. What you do for fun. What your daydreaming hours are all about.
-Now take note of WHY you love these things. What kinds of feelings and central beliefs come up when you are enjoying your favorite hobbies to the fullest? Why are they important to you?
-Now…what does this reveal to you as being THE most important things in life to you? What passions does this uncover? (And remember–by “Passions” I mean the things that you see in the world that you believe you could make right, improve, or make a difference in).
-How would you use these passions to provide a product or service? And what might that product or service be?
Even if you don’t get a clear, straight-ahead answer right away, it still might be enough to get the ball rolling. And when you know how it feels to REALLY be impassioned about something, it’ll be easier to recognize those feelings when you entertain business ideas–and from there help you choose the right one for you.
Just remember that what you do for fun is more than just fun—it shows you what really matters enough to actually take the time to DO. And when you know that feeling, you can apply it to the business idea search–and you just might get there faster!
Does that sound far-fetched to you? Or does it make perfect sense? Have you ever found inspiration from hobbies enough to lead you to what you REALLY love to do the most? I’d love to hear about it!
Until next time!