A few years ago, I started my first business. At the time I was at a corporate job that I knew I wanted to leave. Desperately. (Actually, it was a job I’d been wanting to leave since before I got there!) I’d been at the retail pharmacy gig for about 12 years at the time. And by then I was willing to try anything to get myself free and call my own shots.
But what did I want my business to be about? Now, that was the hard part.
So I went with the most logical thing I could think of at the time. I was big into fitness. I ran marathons. So why not be a Personal Trainer? Made all kinds of sense, right? Something I knew, something I was good at, something I liked? Had ALL the qualifications. How could I lose?
So I went and got a certification. Got a Diploma, even, from an accredited school. Got pretty awesome at training people.
But THEN…..then came the time came to actually launch the thing. And you know what? It totally flopped. Barely lasted a few months.
And to tell you the truth, I was relieved.
Sure, I loved fitness and health. And I was damn good at training, too. But here’s the thing: I didn’t have the right motivation to keep it going. I wasn’t so driven to get my message out there that it was EASY for me to do the marketing. I liked it well enough….but that was it. It wasn’t a driving fire.
And the weirdest part of all? I knew that this was going to happen. I knew it before I even launched it. Hell, I even knew before I started the Personal Trainer coursework and the certification process. It was a nice idea. But it was never going to last.
I knew that secretly I wanted my business to be about something else. My true zone of genius. My true highest calling. And funnily enough, I actually knew what said calling was.
But how was I gonna go after that? I knew that there was something more I wanted…to inspire people to go for their biggest callings was ALL that I really wanted to do. But how would I make that work? Who was I to say that I had enough experience to do that? Or that it was even a “thing”? How was THAT going to become what I did all day?
So I settled for something that I knew I could do reasonably well.
And it just didn’t work.
Now, I am sure that we all have a million different skills that we could get paid for doing. I know that we all have LOTS of skills. All kinds of ’em. And sure, I bet most of us could come up with a profitable business based on any one of them. Finding something you’re good at and that is also marketable is not the problem.
But if it doesn’t ignite your Soul—if it isn’t not only what you LOVE to do but what you NEED to do—then one of two things will happen:
-Either you’ll create something that makes money but you don’t like (and it might become a monster that makes you more miserable than the corporate job)
Do I regret what I did? Not at all. I don’t consider it a failure. I considered it a seriously important step in the right direction. I learned a LOT—mostly that the key ingredient in any business is the PASSION and PURPOSE behind what you do. It’ll keep you going. And it will eventually get you where you want to be.
What’s the take-home here? Give yourself permission to WANT what it is that you WANT. It just might save you a LOT of time.
Did you ever know that something you were planning wasn’t quite going to work out….but you went ahead with it anyway? What did you learn from that? Tell me all about it!