One of the first tasks you confront when you decide to become self-employed is to discover your passion. You may have no idea what industry to work in, or you may know exactly what you want to do, but you may need to narrow your job options. Finding your passion will help you find the right business, and motivate you to keep at it in good times and in bad. Here are 5 ways to discover your passion:
1. Ask Your Parents
Your passion for something may have started at an early age at home. Some people are heavily influenced by a family business or a parent's occupation. It may draw them towards a particular industry, or far away from it. Don't underestimate the impact that your parents have had on your passions. Talk it over with them and do most of the listening. You may be surprised by the outcome, or it may confirm what you're already feeling.
2. Look at Your Work History
Your previous or current work experiences will provide clues about your passion. List all the jobs you've had in the past, including volunteer jobs. Put a star next to the ones that you loved and would do for no pay if you could. Next, try to figure out what those jobs have in common. Is it the type of work? Is it the work environment? Is it the employer? Is it the skills you had to use? You might start to see a common thread that will help you.
3. Read Success Stories
There's nothing like reading the stories of those who have found success in the industry you want to pursue. It's inspiring and helps to push you towards finding your own success. However, reading success stories can also help you discover your passion. When you read the challenges that others faced and why they're passionate about their businesses, it helps you to think through ideas that you may not have considered before. You may see similarities that will help reveal similar passions that you hold.
4. Listen to Podcasts
If you don't have the time to read success stories, you might consider downloading and listening to interviews with other business owners. There are several work-at-home mom and small business podcasts and talk shows that interview guests about how they discovered their passions (and how they started their business). You can work on other things while listening, and perhaps you'll identify with a guest who shares your passion.
5. Look at Your Activities
What do you love to do so much that you lose track of time? How often do you find yourself doing it daily or weekly? This is a clue about what you're passionate about. For example, you may love books. You could read all day if you didn't have other responsibilities. You love the feel of books and handling them. This is a clue that you're passionate about books, and you might look for ways to turn your passion for books into a business opportunity.
Discovering your passion is not a one-time thing. Your passions may develop and even change over time. You may head in one direction for a business or work opportunity and find that you don't enjoy that after all. Be flexible and open to testing various areas of work until you find what you absolutely love to do.
Daphne Mallory, Esq. is the co-owner of Mallory Writing Services and has written more than 100 articles helping home based business owners and entrepreneurs start and market their business. You can learn more about her here.