Have you ever heard someone give the advice “Always follow your passion”? It happens time and time again as sage advice. While the intention is good, the desired result may end up falling significantly short. When it comes to business and in life, we are ultimately solution providers. Think about it for a moment. If someone is hired in sales for a company, they are helping solve the problem of revenue generation. It doesn’t matter the size of the company this is a principle that always holds true.
When you solely follow your passions in life, you can quickly find yourself in a position of hardship, because you skipped a step in the process of determining what the best career choice would be in life. The first thing that must be assessed when starting a business is asking yourself what problems are you going to help your ideal client solve.
So Why Problems First?
Starting with problems solves two fundamentally vital issues that everyone faces. First, is the service you want to provide in demand? If there is not sufficient demand for a product or service, you could quickly find yourself without a client database to market to. This is one of the reasons why companies do market feasibility studies. If the market is not substantial enough to support a business, a company will not open a new location. To gain a better understanding of this concept, look at major fast food restaurant chains. While each franchise has different standards to determine location, they all have similar thresholds in traffic. If a location doesn’t support enough potential business, then a new franchise will not open at that location.
The other issue that is solved by starting with problems first is addressing your skillset. Each and every one of us has a different skillset. There are things that we are great at, and then there are things which we are not. While you can improve your skills in any area, there will be some areas you have a natural affinity for. As an example, someone might be a world class chef but if you were to ask them to work on a car engine, they would not have the skillset to do so.
When we know what skills we have a natural talent for, it makes identifying problems to solve substantially easier. Also when you focus on solving problems that come naturally to you, it makes each day more enjoyable. Have you met someone that didn’t like what they were doing? Were they someone who only did it to pay the bills?
So how do you know if you are truly passionate about a particular skillset? It’s simple. Visualize yourself waking up 5 or 10 years from now doing the exact same thing you are about to do today. Are you still excited? Or are you sad and wanting to do something else? When you can be just as excited 5 years into the future as you are today, then you are doing something which is a great fit for you.
It’s important that all three of these areas are taken into consideration when becoming an entrepreneur. When you do what you love, you ultimately will love what you do each and every day. Remember focus on solving a problem and knowing your skillset then match up what you discover with your passion. It is at this point you will discover where you have the greatest potential in life as an entrepreneur.