Last Saturday, my son graduated from High School. I remember thinking when he was born in 1999, “I’ll be 60 by the time he graduates.”
Wow – I never imagined how fast that time would go!
Here we are – mom and son – he’s graduating and so am I.
I realized that every milestone in life is a graduation of sorts – the completion of one phase of life study and moving on to another, more advanced stage.
Whether you leave your marriage, shift your lifestyle, create a new business, or get a whole new crop of friends… we never stop graduating from one phase to another.
For me, it means launching a new arm of my business – The Passion Project.
The Passion Project IS my passion project and it’s also yours – if you are ready to graduate and follow your passion. Are you ready? Grab your go bag and let’s go for a ride.
First, you’ll have to learn to manage your mindset. Quiet that voice in your head that says “Who do you think you are doing something so risky at __ (however old you are)?”
According to science, you’ve got a lot of years ahead of you, but then again, none of us actually know how much time we have left on this earth. Every day is a gift. So why not make the most of what you’ve got?
“When you believe in something the force of your convictions will spark other people’s interest and motivate them to help you achieve your goals. This is essential to success.”
- Richard Branson
Here are the 7 steps creating your passion project…
- Commit to taking a risk. Nothing ventured, nothing gained. You are smart, accomplished, you’ve got a lot of brains going for you. Decide that you want to do something different – something that you are passionate about.
- Lead with what you love. Whether that’s a group of people you want to serve, a problem you want to solve, choose something that gives you pleasure AND something that is within your zone of genius.
- Test your concept. This is the Achilles heal of so many failed startups. No one thought to test the market. Take your concept on the road. Do your due diligence. Get clear on your ideal clients and that your passion project is something they want or need and are willing to pay for.
- Decide to go full in or pursue your passion on the side. There’s no rule that says you have to jump in with both feet. It’s perfectly acceptable to start your passion project on the side of what you are already doing. If you are in a demanding career and already burnt out, you might decide to take a bridge job or consult while you build your passion into a sustainable business.
- Manage your mindset. Venturing into the world of entrepreneurship is not for the faint of heart. Doubt, fear, and obstacles abound. What’s most important is that you have a well functioning IGS (internal guidance system) – prioritize feeling over thinking, intuition over reason. You can talk yourself in or out of anything. Make sure you stay firmly grounded and connected to your big why.
- Get mentored. No one succeeds down this path alone. You may need help maintaining the right mindset for entrepreneurship. Or you may need help with the mechanics of business structure, financing, marketing, sales, technology, operations, or any number of facets in running a successful business. Get the help you need. Not hiring the right coach or consultant will ultimately cost you more down the road with wasted time and money.
- Find a mastermind. The downside of going down the road of entrepreneurship – especially as a solopreneur – is the loss of colleagues with whom you can brainstorm ideas, share experiences and test concepts. Find a mastermind group of similarly skilled CEOs of their own businesses. Meet regularly for “hot seat” time. The collective experience of the entire group (e.g. the “master mind”) elevates each individual as part of this whole. Caution: select your mastermind group carefully. You don’t want to be the smartest, most successful person in the room as you will end up coaching more than receiving.
“More gold had been mined from the minds of men than the earth itself”
- Napoleon Hill
Entrepreneurship isn’t for everyone. But it should never be fear that holds you back. Stepping through your fear and “not good enoughs” is the first step in proving to yourself, and everyone around you, that whatever you decide to do, you can. It’s always your choice. Pursue it passionately.
Deb Boulanger is the creator of “The Passion Project” where she mentors professional women in launching and growing a passion-based business. She speaks with thousands of women each year through conferences and workshops. You can schedule a complimentary business breakthrough session with her here.