What Business Should I Start?
You have unique gifts and if applied to things you're passionate about, your work is going to be so much more meaningful and fulfilling.
Watch the video below or scroll past to read about it instead.
We've all asked ourselves what the heck we're doing with our life and struggled to figure out what we should do next. The person who finds their "true calling" in life early on and with extreme clarity is rare. So if that's not you, don't stress, you're in the majority. That doesn't mean, however, that I think you should be complacent. It just means that the rest of us have to do the hard work to figure out our path.
Trust me, it's worth it.
I'm going to walk you through an exercise to help you hone in on what meaningful and fulfilling work looks like for you. This is for anyone who wants to make a living out of their unique skills and passions. If you want to be successful and make a positive impact, this is the best place to begin when trying to decide what business to start.
Get your free guide that follows this process:
Grab your favorite notebook and pen or start a new Google Doc.
Better yet, find a whiteboard! (Have I told you how I'm obsessed with whiteboarding yet? Yes, it's a thing.)
Let's do this.
DEFINE YOUR DREAM BIZ
Hone in on your unique skills and passions to create the framework for a fulfilling and meaningful business
Step 1: Define your unique skills
Step 2: Identify things you care about
Step 3: Brainstorm how the two intersect
Let's walk through each of those steps:
Let's hone in on what your unique skills are. This is not a time to be modest. You have gifts you were born with and expertise you’ve developed over time.
Write down everything that comes to mind when you think about what you’re awesome at. Think about both soft skills and professional expertise.
Once you’ve brainstormed everything you can think, look at feedback from others for additional inspiration. Pull out old job reviews, feedback from clients, LinkedIn recos, and thank you notes and emails (do you have an email folder to save these, if not, create one now). What are the themes that you’re seeing? What words do they use to describe you and the impact you have? What is the value you brought to their life?
If you don’t have anything like this to reference, I suggest that you go and ask people. Ask your family, friends, mentors, clients, collaboration partners, old coworkers, anyone. Don’t be shy!
The last thing you can do if you feel like you still need more clarity on your unique skills is to look at assessments. If you've taken any in the past, dig them out and read through them. If you haven't taken any, that's okay. If you do decide this would be helpful, pick just one or two that are focused on the types of things you want more clarity on. Below are some assessments I'd recommend. They are all unique and helpful in different ways.
Want more? I've created a free guide that walks you through this process. In it, I provide an entire page of additional questions to help you identify your skills.
Now that you’ve got all of your skills listed, I want you to pick the top five that you feel really resonate with you and capture the essence of your unique skills. They might be a single word or a short phrase. We'll come back to these in Step 3.
Let's hone in on things you care about. This requires that you get real honest about what you do and don't care about. Forget about what you think you should care about or what others care about. Your work is not going to be meaningful if you're not true to yourself.
Let's start by doing a braindump again, but this time with everything that you care about, are passionate about, or want to positively impact.
Once you've braindumped everything you can think of, reflect on your professional work. What industry are you in or have you been? What types of products or services have you worked on? Who have been your clients or customers? Were you passionate about these or did you hate them and were dreaming of doing other things?
You can also think about the world in general. What are issues that frustrate you? What causes are passionate about? What do you see on the news that drives you nuts or that you wish were different? These are all great indicators of things that you are driven towards working on.
Lastly, reflect on things in your personal life. What do you volunteer for or donate money to? What do you help your family and friends with? What do you spend your free time doing?
Still trying to figure out what you're passionate about? I provide an entire page of additional questions to help you identify things you care about in my free downloadable guide.
Now that you have a laundry list of things you care about or are passionate about, I want you to do the same thing you did with your skills - narrow them down and pick your top five favorites. They could be a combination of things like industry, people, issues, or outcomes but that will give you insight into the types of areas that you could possibly look into starting a business in.
Now let's brainstorm where your unique skills and the things you care about might intersect (remember that venn diagram at the beginning?). This is really where you are going be most happy and successful and really just find your life (and especially your business) more meaningful and fulfilling.
Ask yourself, "How can I use my ______ (skill) to positively impact ______ (thing you care about)?" or "I want to help ______ (people, place, thing) by ______ (your skills and actions) in order to ______ (results and impact). Brainstorm a whole bunch of ideas and write down even the bad ones - otherwise they stick in your head and block the good ideas from coming out.
Then pick out a few of your favorites. These will provide the framework for the type of business you could create, and one that will be meaningful and fulfilling for you.
If you'd like to see an example where I share my personal answers for these three steps including my top statement I brainstormed that led me to me creating this business, checkout this free accompanying guide.
So now you have a framework for what meaningful and fulfilling work looks like for you and how to build a business around your unique skills and the things you are about. You might be asking, now what?!
This is where I recommend all entrepreneurs start, but it's just the first step of the process to figure out what your dream business is, set a solid foundation for your dream business, and learn and improving ongoing. If you want to know what I recommend next, checkout my Signature Pathfinding Process. It's seven steps (this one is step 1) and I give an overview of all of them in my post, Build a Business You Love in 7 Steps. For a deep dive into the other six steps, checkout my other posts.
Don't forget to grab your free guide to follow this process:
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I’m Stacy, an entrepreneur, strategist, and adventurer dedicated to helping you build a kick-ass business out of your skills & passions. Why? Because I think you should love your life and that’s kind of hard to do if you don’t love your work.
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