work passion http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/11474/all en-US 3 Questions to Ask When Starting a Business http://www.wisebread.com/3-questions-to-ask-when-starting-a-business <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/3-questions-to-ask-when-starting-a-business" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/mario_questions.jpg" alt="Question blocks" title="Question blocks" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="188" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>I'm thinking of starting a business. And as I'm brainstorming ideas for this business, I'm focusing on three questions, and only three questions:</p> <ol> <li>Will there be a demand for what I would offer?</li> <li>Do I enjoy what I would offer (or at least a major component of it)?</li> <li>Is what I'm offering making the world a better place in some way?</li> </ol> <p>I'm not worried about exactly how I'd monetize it, how I could fund it, logistics, marketing, or anything else. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-real-deal-what-to-expect-when-starting-your-own-business">The Real Deal: What to Expect When Starting Your Own Business</a>)</p> <p>I simply want to know that people will want what I offer, that I enjoy it in some way, and that it will help make the world a better place. Maybe I'm naive in keeping things this simple, but I don't think so. If these three questions were asked at the outset of every new business, we would have a much more engaged and thoughtful capitalist economy. I want to dissect each of the questions to show you why.</p> <h3>1. Will There Be a Demand for What I Would Offer?</h3> <p>Most businesses start out with this one question in mind. You have to make money somehow, and the best way to do that is to give people what they want or need via a product or service. The really adventurous and creative entrepreneurs will anticipate demand before it happens or manufacture a demand that did not exist before. Either way, it's all about creating a value that people are willing to purchase. Any sustainable business has to make money, right?</p> <p>Unfortunately, it's often the only question that is considered when most businesses are conceived.</p> <h3>2. Do I Enjoy What I Would Offer (or at Least a Major Component of It)?</h3> <p>Many business &quot;gurus&quot; like to give the advice that you should not create a business around <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/find-your-passion">something you love</a>. Their reasoning often follows one of the following three paths of thought:</p> <ul> <li>You can't make money doing what you love, otherwise we'd all be laying on the beach somewhere expecting money to show up at our doorsteps.</li> <li>Your love for something clouds your judgment of anticipation or demand for that product or service.</li> <li>You'll stop enjoying it once you do it for a living.</li> </ul> <p>There may be some truth in these lines of thought, but how much fun is that? In one hour, I was able to come up with a list of 55 <a href="http://20somethingfinance.com/55-marketable-hobbies-that-you-love-can-get-paid-for/">hobbies you can get paid for</a> &mdash; things that people love doing and that there's a demand for. You can't tell me that making money and enjoying what you're making money from are mutually exclusive. I've seen too many people &quot;have their cake&quot; to believe that.</p> <p>How many times have you dealt with business owners who seemingly hated what they did or were at least indifferent to it? Did you want to buy from them again?</p> <p>Many people will disagree with me, but I'm of the opinion that there's more to business than just making money. I want to enjoy something, be interested in it, and be passionate about it. Is that expecting too much?</p> <h3>3. Is What I'm Offering Making the World a Better Place in Some Way?</h3> <p>There is presently a small, yet seismic, shift in how many businesses are thinking about their roles in society. Capitalism has always had the guiding principle of &quot;make money and all else will be solved.&quot; Most of us are smart enough to know that's a dangerous philosophy.</p> <p>Fortunately, a few businesses are catching on as well. They are realizing that &quot;max profit&quot; and &quot;<a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-to-save-water-energy-money-the-world-in-one-afternoon">good for the planet</a>&quot; can co-exist, and max profit might even be MORE likely to exist if products and services are designed with &quot;good for the planet&quot; in mind.</p> <h3>What Questions Guide Your Entrepreneurship?</h3> <p>Like I said, I'm a novice at this, but I can't think of any other questions I should ask when dreaming up my business ventures that should have a higher priority than these.</p> <p><em>What questions have you asked or would you ask when creating your business?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ge-miller">G.E. Miller</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/3-questions-to-ask-when-starting-a-business">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/starting-your-dream-business-is-easier-than-you-think-heres-how">Starting Your Dream Business Is Easier Than You Think — Here&#039;s How</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/start-a-business-for-next-to-nothing">Start a Business for Next to Nothing</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-business-lessons-i-learned-the-hard-way">7 Business Lessons I Learned the Hard Way</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/six-tips-to-good-business-management">Six Tips to Good Business Management</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/this-is-the-one-skill-you-need-if-you-want-to-work-for-yourself">This Is the One Skill You Need If You Want to Work for Yourself</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Entrepreneurship Giving Back starting a business work passion Thu, 17 Feb 2011 13:00:13 +0000 G.E. Miller 490678 at http://www.wisebread.com Find Your Passion http://www.wisebread.com/find-your-passion <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/find-your-passion" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/no-thru-street-caution-speed-bumps.jpg" alt="No Thru Street Caution Speed Bumps" title="No Thru Street Caution Speed Bumps" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="172" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>I always knew what I wanted to do. What I wanted to do changed over time, and at any particular time I wanted to do more than one thing &mdash; and sometimes I wasn't sure if any particular thing that I wanted to do would turn out to be satisfying or remunerative. But there were always things I wanted to do. It turns out that this is not universal.</p> <p>Some people really don't know what they want to do. Since I always did, I'm not sure that I'm really the person to ask about how to figure out one's passion in life. But when I talked recently about ways to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/dream-job-or-day-job">arrange your life so you can follow your passion</a>, more than one person asked in the comments about how to find your passion. I did some thinking about it, and decided that maybe I had an idea or two after all.</p> <h2>Editing too early</h2> <p>I used to think that the main reason people couldn't figure out what they wanted to do was <strong>not</strong> because they didn't have any ideas, but rather that they had ideas, but figured they were impractical. The things they wanted to do (playing video games, snowboarding, going backpacking) seemed to offer no hope of making a living.</p> <p>In fact, of course, there are people making a living doing each of those things. There are admittedly few professional video game players, but there are plenty of jobs testing video games, as well as jobs designing them, coding them, writing the stories, and drawing the art. Likewise snowboarding and hiking support very few as professionals, but do offer opportunities for guides, instructors, writers, and so on.</p> <p>There are many ways to follow any passion. If the problem is time, maybe you can start small and make incremental progress. If the problem is money, maybe you can barter for access to the expensive stuff you can't afford. If the problem is complexity, maybe you can follow a few narrow side branches now and work your way toward the main branch. The key is simply that you shouldn't <strong>assume</strong> your passion is impractical without giving some real thought to all the many ways you might follow it.</p> <p>If this is what you're doing, the solution is easy: brainstorm. Make lists of things you want to do <strong>without editing</strong>. Don't paralyze yourself by trying to figure out your one true calling in life, just write down two or three dozen things that you want to do. Start with easy stuff. Maybe you want to visit your family or scuba dive off Grand Cayman or learn pottery. Then broaden your thinking: What do you do when you have control over your own schedule? What list of activities for the day makes you jump out of bed? If you had enough money that you didn't need to work, how would you choose to spend your time?</p> <p>Go for quantity &mdash; this stuff is the raw material of what you want to do with your life. Get a day or two of distance from the list, then go through it and categorize the ideas. Some are just things you want to do once. Some will likely be things that you don't really want to do at all. But among the others are likely things that you have a passion for, even if you haven't realized it yet.</p> <p>At some point, think about what you do that's of value to other people. That's important in two ways. First, it's something you might be able to get paid to do. Second, something that's important to others has a greater chance of being deeply satisfying.</p> <h2>What if your passion really is impractical?</h2> <p>Some passions are fundamentally impossible. We don't know how to go faster than the speed of light or backwards in time.</p> <p>Other passions are simply beyond our capabilities. Most of us will never play major league baseball, no matter how strong our passion. I would argue, though, that this is simply a matter of being too specific. If playing baseball is truly your passion, then play baseball without worrying about what league you get to.</p> <p>Most passions, though, are totally doable, they simply aren't adequately remunerative, which brings us back to where we started, choosing between a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/dream-job-or-day-job">dream job or a day job</a>.</p> <h2>What if you have no passions?</h2> <p>As I say, I used to assume that everybody had a passion. I eventually figured out that really wasn't true: Some people really can't think of anything they want to do. These people are often unhappy. In fact, they're often miserable.</p> <p>Often the cause-and-effect goes the other way around. People who are severely depressed are unable to think of anything that would make them happy, but the underlying problem is a matter of brain chemistry, not lack of passions. Treat the depression and they will find their passions again.</p> <p>For people who aren't clinically depressed, but simply can't think of anything they want to do, I'm not sure I have much help to offer except to suggest an incremental approach. Think about which aspects of your life are most satisfying and do more of that and less of the other stuff. On a smaller scale, do the same in each area of your life. Which parts of your job are most satisfying and which are <a title="&quot;I Hate My Job&quot; Guide" href="http://www.wisebread.com/i-hate-my-job">boring or annoying</a>? What would your job look like if you did more of the former and less of the latter? Could you talk to your boss about restructuring your job to look like that? I talk some about that in a post called <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/find-work-worth-doing">find work worth doing</a> and then I talk about other aspects of it in a post called <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-get-a-job-learn-the-secret-from-a-bad-movie">how to get a job &mdash; learn the secret from a bad movie</a>. (Both of those posts got some good comments, too.)</p> <p>It's perfectly normal for your passion to change over time. The days of having just one career are almost as far gone as the days of having just one job &mdash; and that's okay. A couple years ago, several of the Wise Bread writers (including me) did a group post called <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-is-your-dream-job">what is your dream job</a>. I talk about how my dream job changed from programming to writing.</p> <p>There are a few other posts on Wise Bread on finding your passion. Here are the ones I could find:</p> <ul> <li><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-first-step-to-finding-your-dream-job">The First Step to Finding your Dream Job</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/pre-career-advice">Pre-career advice</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/timeless-tips-for-college-students">Timeless Tips For College Students</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/feeling-stuck-100-ways-to-change-your-life">Feeling Stuck? 100 Ways to Change your Life</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/can-you-afford-to-follow-your-dreams-can-you-afford-not-to">Can you afford to follow your dreams?&nbsp; Can you afford NOT to?</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/2-ways-to-find-your-dream-amidst-lifes-chaos">2 Ways to Find Your Dream Amidst Life's Chaos</a></li> </ul> <p>I'd be really interested to hear from readers who had to struggle to find their passion. If you're one of the people who couldn't think of what they wanted to do, but then eventually figured it out, please comment below on how you did it.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/philip-brewer">Philip Brewer</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/find-your-passion">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/can-you-afford-to-follow-your-dreams-can-you-afford-not-to">Can You Afford to Follow Your Dreams? Can You Afford NOT to?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-is-your-dream-job">What Is Your Dream Job?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-simple-ways-to-find-your-passion">5 Simple Ways to Find Your Passion</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/make-your-dream-career-a-reality-for-less-than-100">Make Your Dream Career a Reality for Less Than $100</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/for-love-or-money-must-it-be-one-or-the-other">For Love or Money: Must It Be One or the Other?</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Career and Income dream job follow your dreams work passion Wed, 02 Dec 2009 18:00:02 +0000 Philip Brewer 3916 at http://www.wisebread.com For Love or Money: Must It Be One or the Other? http://www.wisebread.com/for-love-or-money-must-it-be-one-or-the-other <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/for-love-or-money-must-it-be-one-or-the-other" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/IMG_3834_1.JPG" alt="love or money" title="love or money" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="333" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>In WC Porter's recent article, <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/do-what-you-love-idealistic-nonsense-or-good-advice">Do What You Love: Idealistic Nonsense or Good Advice?</a>, you will find an inspirational video and loose analysis of what it takes to do what you love and earn money doing it.</p> <p>But nay saying commenters call the video speaker a huckster, and others challenge the concept that it&rsquo;s even possible to do what you love (and get paid for it, and still love it).</p> <p>As somebody who is technically doing what I love, I find this fascinating. I <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-cost-of-full-time-travel">travel full-time</a> in a financially sustainable manner, paid for by a writing career that is fulfilling. I do what I love (ie: travel and writing), and I make enough money at it to get by.</p> <p>But even my situation isn&rsquo;t as black &amp; white as that. <strong>In further examining the intricacies of love and money, here are some concepts that further deepen the debate.</strong></p> <h2>Doing what you love isn&rsquo;t always a bowl of cherries</h2> <p><strong>Just because you do what you love doesn&rsquo;t mean you love everything about what you do.</strong> The speaker suggested that there are certain aspects of his job that he <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/i-hate-my-job" title="&quot;I Hate My Job&quot; Guide">full-on hates</a>. I concur: there are times when I want to stab myself in the eye if I have to spend one more hour at my computer when the weather is nice and an exotic unknown destination beckons from just outside my window.</p> <p>But without my writing, there wouldn&rsquo;t be an exotic destination outside my window at all; I&rsquo;d still be cooped up in an office somewhere working at a career I was equally marvelous and miserable at.</p> <p>I also make a number of frugal lifestyle choices in order to get by with the money I make on the road. For some people it wouldn&rsquo;t be ideal, and for others it would be unacceptable; it is a very personal choice.</p> <p>But for me, the benefits of my writing career (and the accompanying <a href="http://www.theprofessionalhobo.com">travel lifestyle</a>) far outweigh the costs. But there is still a cost.<strong> No dream is THAT dreamy.</strong></p> <h2>Early career choices (and life partners for that matter) are like shots in the dark</h2> <p>Choosing any career is like choosing a life partner. How do we know once we have just escaped the throes of adolescence what career will make us happy every day for the rest of our life?</p> <p>Similarly, how do we know (at any age) if we will be happy waking up next to our partner every morning for the rest of our life &mdash; happy enough to get married?</p> <p>Guess what? Most people don&rsquo;t know.</p> <p>And because we are required to decide on our post-secondary education (and the range of careers it lends us) at such a young age (arguably before we really know ourselves), <strong>many of us end up studying for careers we ultimately won&rsquo;t be happy in.</strong></p> <p>But what do we do after we have gotten our degree and are now working our way up a career ladder in order to:</p> <ol type="a"> <li><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/six-steps-to-eliminating-your-debt-painlessly">pay off our debts</a></li> <li>plan an upcoming <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/classy-weddings-on-the-cheap">wedding</a></li> <li>buy a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/why-you-don-t-need-mortgage-life-insurance">house</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/can-you-afford-to-have-a-baby">prepare for child-related expenses</a></li> <li>enjoy our next <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/america-is-the-no-vacation-nation">vacation</a></li> <li>etc?</li> </ol> <p>What do we do when faced with inevitable bills and financial goals? That&rsquo;s right. Put on the blinders, keep our head down, and work. We may not be thrilled with our job, but we justify it as a means to an end (the various &quot;ends&quot; being listed above). We keep company with other people who also don&rsquo;t particularly like what they do, and &mdash; since most people are in this boat &mdash; commiserating becomes natural.</p> <p><strong>This is how being somewhat unhappy with a career becomes an acceptable way of life.</strong> It is much easier and safer to go with what we know (despite the fact that it may not be entirely what we want) than to uproot our routine or balance to explore a new avenue.</p> <p>Other people, however, see life as too long to get stuck doing something (or being with someone) that is not fulfilling. These people forgive themselves for not making the right life-enduring decision, and search for ways to improve. Ways could include changing careers, starting businesses on the side, taking up new hobbies, and finding new partners.</p> <p><strong>The bigger these people dream, the bigger the changes they make are.</strong> And who are the big dreamers? I believe that some of the world&rsquo;s biggest dreamers are also some of the most entrepreneurial.</p> <h2>Entrepreneurs vs. Employees</h2> <p>I am wondering if the core root of the matter (and where each of us fits in the spectrum) boils down to how entrepreneurial &mdash; or not &mdash; we are.</p> <p>Entrepreneurs don&rsquo;t mind working hard for what they want, and they look for creative ways to get there. If strictly doing what they love has obscure career prospects, they find a different spin on it that makes it more lucrative.</p> <p>It is likely that only the entrepreneurial souls understood the vision the speaker had when he spoke of working a full-time job, then coming home and working another seven hours on his business for the first five years. Most of us would crunch the numbers and say he&rsquo;s crazy. But he had a vision for a niche idea that took five years to develop, and develop it he did.</p> <p>Although that sort of lifestyle may sound unbalanced (and it is), if we are doing what we love, we don&rsquo;t tend to mind doing it so much. When we do what we love, we don&rsquo;t mind the sacrifices and compromises we may have to make. Why? <strong>Because if we are really doing what we love, we simply wouldn&rsquo;t have it any other way.</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/nora-dunn">Nora Dunn</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/for-love-or-money-must-it-be-one-or-the-other">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/find-your-passion">Find Your Passion</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-simple-ways-to-find-your-passion">5 Simple Ways to Find Your Passion</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/seven-tips-for-the-newly-unemployed">Seven Tips for the Newly Unemployed</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-things-id-love-to-change-about-meetings">7 Things I&#039;d Love to Change About Meetings</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-to-ask-your-boss-for-better-work-life-balance">6 Ways to Ask Your Boss for Better Work-Life Balance</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Career and Income life goals work passion Mon, 16 Nov 2009 14:00:02 +0000 Nora Dunn 3834 at http://www.wisebread.com