Years ago while I was still in school I dreamed of being my own boss. My dad says he cursed me with this because he’s been his own boss for almost 40 years. Maybe it is heredity, but I just couldn’t shake the idea that I wanted to pave my own path.
But it’s scary trying to figure out if a direction is worth pursuing. You may be excited about it, but how do you make other people excited about it? And how do you sell products without becoming a sleazy salesman? And how will you know or even gauge if it will be successful?
So many of these thoughts went through my head (and sometimes still do). And though I can’t tell you if your business will be successful, I do know of several way to tell if it’s worth pursuing. These are mainly based on my own experiences and remember everyone’s business journey is different.
If you have time to pursue it on the side
Rarely does a business beginning when someone just starts from scratch and quits all other prospects. It does happen occasionally (that’s actually what I did) but I realize that it is not common. I’d even go so far as to say it’s terrifying and frankly insane.
Most businesses, or blogs, tend to start as a side hobby until they pick up speed. At which point it should making a decent enough income that it seems practical to leave other jobs behind and focus on it full time.
If you don’t have time to focus on it as a side hustle first, it may not be a good time in your life to start a business anyway. Becoming an entrepreneur is way harder than it looks, and for the first year or more it’s more than a 9-5 job. Between planning, creating, promoting and selling, and chances are you’ll be the only employee for quite a while, it’s so much to keep up with.
I always think it’s best to start small, as a side hustle and build as you go. It’ll give you time to feel out the industry, find your niche and really build a company you are proud of. And it’ll still be scary when you take the leap and quit your current job, but at least you’ll feel confident that you can actually support yourself.
If you can make money at it
Speaking of supporting yourself, financial support is key with the beginning of any business. As I talk about in this post, having a budget and sticking to it will not only help with your finances in general, but it can be a great gauge for how much you need to make in income to support yourself.
Once you know you exactly how much you need to live off of, that will give you an idea of how much your business should earn before it becomes your full time gig.
Not sure if your endeavor will make any money? Then it’s probably not something you should count on right away. Again, start small. Your blog doesn’t have to make money from day one. But if you are wanting to make money with it AT SOME POINT, then you need to have items in place that will start to bring in an income (affiliates, courses, products, etc.)
It’s incredible that we live in a time where the internet can allow us to make money online, but make sure it’s something secure and legit before taking the leap.
If you tried other options and they just didn’t work
I was just talking about on instagram yesterday that I feel like I have too many outlets I want to follow. The trick to that is that I know that I can make money off of all of them, and I enjoy them all as well. Win-win.
But if you are in a situation where you’ve tried several avenues but some aren’t working but one is starting to stand out as the lead product (whether it’s bringing in more income or it’s getting more traffic) that might be the one that you should focus your attention on.
It’s great to have options, so long as you aren’t running yourself thin trying to balance them all.
I’m still working on this, but so far my graphic design services and photography have taken lead over my calligraphy and printmaking. That doesn’t mean I’ll stop creating prints, just that I know where I need to focus my attention to bring in my desired income. Sometime passions have to stay side hustles while other passions can turn into profitable businesses. It’s important to know and recognize the difference.
If it’s all you think about
A great indicator that you should pursue a direction is when you literally can’t stop thinking about it. Lauren Hooker had a tweet that I loved that said “If you think about it in the shower, it’s worth pursuing.”
For instance, this is not my first blog. I think it’s actually my 3rd, maybe 4th. I knew I always wanted to run a blog, but life always got distracting and it would fall on the back burner and at some point I wouldn’t have posted in months.
But I never stopped thinking about blogging. Not once. Every time I would come across a new blog that I loved I would think “Why am I not doing this?! I know that I could do this if I made time.” So that’s exactly what I did. I made it a priority, and here we are almost 2 years later still rocking and rolling.
Listen to yourself and find what you are passionate about. Sometimes being passionate and driven can be enough to breathe life into an idea and make it a business.