Passion is energy. Feel the power that comes from focusing on what excites you. ~ Oprah Winfrey (Tweet this)
There really isn’t much you can add to an Oprah quote. I mean, seriously: it’s Oprah! But if I were to add something it would be for those people who have multiple passions, yet no idea which one to follow. For them I would say: follow them all. Multiple passions can make you better—not worse! But how?
In previous blog posts I’ve answered whether you need your left brain or right brain to run a business. We learnt that running a business is a combination of right- and left-brain activities. The right brain is about the vision and creativity and the left brain is about the steps you need to take to make it happen. By combining the two you come up with a structured vision you can use to create and run a successful business.
One common question I get all the time is how to combine multiple passions into one business vision. This is especially prevalent among creative entrepreneurs who have multiple interests and perhaps not very much business experience.
I totally get it. I’m as right-brained, creative and multi-passionate as it gets. I couldn’t’ decide whether or not I wanted to write, coach, teach spirituality, take a yoga certification course or create art. I have other friends and colleagues who have also found themselves in similar situations. This isn’t completely unheard of, after all as human beings we’re dynamic creatures. We couldn’t put ourselves into a box even if we tried.
However, in order to have a thriving business there needs to be some structure. Otherwise you’re going to confuse your market (because they won’t really know what you are offering).
Before I jump into exactly how to do this, I want to be very clear about something. I am in no way trying to put/bind you into a box and wholeheartedly believe in you letting your personality shine through in business. However, I have learned that you need to be strategic about communicating what it is that you do. To some this looks like a box, but I promise you it isn’t. It’s just marketing.
Follow your passion; it will lead to your purpose. ~ Oprah Winfrey (Tweet this)
Now that we’ve got that out of the way, let’s jump into how you can create this unified business vision from your multiple passions.
Give yourself room to experiment
I’ve previously mentioned how we can’t totally plan our way into a perfect business. Businesses, especially in the beginning, require a lot of experimentation in order to really figure out what it is they stand for.
The same concept applies here. There may not be a way for you to figure out how to combine your passions into one business unless you put yourself out there and experiment.
Marie Forleo is a great example of this. She loves business and marketing, is totally creative and really wanted to dance. This resulted in a lot of experimentation in her 20s where she worked on the floor on Wall Street, taught dance classes, got her life-coaching certification and worked for magazines.
If it seems like a very winding career path—it is. At first glance one has nothing to do with the other. However, if you look at her current coaching brand you’ll see that she combines all of these things in her company.
She makes videos where she gives business and marketing advice and can often times be seen dancing in them. If that’s not combining your multiple passions into one vision I don’t know what is. It’s also a great segue into my next point..
Allow your personality to shine through in your brand
The only thing that separates you from everyone else on the market is your personality. By letting it shine through—meaning you share stories and your quirks—you will naturally bring all of your passions together into one unified vision.
In the case of Marie Forleo, dancing is one of her passions and being cheesy is a big part of her personality, so she lets that come through in her videos. It’s not everyone’s cup of tea, but her business isn’t meant to cater to everyone.
I encourage you to find the parts of your personality that you are willing to share through your business.
- What are your hobbies?
- What are your stories?
- What do you love to do?
Then find a way to relate them to your business.
Ask people what they think of when they see your business
Asking your market what their impressions of your business are can be extremely telling, especially if you are struggling with combining your multiple passions into one unified vision.
Ask your leads, prospects and clients what it is they think you do for them. The answers may completely surprise you. Sometimes people who are outside of your business can provide the best information and perspective you need to find your answers. You may think you do one thing but they see something completely different.
If this is the case then go with what your market says (after all, you should be catering to them if you want to get paid) and see how you can add elements of your multiple passions into your work.
For example, let’s say your market is telling you they think you’re a business coach but you really have a passion for art. Stick to business coaching as your service but add artistic elements to your worksheets, classes and services.
The key here is to see that just because you’re getting paid for being a business coach doesn’t mean you need to be stuffy all the time. You can add elements of your multiple passions into the coaching process to help set you apart from the competition.
If passion drives you, let reason hold the reins. ~ Benjamin Franklin (Tweet this)
Final thoughts on pursuing multiple passions
Combining your multiple passions into one business vision isn’t as difficult as everyone makes it seem. It just requires thinking outside of the box a little and letting your personality come forth in your business. If you’re multi-passionate there’s a good chance that there is a wealth of creativity residing within you. Use that creativity to come up with unique ways to incorporate your multiple passions into one business.