I consider myself to be extremely fortunate – my “work” is what I love to do. I think this has been the driving force behind the success of the SMS Masterminds – you have to be passionate about your endeavors. Please allow me a moment to share with you my thoughts on picking the right business for you.
I’m a list guy – when I need to make a decision I typically write down notes (hopefully in an organized way), and in many cases, the answers to my challenges present themselves. I’d suggest you start by taking out a piece of paper and working through some core principles.
First, when considering a direction to take your professional life, understand that we all have choices. Some people are skilled in a trade, some a little more versatile. It is important to understand your strengths and weaknesses, which I like to write down. Strong written or oral skills? Good at math? Can you sell? Are you an engineer? Good at managing people?
Then, and this is the fun part, list the things you LIKE to do (you can be GOOD at doing the dishes, but may HATE doing them – big difference from the last activity). I typically try to keep them abstract, but actual functions are ok too. Do you LIKE to sell? Do you LIKE to interact with people? Do you LIKE to be inside or outside? Do you LIKE technology?
At this point, you’ll begin to see some patterns, and specific ideas will pop into your head. But be patient…there is more to it than just doing what you like. You need to spend some time thinking about your personal philosophies and goals. Do you want to help people? Are you very relationship oriented? Do you want something with huge scale? Are you looking for a ‘quality of life’ business or do you want to conquer the world?
About this time, I like to articulate my resources. What do I have available to me to invest into this business? This starts with money, but should include other important resources such as time, help, consulting, connections, relationships, prior experience, and more. Why start from scratch? If you know someone running a fortune 5000 company and they have a need, consider filling that need. You sold real estate for 20 years, consider selling something to realtors.
One of the most important considerations above is TIME. You need to define whether you’re willing to invest 40 hours per week or 80. When we built the SMS Masterminds, we limited ourselves to working no more than 40 hours per week. Sound challenging? YOU BET! Achievable? Absolutely. The main reason is the importance of BALANCE in your life. One of my personal philosophies above is the idea of BALANCE; is that other aspects of my life are important to me, including my family, my children, physical fitness, etc. If any of those other aspects of my life suffer, my business will inherently suffer, so I had to establish limits to ensure I could accommodate my personal need for balance.
Now take a look at your piece of paper with these notes on it. Some of the trends may surprise you. This is a good thing. You have now created a criteria for your ideal business. Now, when investigating new opportunities, you have a checklist to measure how ideal that business is for you. Some businesses may have more income potential, or sound more fun, but what will be the most contributing factor to the successful execution of that business is how well that business fits with your personality and lifestyle.
Searching for a business should be fun! Like picking out a new house or a car – it is a step towards personal and professional satisfaction. Let your passion be your guide.