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How do you feel about your career? Do you have one? Is it working for you or against you? Is it time for a change?

Whether you’re in business already or thinking about starting a business, finding your sweet spot of doing something you love and actually making money can be complicated. Finding your passion sounds wonderful to some; others may find it eye-rolling and annoying. This is not about justifying your fantasy dream job. This is about reality.

Fantasy: I am on stage of a packed stadium with adoring fans singing my original songs along while I belt out amazing, powerful song with an awe-inspiring voice.

Concert Audience

Reality: I sing, out of tune, along with the radio to my adoring family who love me enough to not tell me to stop singing.

Where do I start?

How do you determine if you’re on the right path for finding your passion or, even better, are already following the right path? If you’ve already started your business or are thinking about creating a business, you need to know where you’re headed. How do you know if you’re heading in the right direction?

From the time I was a little girl, I dreamed of writing. My parents usually had some sort of home business. I always thought I should have a business. I should be writing (I was writing, but I wasn’t sharing it with anyone or any publications). Life and health issues got in the way of schooling and career planning. I didn’t start working full-time until I was 28 years old. What did I do? I figured out what I could do it right away. I am naturally good at organizing and administration. For 15 years I built a career working from office administration to managing a technical administration team at a financial institution. I needed a paycheck; I went with what I could do at the time and built from there.

Today, I work with my wife in business strategy coaching and copywriting. After over 5 years of Infusionsoft consulting and working with small businesses worldwide, Dani is an expert in business strategy along with automation; she knows what works well and doesn’t work with small business. Together, we help businesses move from struggling to make a profit and generate leads to increased engagement and sales through our strategy sessions, marketing and copywriting systems. We know how to wade through all the information to help you accomplish your goals (like earning a profit!). Read more about us here.

Key #1 What are you naturally good at?

[pullquote align=”normal”]Not sure where to start? What does your job require you to do that comes very easily? What do people ask for your help with, at home or at work? Take a look at your LinkedIn profile or your most recent resume for some fresh ideas.

Think about this: what do you do so naturally and easily, people would pay for you to do it for them? [/pullquote]

Example: organization, administration, writing, project management, business processes, knitting, counted cross-stitch, time management, etc. gives the options to create a business in any of these categories:

  • Copywriting (of course!)
  • Virtual Assistant
  • Business Strategy Coach
  • Craft Lessons

Key #2 What do you think about the most?

This one may seem crazy. If you are constantly thinking about knitting, working on your next project or even creating a new design but your job is an accountant, how can this help? Create a business teaching knitting, design patterns or selling knitting related products (patterns, yarn, needles).

Or are you always thinking about getting your kids to the next event, how you are going to pay your bills, etc. This can lead to a business teaching time management, quick and easy meal prep, realistic budgeting for a family, etc.

Key #3 What do you talk about?

This is related to what you think about If you’re thinking about it, you’re talking about it. If you haven’t started a business yet, start here. If you’ve already started a business, is it in the right niche? Is it something you are truly passionate about?

It is OKAY to change gears mid-stream.

Working from Home: Reality Check

Fantasy: You launch a website, send emails to your contacts with your awesome product or service, the money starts rolling in. You can sleep in every day, go on vacation every 3 months with your family and pay off your mortgage in a year.

Couple running in ocean image

Reality: You launch a website, send emails to your contacts with your awesome product or service, nothing happens. You check your phone for new emails as soon as your eyes open. You drink copious amounts of coffee. The list starts of how dumb this idea was, the panic starts to set in… sound familiar?

Let’s get real. Starting your own business is not easy. It does not happen overnight. It takes work. It is tough to generate leads, create awesome content, deliver quality to your potential customers, and keep working even if you are not seeing immediate results.

Surprises – Real Life in Business

Business is business but you are a human running a business. Connecting with your customers, running your business, having a family life, all get mixed up together when you run a home business.

A few surprises along the way:

  • Social interaction. How do you interact with other humans outside your family?
  • Money in and out; managing your budget spending on your business and creating income could be trickier than you originally thought.
  • You have control over your schedule. Yes you are in business to make money; take time to be with family too.

While it may be tougher than you expected, if this is really what you want and believe you can make it happen, keep going.

But if it’s not working and you realize this isn’t what you should be doing? Leave your ego behind and make the choice that’s right for you. Quit, throw in the towel. Go back to the 9 – 5. If you’re making the choice because it’s not right for you, then great. If you’re making the choice because you’re not as successful as you thought, stop and think.

What can you do differently?

What is holding you back?

How do you move from the struggle to success? Turn your fantasy into a reality. Implement systems and tools that actually help you streamline your business and start seeing those profit dollars roll in. Together, we can make it happen.

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I’d love to know your thoughts on this post. Please leave a comment below: how do you feel about your career?

Note: I originally published this article in October 2016.