We all have passions. They're the things we stay up too late doing or reading about. They're the things we can't get enough of. For some, it's a sport or activity. For others, it's a topic or a thing (we all know that person who is constantly working on their restored Camaro). The one common dominator is that for most of us, our passions are things that exist outside of work and our careers.
Many of us dream about turning our passions into business ideas, but most of us have no idea how to even get started. Whether it's that old Camaro or a field like real estate, the jump between passion and business can feel insurmountable.
There are so many fears that creep into your mind as you lay in bed dreaming about starting your company. The risk of a career change. The self-doubt that maybe just because you love something it doesn't mean you'll actually be good at it professionally. The massive laundry list of what-ifs that could make you fail along the way.
Here are three tips that I learned through trial-by-fire as I turned my passion for real estate into a fast-growing company. I have faced many challenges as I've grown my company, so my hope is that you can learn from them and push those fears aside as you make that wonderful leap of faith from passion to business.
1. You don't have to have the perfect business idea from the start.
One of the great fallacies about entrepreneurs is that we have fully fleshed out business ideas when we start our companies. Ask any entrepreneur if they've shifted their big idea over time and the answer will be a resounding "yes." As you get your hands dirty and start your research, talk to potential customers, employ the age-old startup technique of trial-and-error, your idea will inevitably evolve.
If you wait for the perfect idea before diving in, you'll be waiting on turning your passion into a business for a long time. I had been around real estate my entire life, but it wasn't until I finally decided to start a company in the space that I started to create the idea for Triplemint. If I had waited for the idea before starting the company, I never would have done it.
2. Write down everything you know and need to learn about your passion.
If you're passionate enough about something that you're thinking about starting a company, you probably know a lot about it. The best thing you can do with that knowledge is to write it down in a structured way so that you can identify gaps in your knowledge. There's a good chance you need to learn a lot more about certain aspects of your passion, and knowing what those areas are is a critical first step.
When I was starting my company, I wrote down everything I knew about the residential real estate industry. The biggest gap I identified in my knowledge was the real estate brokerages and how they operate.
My co-founder and myself ultimately became real estate agents ourselves to fill that knowledge gap. What we learned working as agents ultimately became the most important information in growing our company.
3. Talk to as many people in the industry as you can.
If you want to turn your passion into a business, one of the best ways to get started is to talk to as many people as possible who already work in the field. Given your passion, you should be able to get in touch with the right people. Everyone loves talking to people who have a true passion for their profession.
When starting Triplemint, I was lucky enough to find a tremendous amount of people in real estate who were willing to meet with me to discuss the industry. By letting my passion for the space shine through, I built lasting relationships that still help me to this day many years later.
Many people are hesitant to reach out to those that work in their area of interest. Don't be, the relationships you'll make and the lessons you learn will be invaluable in starting your company.