I'm going to sound like Mr. Rogers for a minute, but there really is nobody in the whole world like you. You are a unique person and you are good at and enjoy things that other people don't. The key to being happy and fulfilled is doing as many of those things as possible.
That's why when you embark on a journey of starting a business or any other major undertaking in life, you have to start with those things. And that means doing it your way. Not somebody else's way.
Books, training courses and coaches will offer you "plans" or "blueprints" to success, and they may work. But you'll be executing someone else's plan and doing it their way instead of your way. If you can muster the wherewithal to execute that plan, you may make money or have some other external success. But that's only part of the picture. And for most of us -- it's not enough.
That's why you have to do it your own way. Here are three steps to figure out what you (and you only) bring to the table and make something of it.
1. Figure out what you enjoy doing
What are the things you like to do? You probably know what this is, but may not be giving yourself permission to explore it. We have a warped and inaccurate idea in this world that in order to be successful, we have to do things we don't like. Doing the things you enjoy even seems a bit "naughty."
But it's not naughty, it's crucial. Warren Buffet loves analyzing the financials of businesses. He does it a lot, he's really good at it and he's very lucky (that's his word) that doing what he loves doing happens to make a lot of money. In his case, it translates very well and very directly to a business, but most of us have to work harder to figure out how doing what we enjoy makes us money. That's OK, we're talking about how to figure it out.
2. Find a unique way to do those things
Figure out a way in which those things you do are unique -- and uniquely valuable to the marketplace.
When you see other people doing that thing, what do you wish they did better? What do you do that they don't? What is the unique way you look at it or the unique perspective you have that everyone else seems to be missing?
This is where you have to get creative. You have to think about how what you do is different than what other people do. This requires creativity, but it's also fun. Most folks have several things they love doing and there is some really serious magic that happens when you combine those multiple things together.
3. Put it together
Maybe you like water polo and woodworking. Those things don't seem like they would work very well together. I have no idea how they would. But, if you break them down to the smaller elements of what you love about each, you'll begin to see how those smaller elements could fit together into a cohesive picture.
The answer will not be clear right away. That's OK. You'll have to do some experimenting. That's part of the process. You probably won't have an epiphany after you read this, but you will have a new way to look at the things you enjoy and assemble them back into a unique and valuable business.
It's the only way to live a prosperous and fulfilled live, so get to it.
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