As someone who is currently building a multiple-passion business (in my case, I’m building not one, not two, but THREE businesses (or four, depending on how you count them: my fiction brand, my love-based publishing company and nonfiction brand and my copywriting company), I have a lot to share around the specifics of how to start a business around multiple passions.
(Although a part of me feels sort of weird doing so; I never considered myself a multiple-passion type of entrepreneur. But recently, I did a Flip It! episode that talked about this topic, and it generated a big response, so I figured it would make sense to create more deeper posts around how to do it.)
So first and foremost, if you’re an entrepreneur feeling called to build a multiple-passion business, I honor you. Yours is not an easy calling (but totally worth it). And, to help you do it successfully, I’m sharing three critical steps on how to start a business around multiple passions.
Step 1: Get comfortable with some hard truths.
So, I’m not going to sugar coat it: This is NOT a good plan for the faint of heart. Let me start by sharing why.
Starting, growing, and maintaining a business takes work. There’s just no way around it. Now, that work can vary depending on which phase you’re in, but there’s always work involved. Businesses are living entities and they feed off of work.
You have two options to generate that work: time or money. More specifically, either you put in the time yourself to do the work, or you hire others and build a team, and they do the work.
Typically, when you first start a business, you have way more time than money, so you end up doing a lot (if not all) the work yourself. Eventually, if all goes according to plan, you start attracting money, which allows you to hire a team to support you.
Sounds simple, right? Well, it actually IS simple, but it’s just not easy.
Especially if you start to multiply that time, effort, and money by each passion you want to build a business around.
Now, suddenly, instead of having one little business mouth to feed with work, you have several hungry little mouths begging for work.
And, you have to figure out how to feed all those little mouths with the same 24 hours a day you had with one mouth, the same amount of energy and life force you had with one mouth, and whatever money you’re currently generating.
See the issue?
Now, before you run screaming away or decide to live your life in quiet desperation because your soul is calling you to build a business around multiple passions but the reality is terrifying you, let me just say it’s very possible to do it.
Not only is it possible, but I’m doing it right now.
And, no, I’m not working 100 hours a week. I have time to spend with my dog and my hubby, and I even sleep eight hours a night.
So, how am I doing it? Keep reading …
Step 2: Make some tough choices.
The next thing you need to do is take a good, hard look at your life, and get really clear on what you want to spend your time on.
Do you have a family? Do you have health issues that need attention? Is there something else happening in your life … aging parents or maybe someone close to you need time and attention … that is different than normal?
Or, maybe you have hobbies you want to focus on. Maybe your heart is telling you to travel, or learn how to scuba dive.
Now isn’t the time to say to yourself, “Oh, I can just power through it. I’ll be fine.”
This is the time to get super clear and brutal with yourself on exactly how much time and energy and money you can put into feeding those hungry little mouths.
You have to decide what’s more important to you: building a business around multiple passions, or doing something else with your life.
And, if now isn’t the time to build a business around multiple passions, that’s okay. Give yourself a break. Let yourself off the hook. You’re human.
And, if you find yourself being “haunted” by a passion that simply won’t leave you alone, you may need to rethink your priorities and say no to something else, so you can make room for that passion in your life.
Step 3: Commit to your personal development work.
Along with being fed a steady diet of work, businesses also need space to grow.
As the owner of the business, that’s probably your biggest job: seeing the vision and holding space for both that vision and the business to grow into it.
You can hire the work out, but unless you’ve hired someone else to be the CEO, this role is your biggest contribution to your business.
If you want to have a business built around multiple passions, you’re going to need to hold the space and vision for multiple passions.
And, the only way to do that is through being fiercely committed to your personal growth and development.
Quite honestly, I’m only at this place because of my own commitment to feeling my feelings, not allowing myself to be controlled by my emotions, and to continuing to take action steps while feeling whatever it is that comes up.
It hasn’t been easy, but the results have been completely worth it. Along with getting rid of my worry and anxiety (that right there would have made all of this worth it), I have a lot more energy, because I’m not fighting myself constantly like I was before (which is part of the reason why I don’t need to work 100 hours a week). I’m also now able to hold space for all of my passions.
And, that leads me to a bonus tip:
Bonus Step 4: Create a mantra to help get yourself through the rough patches. (Trust me, there will be rough patches.)
Especially when you’re new at the whole multiple business ownership thing, there will be moments when you’ll feel like it’s too difficult … that it feels so awful, it can’t possibly be the right direction for you.
You’ll want to shrink back down, and you’ll feel like going back to running one business (or maybe even to a j-o-b).
When I was there, what helped me was to create a mantra.
I would ask myself one of these questions:
Is my dream worth doing this?
Am I willing do whatever it takes for my dream?
Invariably the answer would be yes, so I would take a deep breath, steel myself, and keep going.
You may have a different mantra, but I encourage you to create something … something you can latch on to in moments of weakness. Something that allows you to remember and recommit to your bigger Why.
The bigger the why, the more it will pull you forward.
And, if you have a Big Why, why not harness its power to keep you going?
If you’d like to dig into this deeper, you may like my “Love-Based Money and Mindset” book to help you continue to your personal development, along with grabbing my free “How to Start a Business You Love AND that Loves You Back” book.