The advice “follow your passion” is near-ubiquitous today, but it’s not always quite that simple. Maybe your passion falls in an area that has little market value, or one that’s already oversaturated. Maybe you haven’t figured out what your passion is, or you’re skeptical about whether or not you have one.
In short, following your passion is a nice idea that works well for many people (and unbelievably well for a few), but may not be the answer for everyone.
So, what if you’re a business person with an entrepreneurial spirit who just doesn’t have a niche passion that’s going to set the market on fire?
Follow someone else’s passion.
Be an Enabler
Of course, following someone else’s passion isn’t about hearing someone else’s idea and running with it. If you don’t have the interest and understanding to put the idea into action in a way that speaks to the market, the best idea in the world won’t take you very far.
The key to building a successful business around someone else’s passion is to acquaint yourself thoroughly with a passion shared by a large enough group to make a market, and to identify problem areas or gaps in that industry. Be the problem solver who allows those others to pursue that passion unimpeded. Some possible examples include:
- Bringing them together in a unique way that allows them to share their passion and build on it; and
- Making the equipment or information they need available more readily, or more affordably.
Don’t think, though, that you can simply choose an area and then throw a product or service into it. Offering something of value, something that isn’t currently available or that improves on the current model, requires extensive knowledge—the kind you’d have if this were your very own passion rather than one you’d adopted for business purposes.
There’s no short-cut to understanding what the market values and what’s missing from the current landscape. It’s often easier and more enjoyable to develop the necessary in-depth understanding if you’re following your own passion, but that isn’t the only way. If you’re prepared to make the investment of time and energy, you can become well-versed in any niche.
Who knows? Your chosen field may even become a true passion along the way.