Can You Be Happy and Successful Running an Unfamiliar Business?

When you think about starting a business, you probably think of going into a familiar industry. For instance, if you have experience working in food service, you might lean toward opening a restaurant or bakery. If you spent years managing a department store, you might favor the idea of opening a retail store.

Opening a business in an industry you’re already familiar with is a smart idea. In some industries, the learning curve is steep. Experience provides an advantage over other business owners starting from scratch.

While it’s advantageous to have industry experience prior to starting your business, it’s not required for success. In fact, many business owners happily run successful businesses they knew nothing about before getting started. These people are driven by a different kind of passion.

There are two kinds of passion in business

Everyone talks about the importance of being passionate about your business, but there are two categories of passionate business owners: those who are passionate about the industry and day-to-day operations, and those who are passionate about creating a successful business.

People with a passion for success are often serial entrepreneurs who launch multiple businesses in multiple industries. These businesses tend to be more general and generate revenue from volume sales.

Those who are passionate about a particular industry usually launch and grow one business that serves a niche market. These businesses tend to provide specialty services that aren’t easily replaced.

Without industry-specific passion, it’s hard to push forward

When you’re passionate about a specific industry, it’s easy to push past hard times, setbacks, and red tape. It’s just part of what needs to be done to achieve your goal. However, when you’re not inspired by the industry and you don’t have a general passion for business, it’s harder to continue expending time and energy.

The amount of energy and effort required to make a business successful can be a deterrent for many. Some businesses appear easy to run from the outside, but after a while, it becomes obvious they require more work than originally thought. For example, many people buy FedEx delivery routes thinking it’s going to be a hands-off business. Many who sell their routes advertise the route that way, and while that’s often true, some ads are intentionally misleading.

If, in your efforts to start a business, you purchased a FedEx route from an individual and it’s not working out, sell your route through a broker instead of trying to sell it on your own. Regardless of why it’s not working out for you, there will be someone else who will have the passion required to make it a success.

Being passionate and filling an unmet need equal success

No amount of passion will create success where there is no need for a product or service. For instance, this is a tough lesson many app developers learn the hard way. They develop an app with cool features and after spending tens of thousands of dollars, they realize there’s no market. These app developers had plenty of passion, but there was no demand for their app.

It’s possible to run a successful business and enjoy your work at the same time, but you need market demand. So, the ultimate equation for a successful business is passion, meeting a need, and of course a good business plan.

Align your business with your passion for the best results

It’s possible to develop passion for any business venture, but that’s easier said than done. Unless your passion is strictly for running any kind of business, you’re better off turning your passion into a business. All you need to do is find an unfulfilled need in the market and figure out how to fill that need. If you can’t find an unmet need, find a need you can meet better than your competition.

When you align your business with your passion, you’re less likely to quit during hard times and more likely to enjoy the process of building and running your business. You’re also more likely to make a serious impact in the market you serve.

If your business is just a paycheck to you, it will be harder to derive happiness from your business. Financial security is important, but aligning your passion with your business will give you a strong foundation for making it through tough times.