Most Americans these days consider entrepreneurship to be a good career. More than half of all American adults will start at least one business during their working life. So, chances are you’ve either already started your own business or you’re seriously considering it. In How to Turn Your Passion into Profit, business expert Tara McMullin will lead you to the appropriate business model and development of a successful, long-term endeavor you will enjoy.
How to Turn Your Passion into Profit
Tara McMullin is a podcast host, writer, and speaker who’s been making business make sense for small business owners for more than a decade. She’s the host of What Works, a podcast about entrepreneurship that’s been downloaded more than 4 million times. She’s the cofounder of Yellow House Media, a podcast production agency. She’s also a best-selling business instructor on CreativeLive, a TEDx speaker, and a frequent guest on top business podcasts like Being Boss and The Get Paid Podcast.
01: Name Your Priorities
You might think your top priority for starting up a new business should be making as much money as possible, as quickly as possible. But in this lesson, you’ll learn how to identify other priorities that will better lead you to long-term business viability and financial success. You’ll also meet Liz and Nick, two hypothetical business owners you’ll follow throughout this course.
02: Interpret Your Passion
To build a sustainable, thriving business, learn how to identify your passion. What do you feel passionate about and what types of experiences bring out the passion in you? Discover that when it comes to starting a business, “passion” is much bigger than a specific hobby or even a particular type of work.
03: Describe Your Ideal Business
Explore the type of brand you want to develop by describing three key attributes of your ideal business—even before you have any idea what the business might be. Does this sound backwards to you? Consider why this is exactly the direction you should be headed in.
04: Identify Your Market
Who is your ideal customer? Discover why it’s crucial to know your customer even before you’ve identified the products or services your business will offer. What goals do your customers have, what do they value, and who influences them? Answering these important questions will help move you toward success.
05: What’s a Business Model?
When you choose your business model, you are deciding what you offer (product or service), how you make money from it, and how you deliver what you sell. Learn why it’s important to choose and stick with a singular business model—and why trying a bit of this and a bit of that leads to a complicated “business soup” that can quickly get out of hand.
06: Weigh Your Options
Explore six different business models you can use as a jumping-off point for designing your own model and learn how to evaluate them with your personal goals in mind. As you explore the various models, you’ll get a sense of the relationships you could build, how much money you might make, and how each would fit into your preferred lifestyle.
07: Design Your Business Model
Learn to design your own business model by answering three important questions and determining which model would help you fulfill your previously identified guiding principles. You’ll examine ways to tweak the model you choose to develop a business you will love managing—promoting longevity and avoiding burnout.
08: Investigate Your Customer
But what will you sell? Let Tara guide you through the positive feelings associated with buying something you really want—the feelings you want your customers to have. Some simple exercises will help you identify who would and would not be your ideal customers.
09: Name the Value You Offer
Explore the difference between functional and emotional value to help you identify the real value of your offer, whether it’s a product or a service. How do you create value for your customers? Let Tara teach you how to articulate the unique value proposition of your business.
10: Design Your Offer
Whether you’re selling a physical product or a service, packaging always makes a major difference to potential customers. Lean how to package your offer to best meet your customer’s needs and to make sure the offer nails the value proposition you’ve created.
11: Price Your Offer
Most business owners find it very stressful to set the price for their offer. But you’ll discover that price is simply a mechanism you can use to make sure your business meets your goals and that your customers know exactly what they’re buying. By considering volume, price, and capacity, you’ll be able to avoid the pitfalls of setting a “beginner’s price.”
12: Create Your Marketing Strategy
The way you market your business has a huge influence on how much you will enjoy running your business. Learn why marketing should be simple and how to keep it that way. Although there has never been a time with more ways to market your business than today, the truth is, the simpler you keep your marketing activities, the more effective you’ll be.
13: Choose Your Marketing Activities
Discover the specific marketing techniques that might work best for you, no matter what everyone else is doing. Explore the stages a consumer goes through in considering whether or not to buy a product or service; how can discovery, engagement, and evaluation work to your benefit?
14: Choose Websites and Software
Technology certainly makes it easier for you to accomplish your three business necessities—a way to connect and communicate with potential customers, a way to accept payment, and a way to deliver what you offer. Explore why you probably do need a website and software for finances and online conferencing, but not much else in the business-technology sector.
15: Design Your Sales Process
Chances are you’ve always thought of “sales” as the need to convince someone to buy your product. With your expert’s help, you’ll discover a completely new way of looking at sales—making it easy for people to buy—and the specific ways to best incorporate those strategies into your business.
16: Get Organized
No matter what your passion is, to build a business you will enjoy running—a business that won’t lead you straight to burnout—you’ll need to develop systems and procedures. Learn which ones will help your business to not only survive, but to also thrive, in the areas of financial sustainability, operational sustainability, and social and personal responsibility.
17: Embrace the Challenge
No matter what else you have in place, the mindset you bring to your business can make the difference between success and burnout. Learn how to identify and unpack your personal heuristics to make sure you haven’t limited yourself before you even get started.
18: Interview: Setting Your Goals
Meet Twyla Dill, a business owner who specializes in hand-crocheted lace and metal jewelry. Twyla shares the lessons she learned by paying attention to what her customers wanted to buy and developing products she loves that meet those needs. She shares how she has grown through the years to build a business that fits into the day-to-day life she wants for herself.
19: Interview: Choosing a Business Model
Meet Michelle Mazur, a message strategist and owner of the business 3 Word Rebellion. Michelle shares the difficulty she encountered in the early years of her endeavor without a clear business model, packaging, or pricing structure. Discover the systems and procedures she eventually put in place to create a sustainable business she loves.
20: Interview: Creating Your Offer
Meet Arianne Foulks, owner of Aeolidia, a branding and web design studio. Arianne’s business began when friends asked her to use her passion and hobby to build websites for them, snowballing into something she hadn’t anticipated. Learn why she says business owners are often “bad bosses” to themselves, and how to avoid that pitfall.
21: Interview: Selling and Marketing Your Offer
Meet Eve Cecelia, owner of Cecelia Stitch, a business providing unique textiles in a range of products. Eve started out successfully managing other people’s businesses, until she realized she was miserable. Learn why and how her business developed into a full e-commerce site with wholesale offerings, as well, and which marketing strategies have been the most fruitful for her.
22: Interview: Creating a Foundation for Success
In this lesson, Tara brings together several business owners for a lively discussion about issues each of these owners has faced. From payroll to software to mindsets, they discuss their issues and solutions with honesty and transparency. You’ll learn right away that other business owners have faced problems, too, and how they overcame them.