The first step in starting a business you love is to uncover what your core passions and skills are. Here are some exercises you can do to help you do that.
How Are You Perceived By Others?
Many times it is much easier to see the strengths of others than it is to see the strengths that lie within. So, in this exercise, you’ll ask three people to tell you what they see as your passions and skills.
First, create a list of three people who know you well and whose opinion you respect. Then send them a letter or email asking them to take a few minutes to help you find your calling.
This exercise was modified from one I found in Inc. Your Dreams by Rebecca Maddox. Here is a sample of that letter or email:
[notification type=”normal”] To: My Good Friend
Subject: Small Favor of 5 Minutes
Hello My Good Friend,
I’m doing a self-assessment, taking a look at some new options in my life. I would really appreciate your candid feedback.
Please take FIVE MINUTES, no more, to answer the following questions:
- If I had the opportunity to step out of my current career or role and try something completely new, what would you see me doing and why?
- If you were describing me to your mother, what is the first word you would use?
- What are the two things you wish I would change about myself? (Be honest, now!) Please, only one sentence for each of the two changes.
- What do you see as my driving force? In other words, what do you think makes me tick?
Thank you for your time and effort. You don’t know how much this means to me.
More than likely, you will be surprised by what you get back. When I did this exercise, I discovered parts of myself that I had never even noticed before.
Now read through the answers you get. Do you see any trends? Did you get any “aha!”s?
Embrace Your Inner Child
Do you remember what you dreamed about when you were just a kid? What did you want to be when you grew up? When I was five, I wanted to be an anthropologist. As I grew up, I went through many sciences — archeologist, planetologist, paleontologist, astronomer, everything-ologist — before I finally settled on science writer when I was in college. Write down your list here:
Now, remember the games you used to play when you were a kid. What did you do when it was just you and you had to entertain yourself? When I was about 7 years old, I had a bad bicycle accident and scraped the side of my face really bad. The doctor said I needed to stay indoors and rest for a few days. So what did I do? I created a board game based on One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish by Dr. Seuss. In my teens, I used to play teacher and give my sister homework – which she never did, I might add. What did you do with your time? Write down your list here:
Now take a look at these two lists. Do you see any patterns? If not, have someone whose opinion you trust take a look at them and see if they notice any patterns. From these two lists, you will see a recurring pattern of activities that draw you and skills that you exercise naturally. These will most likely be related to your core passions and skills.
Why are you doing all this, you may ask? Because a business you love HAS to be built around your core passions and strengths. Also, a business that is built around your core interests and skills has a much better chance of attaining longevity and being successful.