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Starting a business that means something to you

Starting a business that means something to you

Starting a business that means something to you is important. Especially if you want to live a fulfilling life with a career you love. Starting a business that means something to you takes a little work and introspection.

Here’s what you need to do if starting a meaningful business sounds good to you:

What Are Your Values And Passions?

Knowing what your values and passions are will help you to determine what sort of business you should look into. Ask yourself the following questions:

  • What are you curious about?
  • What sets your soul on fire?
  • What makes you lose track of time?
  • What would you do if money was no object?
  • What do you find yourself focusing on more often than not: honesty, fun, helping others, kindness?

Write down a list. You can use this list to help you to brainstorm later on.

What Motivates You?

Different things motivate different people. Perhaps being able to flex your creativity motivates you, or helping to make others happy. Or maybe just making money motivates you. That’s ok, whatever it is, knowing this helps you decide what kind of business will keep you interested. Look at the times you feel your best and most excited about work and figure out why.

Who Do You Want To Help?

Knowing exactly who you want to help is great, because you need to focus on your market first and foremost, and not the service or product. Aim to get to know your audience, what their issues are, what they want and don’t want, and more. Do as much market research as you can muster before coming up with ideas. Let them tell you what they need.

What Sort Of Lifestyle Do You Want To Lead?

Of course, you’re going to want to consider the type of lifestyle you’re going to lead. Starting a business takes up a lot of your time and will greatly affect your lifestyle. Crazy example, but if you are passionate about gas oil drums, then you might consider starting a transportation business, or even a construction company. If you don’t want to get your hands dirty and would prefer to stay in one place, you’ll need to look into other industries.

Come Up With Your Why

Your why is your ultimate purpose, and one of the most important things you’ll come up with. Why does your business exist in the first place? Coming up with a why statement can help to keep you focused and stay motivated,

Your ‘why’ Statement should be:

  • simple and clear
  • actionable
  • focused on how you’ll contribute to others
  • expressed in affirmative language that resonates with you

You can then read back your why statement when you’re feeling a little lost or unsure and it should bring you back to knowing exactly why you’re doing what you’re doing. Never skip this step. Always come back to your why! It is the motivation that will light a spark for you, and it will keep you going through the bad times – and make success even more fun when it happens. 

Photo by Eutah Mizushima 

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Christine Buske is a former academic who left science at the bench, and now considers herself a woman in tech. She is a frequently invited speaker, and enjoys talking about career transformation (particularly leaving academia for the business world), tech, issues around women in tech, product management, agile, and outreach. She is a proud Canadian resident, and qualifies as a "serial expat".

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