By Ali Brown
As entrepreneurs, one of our most important duties is keeping our minds open to fresh moneymaking ideas.
Holding regular brainstorm sessions can uncover fresh spins on our original ideas, and keep the passion alive—not only within ourselves, but for our customers and clients as well.
But, if you want to have an eye-opening brainstorm session, it helps to be aware of the scope of ALL your possibilities, especially when it comes to new business ideas.
Otherwise it’s easy to fall into a one-track mindset.
For example, an aspiring business owner might say, “I really like fashion, so I’m going to be a fashion designer.”
A successful landscape architect might say, “All right, time to shake things up, let’s start pursuing higher-end clients.”
Although there is nothing wrong with the ideas above, you can see that the ideas are very limited, and one-to-one.
The truth is, your ONE passion or skill can actually spur a variety of moneymaking business ideas.
Below, we’ll take a look at 8 different ways you can make money from ONE interest or passion.
But first, let’s assume that you are an aspiring business owner brainstorming your very first business idea.
In order to decide on a business idea that you’ll be passionate about, you’ll FIRST need to identify your interests, hobbies, and natural abilities.
Have you always had a way with words, or are you always the go-to gal for planning parties and events?
Do you love fashion, cooking, caring for animals?
Make a list of keywords that highlight your interests, and don’t censor yourself here. Anything is possible!
Once you have a list of keywords, you can now start brainstorming a VARIETY of ways to monetize each passion.
Let’s say, for instance, you’ve put down fashion and gardening as two things you’re extremely interested in… Let’s take a look at 8 different ways you could turn each of these passions into a moneymaking business…
1. Just Do It – Many business owners often jump right into this one-to-one, “Do-It-Yourself” (aka DIY) business model.
This is what we were talking about above, where someone who likes fashion thinks, “I’ll be a fashion designer, and design my own clothes.”
Someone who wrote gardening might think, “I’ll be a professional gardener, or landscape architect.” Again, nothing wrong with these ideas, but there are other ways to tap into your passions, as we’ll find out next!
2. Sell It – Another option is to come up with products that you could sell that relate directly, or indirectly, to your passion.
For the fashion example, you could open a brick and mortar boutique or an online business, where you sell other designers’ clothing.
Or, for the gardening example, you could open a floral shop, or a nursery that sells trees or outdoor fountains or specialty tools and supplies, or you could open a produce stand at your local farmers market.
3. Talk About It – Here’s where you leverage your passion or knowledge on the topic by getting paid to share information on it. A blog is a great example. Just think of all the fashionistas-turned-bloggers online who earn a living by offering their perspectives on the latest fashion trends or tips for the budget conscious shopper.
Many experts out there built their status on certain topics by writing books and articles, making presentations, filming television shows, documentaries, etc. on a topic they felt passionate about.
As a gardener, you could build your status as an eco-friendly expert, or teach a class on sustainable gardening, or review the latest tools and supplies.
4. Offer Advice On It – As a consultant, you can bring your expertise directly to a client by working with them one-on-one. The distinguishing factor here is that you are offering a customized solution for a particular client or situation.
For fashion, this could be working as a stylist, or style consultant. As a gardening aficionado, one could offer their gardening expertise for model homes, wedding halls, or private estates.
5. Invest In It – When you take an investor/owner role, you are putting your resources towards a venture or property relating to your passion, with the hopes of making a profit on it. If you have an interest in fashion, you could help fund a budding fashion designer’s fall collection, in return for a percentage of profits.
Or, you could rent out a warehouse space for a sample sale, or a runway fashion show. In the gardening industry you might sell or offer a lot of land in exchange for a percentage of produce sold.
6. Make Technology For It – A clever way to find your niche is to think of something that would improve the industry. Is there some machinery, or technology you could create that would make life easier for those in the fashion or gardening industry?
A database to help track orders for plants, a drawing application for designers, for example? And don’t forget about the budding online and mobile application industry.
You could create an application to help people plan their daily outfit, design their dream gardens, and more.
7. Build a Community/Event Around It – Here, you’re thinking of ways rally live people around your passion. As a fashion lover, you could host a fashion show, inviting budding fashion students to showcase their talent, organize trunk shows or in-home accessory parties, where women could buy and sell vintage pieces.
As a gardener, you could start a community organization that beautifies impoverished neighborhoods, teach workshops on flower arrangements, etc.
The idea is to offer access to a community where people share the same passion as you, charging them on a per-head or per class basis, depending on the format you decide on.
8. Maintain It – Many people make a living by offering services that help preserve or maintain what they’re passionate about. For the fashion lover this could be a laundering service, or a tailor/alteration shop.
For a market full of avid gardeners, creating a new formula for plant food could be quite the success story, or a service caring for plants while people are on vacation.
© 2011 Ali International, LLC
About Ali Brown
Self-made entrepreneur and Inc. 500-ranked CEO Ali Brown teaches women around the world how to start and grow profitable businesses that make a positive impact.
After launching her first business from her tiny NYC studio apartment in 1999, she has grown it into what is today a multimillion-dollar enterprise that ranked in the Inc. 500 list of fastest growing private companies in the nation.
Ali has been featured as a business expert in the New York Post, Investor’s Business Daily, and on TV including Fox Business Network, ABC News Now, E!, and news and morning shows around the country. She was also featured on the season Finale of ABC’s primetime show “Secret Millionaire.”
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Top photo also used in post: It takes more than feeling passionate
Of course, it takes more than simply feeling passionate about something.The elements of experience, focus and persistence are also crucial. But many people may find the advice to “Find your passion” to be useless or even fearful.
Author Daniel Pink has said, “I find that question very daunting: What’s your passion? I find that almost paralyzing, in a way. I find it less paralyzing to say, What are you interested in doing next?”
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