They say that to be successful in business you first need to find your passion. This isn't as simple as it sounds. Many of us have hobbies and interests that we frequently enjoy but these are not the same thing as a true intrinsic passion.
Enjoying box sets on Netflix does does not mean that you will have a successful career as a TV critic if you do not have a passion for writing. Going to the gym regularly does not mean you are cut out to be a personal trainer if you do not have a drive to teach.
It's never just about what you like doing or even what you think you might be good at. These elements will peak and dip in your life. They are interchangeable and inconsistent.
So why is it so difficult to know what our true passion is? The only way I can try to explain it is this: we don't see it because it has always been there. It's more than a passion, it's our core vaule. It's a part of us and we are born with it. Discovering your passion is, simply put, defining your personality first, then your interests should collaborate with your personality type to form your business. Marry these two elements together and you have your winning formula for success.
In 2014 I started my events business, Discerning Events. I thought "finally, I've realized the thing that I love, organizing events. This is sure to mean that I'll have a super successful business"
But something was missing that I didn't realise at the time; my core value. My born-with passion.
We are not born with our hobbies and interests! They do not form who we are, therefore on their own they're not sustainable.
As much as I loved thinking up new ideas for themes and utilizing my creative brain, something was missing. I dived right in at the deep end, getting stuck into lots of different areas of events, from hen parties to corporate networking.
But with each one there was still a part of me that wasn't quite connected. I didn't feel the sense of fulfillment that I was expecting to feel. It was as though I was on the sidelines observing myself.
Corporate events especially were becoming problematic. In fact, the corporate world in it's entirety at one point, irked me. When at networking events as an attendee I struggled to get on board with the stiffness of it all. It didn't feel right to me.
As time went on I streamilined my focus to concentrate on sustainable living events. They just had a better energy about them. They attracted a really great crowd of stallholders and attendees every time. I closed the doors on Discerning Events and CleverGreen Group was born.
It was a bold move and at the time I did wonder if was a stupid one. Yet at the same time I felt connected. More than I ever had with Discerning Events. I felt a new enthusiasm when talking about CleverGreen Group to others and how I wanted to help businesses promote themselves through collaborations and events. I talked about how I wanted to help the community learn new ways to live a more sustainable lifestyle. There's something about sustainablie living and environmental issues that brings out a kindness and compassion in people. Just like that, I had an epiphany and found my passion. My core value. Compassion.
I know, it sounds so obvious but the biggest light bulb moments always do seem to be that obvious!
Recognising that kindness and compassion over everything else is what drives me, has been life changing for me.
In the early naïve-but-driven-entrepreneur days I fell into that trap of listening to others talk about businesses needing a strong will, an alpha stance, a competitive nature at any cost. I believed that kindness was a weakness because it was a theory dictated to me from all angles. I saw how other business men and women operated. Rat race, dog eat dog, underhand measures, even bullying at times.
Please, let me assure you that these notions are archaic and outdated.
Heartfelt business collaborations are the way forward. Knocking each other down no longer serves as acceptable business practice. So, so much more can be achieved when you find like minded people and just work together.
My "passion for compassion" is encouraged in my green business network and that network is growing daily. It's full of promise and success not just for me, but every single person interacting with me. I attract more people than ever to my business now because I deliver with soul and integrity every single time. I've always wanted to help people but I've also always wanted to be in events. It was suggested to me many times to look at exploring the counselling and psychology route but I knew that this wasn't what I needed to be doing as a career, as much as I love helping people. It would serve my passion but not my interests and as I said, you need both.
Ask yourself one question: what is your personality type? Be honest because this is where your business idea should grow from. Extrovert? Make sure that you have a platform in your business to be seen and perform. Introvert? Choose a business where you can deliver without having to be customer facing. Bossy? Find an avenue that will allow you to teach. Altruistic? Consider a business that focuses on charitable giving.
If you're a woman in green business and you're feeling inspired and ready to be part of a movement that is all about kindness and collaborations with great women who think the same way as you, head on over and join my facebook page Green Business Women Sussex.