Last week I wrote about how I was going to take my niche site in the security guard industry and turn it into something more useful—an ultimate resource.
A lot of comments came in about how this was a “shift in the right direction”, or something that “Google would much rather see”, and I agree—but there was one comment in particular that I wanted to highlight today because it tackles a very, very important subject:
Here's the exact comment below, by Joe from GarmaonHealth.com:
The only most pertinent question I have for you ole boy is, do you care enough about it to do it. If I remember correctly, you built this micro site in a contest w/ another blogger as an educational moment for your flock. Not because you love guarding something…
A couple other comments came in about passion as well soon thereafter, from Sunil and Alex W.
Joe is absolutely right—I'm definitely not a security guard—never have been, and the site was indeed created as a result of the niche site duel—not because I had any undying passion for the industry.
Most people will tell you that if you're going to get into any sort of business, it should be in an niche that you're passionate about—a topic that you live, eat, breath and sleep.
And I completely agree—if you have a passion for something and you can bring something to the world that no one else can, or do it in a way that easier to consume or more enjoyable—then that's absolutely where you should start.
Things come much easier when you're passionate about it.
In reality, however, a lot of people have trouble finding their passions.
I truly believe that everyone in this world has some kind of passion for something in them, but I also know that a lot of people won't believe that, and if one doesn't believe they have that passion, well—then they don't have it.
I get dozens of emails every month from people who are looking to start a business online but can't find that one thing they are 100% passionate about.
Does this mean they shouldn't attempt to start a business?
Passion vs. Interest
Passion for a topic is preferred—always. But if you're having trouble finding that passion I wouldn't let that stop you from creating a business.
What is required, however, is interest.
Any sort of mild curiosity or excitement about a topic can help you get started and keep you moving forward—but you don't have to be completely passionate about it.
I've attempted businesses and websites before where I wasn't even slightly interested in the topic, other than because it was found to be a profitable keyword or market based on my research.
ALL of those businesses failed.
Am I interested in the security guard industry?
Actually, yes—and not because I'm publicly displaying the journey of this site on SPI (although that does help—and the “accountability factor” could be dedicated 100% to a completely separate blog post), but because my mom is a security guard, and she has friends who she refers my site to.
Am I passionate about it, no? But I am interested enough to keep moving forward with it and make it the best site it can be.
There are many successful businesses, online and offline, that were created not because the owner had a passion for the topic or niche, but because he or she saw an opportunity and was interested enough to follow through.
In SPI Podcast Session #24, Raffael Schulz came on the show and said that he had no passion or experience in the wedding industry, but he was able to create one of the top wedding sites in Germany.
Passion Still Plays a Major Role
Passion is still important though—not necessarily for the topic, but for something deeper:
- A passion to help people; and
- A passion for business and entrepreneurship.
The Desire to Help People Will Often Trump The Niche
A passion to help people will go a long way in business, no matter what that business may be.
It's like when people volunteer their time in hospitals to take care of the sick or they go to soup kitchens to help feed the homeless—they don't do it because they're passionate about going to the hospital or being in a kitchen, they do it because they have a passion for helping people—and that is what drives them.
Plus, you might grow to become passionate about a topic that you weren't initially interested in at first—not until you get your feet wet.
A Passion for Business and Entrepreneurship
And of course, for many people, the desire to create a successful business will always help keep one interested—whether they are passionate about the topic or not.
Helping people combined with smart business strategies, experimentation and the desire to improve, grow and just wanting to become the best out there will often keep people interested enough as well.
If You Don't Have a Passion…
If you don't have a passion, don't worry. Passions are not always born with us—they can be learned and found along the way.
In the meantime, the best thing you can do is keep your ears and eyes wide open and write down each and every idea that comes to mind—no matter what it is, how dumb it looks or how far off it may seem from what you think you would want to do.
If it's an idea that comes to mind, it's something you're slightly interested in already, so it shouldn't be wasted—just in case.
If on the surface nothing pops out at you, think about each of those things on your list and who you'd be helping, or how you would feel running a successful business in that market. That's when you'll be able to potentially find something of high interested you can start with, and who knows—it may turn into a passion eventually.
Let me Know…
1. Is passion absolutely required, or is “enough interest” enough to start a business? Should people without a passion not even start a business at all?
2. I created a video to go along with this post—partly as a way to explore this topic in a different medium, but also to experiment with some new video techniques I've been working on. You'll see something *new* within the first 15 seconds—please let me know what you think:
Cheers, and all the best to you!