Why You Need To Stop Doing What You Love
Do what you love. Follow your dreams.
That’s what the media teaches us. That’s what motivational quotes inspire us to do.
But, if you are an entrepreneur, it’s time you stopped doing what you love.
And do what others love.
You are shocked. I would be too. But I have reasons to believe that what is being promoted is total nonsense. Let me explain.
Being down to earth isn’t a negative thing
This isn’t about you not being positive. This is about you being realistic.
I mean, sure, the internet is full of articles and quotes encouraging you to do what you love, follow your dreams, discover your passion and you’ll be happy. But guess what? You won’t be happy.
Not unless your dreams and passion can also bring the success you want… and not unless what you love to do is also helpful for people out there. If you don’t have a market where your dreams can land, it’s useless from an entrepreneurial point of view.
Building something nobody wants isn’t helping anyone
Unfortunately, from what I discovered in my many years of entrepreneurial experience, if all you do is just follow your heart and your passion, you’ll eventually end up building a thing that nobody wants. Why?
Because what you are working on is a pure theory, you are basically building and working on a thing that you haven’t even tested out with the real market, with real people. At this point, you don’t even know whether the product or service you are so excited to build will actually sell.
What happens when it doesn’t?
Focus on people and achieve your goals
When you do what you love, your focus is on yourself, whereas the ‘do what others love’ approach is focusing on people, on their needs and wants, their dreams and passion.
If it seems unfair to you, think again.
What’s your ultimate goal? If it’s to succeed than this is the only way that will get you this outcome.
Discover the things that grab people’s attention
Before you start working on anything at all, make sure to know and understand the things that make people tick. Why do they need your product? What makes them pay attention to your product? How can you deliver your product to them?
If you manage to raise people’s interest in your product it’s only because these individuals actually need what you have to offer. People don’t buy your products or services because you’ve put passion in what you’ve done, or because you love doing what you are doing. People buy your products because they are offered exactly what they need. Because you meet their pain points, you solve a problem, you fulfill a need. That’s all.
So, do what others love not what you love.
Burst the bubble of the ideal world…
How many times have you asked the “How would it be if…?” question?
“How would it be if I could find that one thing that I love doing, others would love it, too and would also be willing to pay for it just to have it?” “Could this be done?”
Ideally, yes. In reality, very-very-very slim chances.
Ok, so we don’t live in an ideal world, but that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy what you are doing while making sure that you provide the services or products that make others happy.
All you need to do is shift your focus: from you to others. The sooner you understand that it isn’t about you, the better. It’s always about the people, the customers, about what the market requires.
In an ideal world, all three major elements of your product plan would work out well: 1. Doing what you love to do. 2. Doing what others would love you to do. 3. Doing what people would pay for. But, unfortunately, it’s very seldom the case.
How to discover what the market needs
Step 1. Know whether you have a market for your business/product/service idea – and if so, know what the market size is
Before anything else make sure to do proper market research in order to obtain information on the essential areas you need to examine before launching your new product or service.
You may have a brilliant idea for a product, something that you think would make consumers very happy to buy. You may even have realized there is a certain specific service that isn’t offered by anyone. So, go for it.
But wait! First thing first, you need to determine if there’s actually a market for your product/service or not. How? By conducting market research.
Unfortunately, many entrepreneurs tend to skip this extremely important step in product development. The reason?
1. They are convinced that their product or service is perfect the way it is, so they aren’t interested in getting any negative feedback.
2. They are afraid it will be too expensive and they don’t feel it’s not justified to spend the extra money when the expenses of product launch are already so high.
However, regardless of the reason, if you fail to do your market research before creating or launching your product, you are basically failing to give your product a chance.
So, consider market research an investment in your business’ future and success. The point is that if you make the necessary adjustments to your product/service from the very beginning, you’ll essentially save money long-term.
How to do this research? This is the subject of a University Degree. But in a few simple words, here’s what you need to do:
- Look at similar products/services – how many buyers are there
- Look at financial reports/blog posts from those companies that are creating those similar products/services; how many customers they have? What revenue/profit?
- Understand the size of your market. Try to calculate it using the rule of three based on the market size for similar products.
Step 2. Know exactly what people need and give them the solution
How do you know what people need? Simple. Listen to (read) their complaints, read their answers to questions on social media. By simply going online and checking the comments at certain posts, you can easily identify what they need/want.
Do you want to build a new website for teaching piano? Go to the youtube channels that are offering piano lessons and read the comments. You get the point.
Or, go to 3-5 dedicated networking events and personally talk to 8-10 people that have the need they are trying to address. Here’s an excellent book from Adelle Revella on how to tackle this using a systematic approach.
The difficult part is finding a solution to their needs.
The basics of new product development are quality, cost, and delivery. Make sure to take these three elements into consideration as you develop a business plan for a product to satisfy a market need.
Here’s what you need to ask yourself:
1. What are the features and benefits of your product that customers need and would be happy to benefit from?
2. How much will it cost you to develop the new product? And, how much will your customers have to pay for your product?
3. How long will it take you to develop and deliver the new product?
And be aware that it’s very difficult to provide high quality, low cost, and fast delivery all at the same time.
As you can see, it’s very seldom that you can have the cake and eat it, too.
But that’s just how it is. The good news is, you can make the best of what you have and want to achieve. All you need to do is take into consideration certain steps that a business/product launch involves – which is: do what others would love you to do and what they are willing to pay for.
Or, take a chance and do what you love. But be aware of the risks…
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