Make your purpose your business Step # 2- Go from point A to point B
In my previous article, Step 1, your challenge for the month was researching where your passion lies. Based on your research, you may have discovered that self-investigation can lead us to two places; Either we find out our answer or we find that we need to ask more questions to get that answer.
Finding your purpose takes a lot of effort, but it can be straightforward at the same time. It seems that once we start to pursue what we were meant to do, everything falls into place. But what we have to realize is that time plays a very important role.
Sometimes people are overnight successes, and sometimes they have to cultivate their purpose for years to come. Keep in mind, however, that as long as you enjoy what you are pursuing and your motivation is strong, that alone will sustain your ambition and provide longevity to your passion.
Remember that you are committing to yourself. You should treat that commitment in the same way that you would treat a devoted marriage or friendship. The key is to value yourself in the same way that you value others. Having a good attitude from the start can make a difference and not only affect your career, but also the people around you. Self-dedication shows and commitment will be reflected in your professional life and relationships.
Assuming that you now have a general idea of what you would like to do, you now need to visualize how to get from point A, where you are now, to point B, where you would like to be. Sometimes it is easier to set up a structure for your business if you look at the big picture of your purpose and where you intend to be in the future. Okay, your ideas and goals change as you change, but your overall purpose will generally remain the same, you just branch out.
Now that you’ve done your research on what you want to do, take the time to research what others in your area of interest have already done. Conducting market research will give you an idea of the industry you are entering. It is important to see what is out there. Look for trade magazines and magazines. Really put a little effort into getting involved with your career and learning about it. Each race has a wealth of resources available and much of that information is free. If you see a trade magazine or magazine that you like, sign up for their newsletter. This will help you stay up-to-date on industry trends and events.
Reading and research can be one-sided tasks. Sometimes it is easier to learn about your career by actually interacting with others in the field. This can be done on your own time instead of normal business hours thanks to the internet. Now you can find chat groups, user groups and forums and you are not limited by time zones or borders.
One of my favorite resources is Yahoo Groups at http://groups.yahoo.com/. You can search for any particular topic and find a group where you can discuss some of your career objections. This is a great way to network with your peers and experts in the field. It is not uncommon to find many other “newbies” in these groups, as well as professionals. The most important thing is not to be afraid to ask questions. If you don’t know what questions to ask, reading a group’s files is a good starting point. Groups vary in size and theme, so what I suggest is joining a couple to see which ones suit your personal needs.
Another resource you can use is ListServ lists http://www.lsoft.com/catalist.html. Usually you subscribe via your email client to a discussion group within your field of interest. You can also do a search for “server lists” or “user groups” on the Internet for a large number of sites that list a variety of groups. Not all lists are treated the same, so again use your own discretion when joining.
Personally, I also like forum communities. You can often search online for “forums” to find one in your career field. It is a great opportunity to share your discoveries and learn from others. Not to mention, you can do multiple searches within a forum and read old posts. This is a great way to view the profiles of other members who often refer to their personal or business websites. Some forums even have a ‘members’ section that lists all of their member profiles. Any profile with a “www” next to its name usually has an active link to your site. Be sure to take the time and visit these sites for reference.
When visiting the websites of other people in your field, I advise you to check and see if they have a link page. I have found so many great resources through other people’s link pages. It also helps you get an idea of which sites you can request link exchanges to in the future.
By networking with others and conducting your own market research, you will gain a better sense of direction and have an idea of where you want to be in the future with your career. If you see a website that you like, bookmark it. Then once you’ve gathered enough information, go back and check your favorites one more time. Ask yourself what you like about him. What information was useful to you? Was the site visually appealing? Was the site easy to navigate? If not, what would you change? What information would you add? Take notes, write down your thoughts and remember … patience plus perseverance, equals purpose.