5 Steps to Turning Your Vision into a Profitable Venture | DO 24

The Small Business Association states that 9 out 10 business fail inside of 5 years, but what they note as a powerful tip to be that 1 out of 10 that survives is to pursue your passion. It is the vision for your passion that will natuarally motivate you and assist you to persist through the trials and errors that accompany any business start-up. The “Do Over Guy” shares the 5 steps (among other invaluable tips) to turn your vision into a profitable venture.

Vision to VentureThe Small Business Association states that 9 out 10 business fail inside of 5 years, but what they note as a powerful tip to be that 1 out of 10 that survives is to pursue your passion. It is the vision for your passion that will natuarally motivate you and assist you to persist through the trials and errors that accompany any business start-up. The “Do Over Guy” shares the 5 steps (among other invaluable tips) to turn your vision into a profitable venture.

Your Do Over | Discover a Better Life | Get Lasting Results | Inspiration | Motivation | Success (mp3)

Resources mentioned in this episode:

Podcast Transcript:

Matt:  Hey, this is Matt, “The Do Over Guy,” and this is Your Do Over: Episode 24.

Announcer:  During an era where countless people, businesses, and organizations are feeling the pinch, running out of time, running out of money, losing confidence, feeling as if life is unfair, praying for another chance and unless something is done, life is going to pass them by. Life is going to pass them by.
Fortunately, in the nick of time, there is now a place where the ignored, underestimated and unknown steps to producing results and making life work are revealed. Save your career. Save your business. Save your health. Save your relationships. Save your life. Get from where you are to where you want to be, faster and with greater ease than you ever thought possible.  Say, “Hello!” to Your Do Over.

Matt:  Welcome to Your Do Over, coming to you live from downtown Los Angeles.  This is the place where I show people who want more out of life, people discontent with their current circumstances how to start over, and begin a new life starting goals and objectives so they can create wealth, and live life to the fullest.
To get a head start and lay a solid foundation for a better life, you are invited to download the Three Pillars of Creating the Ultimate Do Over for free at FreeDoOver.com. It’s a 55-minute MP3 audio program that I made just for you with three specific steps on how to get success as you start over.
The Three Pillars of Creating the Ultimate Do Over are going to put the legs under your table, they are going to lay the foundation for you to achieve. Think of them as your traveling success coach. And it’s yours for free at FreeDoOver.com.
Today’s show, we’ll get right into. It’s one of the more popular subjects here at the Do Over podcast, and it has to do with starting life over doing what you love. This podcast isn’t all about business, and entrepreneurship, and making money – far from it.
But we do discuss the subject quite a bit, and here’s why. Regardless of what you do for a living, you likely spend at the very least eight hours a day and five days a week doing it. I hear some of you laughing. You wish you spend only eight hours a day, and five days a week.
That’s at least one third of your life making a living, and most of this country doesn’t like what they do for a living – or even more tragic, they like what they do, or are okay with what they do, but are completely unaware that there’s something far better for them out there, and they get stuck. They wake up one day wondering, “What happened?”
I had shared some statistics I had come across in a study conducted by Boston College and these statistics were pretty amazing. They said that 63% of all employees want to work less – that’s up from 46% in 1992.  40% of workers describe their office environment as most like a real-life Survivor program. 26% of working adult Americans report being on the verge of a serious nervous breakdown – that’s one out of four Americans.
Only 14% of Americans take two weeks or more at a time for vacation. Only 14%! That means that the average American spends more time in the bathroom then on vacation.
70% of working fathers and working mothers report they don’t have enough time for their children. Now, I’m about to be a new father and that hits home for me.
I share those stats with you to demonstrate about what you do for a living isn’t about your career; it’s not about your business or about money. It’s about your life, specifically the quality of your life. I want to drive the point home that life is short. No, life is fast.
And to borrow from Ferris Bueller, “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around every once and awhile, you could miss it.” If you’re going to spend that much of your time at the J-O-B, wouldn’t it make sense to at least do something that you enjoy doing? Of course it does.
I know you all have a vision of what that would look like, or what it might look like – waking up everyday doing what you love, and doing it all day, loving what you do. If you don’t, go back to our last episode, episode 23 and find yourself a role model. If you don’t have a vision for yourself, I know there’s someone out there you know of that’s living the life what you want to live. Go find them. Notice what they’re doing, borrow a few things, and create a vision for yourself. Create a vision for your own life.
Today we’re going to discuss how to Do Over taking your vision to profitable venture. Now, I’ve got a step-by-step procedure for you today, a bunch of acronyms to make it a little easier to remember, and a bunch of empowering questions to keep you focused.
There’s a ton of information on today’s episode, of which you probably won’t be able to keep up if you’re taking notes. So, thank God for transcripts, right? This episode’s transcript will be available. Just go to TheDoOverGuy.com and look up podcast episode 24.
For those who start a business today, there’s a very good chance that you will survive the first two years. The statistics say that you’ve got a pretty good shot at that, and this seems to be the critical points since the success rate falls off dramatically after this period.
According to the Small Business Administration, only 44% of new businesses survive into a fourth year. However, the odds increase significantly for those who start a business based on their passion, based on their vision.
Consider Shez Zamrudeen – maybe you’ve heard of her, maybe you haven’t. Ms. Zamrudeen has loved all things fashion since a little girl, and indulged her passion by starting a business in the fashion industry.
In a recent interview with Entrepreneur Magazine, Ms. Zamrudeen recalled that, “It was my biggest passion in life to be part of the fashion industry. I live my life around fashion. I’m always the girl thinking and planning weeks ahead about my outfit for an event.”
To differentiate her boutique, Deen, from the competition, Zamrudeen opened her flagship store in New Jersey’s powerhouse art district. The mix of art and clothing provides a great niche. She says, “There’s nothing other boutique in the area that has an art gallery and clothing store in one.” Her store hosts monthly art-related soirees and it’s become the most popular life-style boutique in the area. “It makes me so happy to be part of the store. I couldn’t have found a better job, because I’m doing what I love. Fashion is my life,” she says.
What she’s accomplished, it can be replicated by anyone who has the desire and commitment to pursue their passion, to pursue their vision. What is a passion?
Let’s start be defining what a passion is not. A passion is not necessarily your hobby. A hobby is any activity that you enjoy doing in your spare time, but may not be something which stirs the fires in your soul. That is what a genuine passion does, though. When you are engaged in your passion time disappears, and you are in what psychologists have called the flow experience.
Author Bill Strickland in his book, “Make the Impossible Possible,” offers this advice: “Passions are irresistible. If you’re paying attention to your life at all, passions are the ideas, hopes, and possibilities your mind naturally gravitates to – the things you would focus your time, if for no other reason than doing them feels right.” Strickland believes that only by working your passion will you ever reach your full potential. “I never saw a meaningful life that wasn’t based on passion,” he says.
Step one: setting realistic expectations
One of the first issues that you’re going to want to address in starting a business concerns you and your family’s expectations with regard to becoming a business owner. The start-up period especially will necessitate long hours, it’s going to take some time, and what may be a significant monetary contribution.
How much money you need to contribute will depend on the type of business you wish to start. For the most part, a service-oriented business will require less monetary outlay than will a product-based business.
If this is going to be a home-based business, consider whether your home has sufficient room to accommodate a separate office. Do you and your family have enough savings to start full-time, or are you going to need to remain with your employer until the business picks up some momentum?
Are you and your family able to commit to the long hours, and seven day work weeks to get the business up and running? How will this time commitment impact your social life? Those are going to be important questions to ask yourself.
Do you have an established network of potential customers and contacts, or are you going to have to create that? Are you prepared to assume the risk that the business may fail?
Those questions are not intended to discourage you from starting a business; rather they are meant to help you consider all the factors involved so that you don’t go into the things with eyes wide shut, so to speak.
Step two: you need to define your vision and create clarity about it
Have you identified your passion? If so, use it to create a vision of the business you wish to start. What will success look like? Once you’ve created a firm picture in your mind of what success means, begin to plan out how you will get there.
It is not enough to have identified your passion or defined your vision if you lack clarity about the steps it’s going to take to become successful. Clarity comes from planning. We’ve talked about that.
An important part of the startup process is to decide the who, the what, the where, and the when of your business. Take some time to answer each of these following questions, and I want you to be specific. If you’re driving just listen, but you might want to go back and answer these, or go and get the transcripts and do this later when you can do this undistributed, you can give it your undivided attention.
What service or product is your business going to provide? Not a pet-sitting business, but a small dog walking service, for example.
Who will your business serve? Will your service focus on the midtown east area from 42nd street to 59th street, or on the Westside?
Where will you conduct business; from home or an office? Home-based business using the second bedroom might be your answer to that question.
When do you plan to start the business? Be specific with the deadline date. Your launch date is going to be August 31, 2011.
Why do you wish to start the business? “My love of dogs and the outdoor exercise; that’s why I’m going to start this business.” But go deeper than that. Sure you love animals, and sure you want to exercise outdoors, but why? How is that going to make you feel? Take it deeper. Take it all the way down to the emotional level, because it’s those emotions where the passion lives. That’s what’s going to keep you doing what you need to do to keep your business going, to keep pursuing this passion.
How will you start this business? Are you going to do it part-time or full-time? “I’m going to start on a part-time basis until the business accumulates 30 consistent clients.” Be real specific to the answers of these questions.
Each question is going to help you clarify your vision to create a viable business plan. As you create the plan, be specific with regard to your goals.
Step three: let’s get practical – research and test your concept
While it’s all to the good to start a business based on your passion, keep in mind that the business needs to offer you a solid return of investment. After you’ve decided on a business to start, conduct consumer and industry-based research to test its feasibility in the marketplace.
There are a variety of tools of which to begin your research, including trade associations, magazines, web searches, social networking sites, as well as a business library. The Census Bureau, Census.gov, can provide a wealth of information regarding consumer demographics.
The goal of your research should be to help you decide whether to move ahead with your idea, fine tune it, or go back to the drawing board. That’s the intent of your research.
Create a set of questions that you wish your research to address. For example, what is the median salary of the demographic I wish to serve? Who are my main competitors? How much will it take to get this business off the ground? How much should I charge for my product or service to be competitive? Is there an unidentified niche in this market that my business can tap into? The specific type of information you will want depends on the type of business you wish to start.
The Four C’s of Research – there are four main areas in which to focus your research: company, customer, competitors, and colleagues.
Company – think of your company in terms of the service or product it’s going to offer and identify a niche that you can carve out for yourself. Create a unique selling proposition with the branding strategy.
Customer – as you think about your customer base, keep in mind that people do not purchase the product or service, per se. What they buy is the benefit that the product or service provides. Most sales happen when needs meet benefit.
Determine how to market your product or service so that it speaks to customer needs and benefits. Think of those vacation ads you see. Most often what is pictured is a person reclining in a lounge chair on a beach with sunny skies, white sands, and blue water. Vacation time is the need with relaxation, comfort, and escape being the benefits.
Competitor – identify who your main competition is going to be. Think about ways you can differentiate your business from theirs and how you can create your unique selling proposition.
Perhaps you’re going to target a different demographic, or offer package deals, or perform same-day service, and remain open on the weekends. No market is saturated to the point where newcomers cannot make a living. It just takes a little work to discover an unidentified niche, and design your business and design your business to meet its unique needs.
Colleagues – think about people who have an interest in seeing the business succeed, but don’t have a personal stake in the outcome. These could include former coworkers, and supervisors, friends, networking associates, as well as advisors and mentors, your role models. Reach out to these folks for assistance with the research process, as well as support, and feedback.
Step four: decide and take action. You know this one is my favorite.
All of your efforts for research will be for naught, unless you are able to decide on a course of action and commit to it. This is the hard part for many would-be entrepreneurs. It is relatively easy to move through the planning and research stages, since neither requires a whole lot of commitment.
In most cases, it can be completed just via some Internet-based research, and oftentimes that’s the fun part. Of course, most of us get through that part. Now it’s time to introduce the rubber to the road and put all the planning and research to use. Most people procrastinate at this stage, because the tasks loom large and they don’t know where to begin.
However, by utilizing some smart goal setting, you can break the startup process into manageable steps. If you’ve never heard this, you’ll like this. This is kind of cool how they broke up the word SMART into a goal setting strategy.
The “S” stands for specific. For each stage of your startup action plan, create a specific goal in terms of what, who, where, when, and how. Make the goals short term so that you don’t feel overwhelmed.
What I mean by specific, you’re going to want to address the following: What is the first, second, third, etc, step to take in starting this business? When will you complete each step? How will you accomplish each step? Why is each step important to the overall startup plan? Where will this step be carried out? That’s what I mean by getting specific – the what, the who, the when, the where, and the how.
The “M” in SMART stands for measurable. Write your goals with measurable objectives. When you measure, you remain focused and you reach your milestone dates. To determine whether your goal is measurable, ask such questions as “How much? How many? How will I know when my goal is accomplished?” Make sure that they’re measurable. That’s really important.
“A” in SMART – attainable. To remain motivated, your business idea must be attainable. In effect, you must have – or be able to develop – the skills, the abilities, the talents, and the financial resources to be successful.
However, even goals that seem very fanciful and out of reach in terms of your current situation may still be doable. It will just take a little extra work to get there. Indeed, when we stretch to reach these goals, we can’t help but grow. So often, it’s who we become along the way that provides the most fulfillment. but to maintain that motivation, you want to make sure your goals are attainable.
“R” –  realistic. As noted previously, make sure that you can comfortably meet all startup commitments, monetary commitments, the time commitments, the family commitments. It’s fine to start part time until the business gains momentum. That’s okay. Be sure to balance your work life, and your family life. It’s going to take some time, but once you get that momentum going, then you can start dedicating more time to the actual business.
“T” – timely. Don’t set the start date too far out into the future. You want to create small steps so that you can experience small successes along the way. We’ve talked about the success cycle in the past. Ensure that each step of your action plan is accompanied by a specific date.
Step five: evaluate and adjust where necessary
John Dyson was a tinkerer and inventor, and he enjoyed playing with things and coming up with new used for old items. One day he was growing increasingly frustrated by a vacuum that continually lost suction after a very short period of time. He thought, “There must be a way to invent a vacuum that lasts longer.” He began tinkering with the thing, and five years later, he invented the Dyson Cleaner, which turned into a $6 billion company.
Now, Dyson had 5,126 occasions to quit, as that is how many prototypes he had developed before arriving at the correct design for the first ever bagless vacuum cleaner. Major manufactures, they continually rejected his design, because they made more money from the bags. They do that with their printers, too, don’t they?  They make more money off of the ink than they do the printer themselves, and the vacuum companies were making more money off of the bags than they were the vacuums.
In spite of all the rejection, Dyson was not discouraged, but plowed on. He kept going. Today Mr. Dyson is worth an estimated $2 billion showing that persistence and belief in your passion pays off. When you’re passionate about what you’re doing, the persistence is so much easier.
As we’ve seen in the case of Mr. Dyson, it is through trial and error that a business grows and succeeds. You got that? Through trial and error. You’re going to experience trial and error.
That’s why pursuing your passion is so important, because the trial and the error; that’s unavoidable, that’s inescapable, that’s going to happen. But if you’re passionate about what you’re doing, you can persevere through that. The best business plan in the world cannot account for all variables that may pop up when the business is in actual operation. For this reason, you should remain flexible and open to change. By pursing your passion, making it through these tough times can be much easier.
Some inexpensive tools that can help you gain insight into what is working and what’s not with regard to your business idea include service and polls. I like to use those. Two that I like to use are online tools – Zoomerang.com and SurveyMonkey.com.
You want to design the tool so that you’re able to capture essential information. What do customers, suppliers and vendors believe your business concept to be? Does your business name reflect the service or products it offers? Can each stakeholder articulate your brand? What sets you apart from competitors? What motivates your customers to buy from your company and not your competitor’s? What aspects of your business do they think need to change or need to improve?
Knowing the answer to these and other questions will help you fine tune your services to better meet their needs, and create better benefits. It’s tough. It can be very tough to get a business up and running, but don’t be discouraged by setbacks. They are to be expected and are wonderful learning opportunities.
As our friend Mr. Dyson says, “Enjoy failure and learn from it. You can never learn from success.” What a reference. If you’re succeeding, you’re not learning. Enjoy failure and learn from it. You know that you’re growing when you’re experience failure, when you’re experiencing those trials and errors.
There was a lot of information here today. I imagine it’s going to be a lot easier to print the transcript rather than rewinding and taking notes. I did put that transcript together for you, and you can get the transcript at TheDoOverGuy.com and search for podcast episode 24.
That’s all I’ve got for you today. Don’t forget, you will have until May 10th to participate in my Do Over contest. Search Your Do Over and place your iTunes comment and rating, and send an email to [email protected] with “I did it” in the subject lin.
Be sure to include your iTunes name in the email, so that I know who you are, so I can send you a copy of Do Over and possibly – no, probably – another prize, too. I’m giving away so much stuff that you’re likely to win the other stuff, too. Don’t delay though. Log into iTunes, post your comment, click your rating, and do that before May 10th.
Love you guys.  I am Matt, the Do Over Guy, and I will see you next time on Your Do Over.

Announcer: Thank you for tuning in to Your Do Over, where the ignored, underestimated, and unknown steps to producing results and making life work are revealed. And remember, knowledge is potential power. Take action on what you learned today. This is not your learn over. It’s Your Do Over.
To view the resources referenced in today’s show and to retrieve a complete show transcript, visit www.TheDoOverGuy.com. Stay connected with Matt “the Do Over Guy” Theriault on Twitter at TheDoOverGuy and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/dooverguru.