Winston Churchill said, “The pessimist sees difficulty in every opportunity. The optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.”
Optimism is essential to success. All the more so if you want to make the leap to being your own boss.
In fact, the ability to view the world through the lens of opportunity is by far the fastest path to freedom.
That’s because, as you are about discover, difficulty that’s been keeping you locked in job jail may be the very thing that can set you free.
For starters, have you ever thought…
“I have so many interests that I can’t decide”
Kate is interested in lots of things. So many that she has a hard time picking just one. This makes Kate what my friend Barbara Winter calls a “scanner.”
She’s “addicted to scrapbooking,” spends hours happily researching information online, and before she got stuck with a stressful two-hour-a-day commute Kate was an avid golfer.
Unfortunately, none of Kate’s interests have anything to do with her j-o-b as a financial analyst.
Kate feels trapped. Which is ironic given her other passion. Writes Kate,
“I’m always looking at possibilities and trying to help my friends or co-workers or even total strangers who know they’re on the wrong path. One friend who is a cat lover calls me the answer lady because I’m constantly researching cool things she could do in the cat world”
In fact, Kate says getting paid to do what she’s done all along for free is “too good to be true.”
However, her excitement is short lived.
Her new worry? “What if I go in one direction only to discover it wasn’t my true calling after all?”
As a result Kate isn’t acting on any of her passions for fear that by saying ‘”yes” to one path, means closing the door on others.
Not so says Barbara. In Refuse to Choose she writes,
“…a scanner can’t choose one direction. It’s like telling a parent to choose one child to feed. A parent knows she has to feed all her children. And a scanner must find a way to follow every path that interests her.”
In fact, rather than a barrier to self-employment, having multiple interests means Kate has multiple ways she can earn money.
She could partner with a local travel agency to offer golf outings to exotic locations two or three times a year…
She could teach courses on scrapbooking throughout the year…
Or since people like to hunker indoors in the winter, scrapbooking could be a seasonal business.
That way Kate could still make money combining her love of online research with her knack for generating business ideas for cat lovers, travel lovers, sports lovers…
Better yet, she could specialize in helping other scanners!
Not only will life be more interesting, but in the end, having multiple profit centers means Kate will probably end up making more money as well.
Speaking of money… Do you worry that if you do what you love, the people and the money just won’t follow?
“Will enough people really pay me for this?”
Some people spend so much time fretting about whether there’s enough of a need to start their business that they wind up doing nothing.
Tim wants to quit his job in human resources to do freelance writing from home. But he knows it will take a while to match his former salary.
A self-described “dog guy,” Tim thought about also doing some dog sitting. But with so many kennels in the greater Washington DC area, he doubts he’d make much.
It’s a costly assumption to make.
Twenty five bucks a night may not sound like a lot, but when you travel as much as I do, it adds up! Last year alone, I paid my own dog sitter close to $1,200 to care for my aging dog Cokie in her home.
In a span of 10 minutes Tim could sign up for Rover.com, a new service that matches dog owners with in-home pet sitters.
Most sitters in the DC area charge $25-$40 a day. But a woman who bills herself as the “dog whisperer” commands a whopping $80 – per dog.
And guess what? She’s got more reviews than most of the competition!
Determining market potential for any potential business is basically a number crunching exercise.
If Tim found just three clients who, between them had five dogs, and they booked 70 nights a year ($80 x 5 dogs x 70 nights) he’d have a pretty sweet $28,000 income stream!
(If you want to learn more about how to calculate potential earnings check out my article on the Profiting From Your Passion® FAQ page.)
Joanne also wants to work from home. She’s intrigued by the idea of becoming an “outside the job box” career coach, but like Tim, she worries about the need.
“I work in a large dysfunctional organization. There’s a big shake up going on and lots of bad management decisions. Everyone is miserable — including me.
I’m the one everyone comes to for advice about how to get through this mess but I know they aren’t the types to quit their jobs to follow their bliss.
I desperately want out but I’m just afraid there’s not enough of a market out there for this kind of work.”
She and everyone around her is “miserable,” but Joanne doesn’t think there’s a market for someone who can help burned out cubicle dwellers find relief?
Is every disgruntled employee a potential client? Of course not. But even if it were somehow possible to work with every person on the planet, Joanne only needs to reach enough people to get launched and then grow from there.
If for every 100,000 employees, 5 percent were open to the idea of making a living without a job – that’s 5,000 people.
Then there’s the finding that the most significant spike in people starting their own businesses is among people aged 55 to 64.
With 10,000 baby boomers retiring every single day for the next ten years, this market alone is enormous.
Kate, Tim, and Joanne don’t have a problem. They have an opportunity. Once discovered, the ball is officially in their court.
As Wayne Dyer said, “There is no scarcity of opportunity to make a living at what you love; there’s only scarcity of resolve to make it happen.”