Michelle Vandepas is an entrepreneur many times over, she’s a mom who has fostered ten children and adopted one. she’s also a doctor of Divinity who likes to travel, hike, dance and create. She is a business marketing strategist who is very focused on the importance of “purpose” when you start a business, and that “passion” is a different facet of the purpose that drives your business. For someone who has a strong passion and wants to look at turning that into a money-making proposition this interview is an important one to listen to, because the relationship between what is passion and what is purpose is one that is integral to whether you will be successful in your venture – or not.
The one thing that people love about working with me is that I bring them back to their purpose in business. I get to the ‘why’ of why they went into business in the first place. Or ‘why’ they are an artist, for example. When we can focus on ‘why’ you want to serve people, ‘why’ you want to be an artist, why you want to be a writer – and really, what is it that sets you on fire – when you can bring that back into your business you’ll not only regain the passion but you’ll also have the fire in your belly that will keep you going through the natural ups and downs that we all experience, both in business and in life.
Some people argue that you should follow your passion and everything will come to you – others will argue that having a passion for something doesn’t mean you can turn it into a successful business. But people want to do something they feel passionate about, and they want to do something that gives them a sense of purpose – so what is the difference between the two, especially in the context of starting a business?
The way I look at it “purpose” is really a big-picture piece. It really has nothing to do with your job. Most people have a purpose in life – it could be around service, teaching, or caring for others, or expressing, or speaking, or being creative – those are the kind of things I would think about in terms of your “purpose”.
So let’s say, by way of example, someone has a call to be creative – it speaks to their very soul that they need to express their creativity. That creativity might manifest itself as a passion for oil painting, or they may have a passion about water colors, or colored pencils – those things can come and go throughout your life, but your purpose doesn’t really change. How you express your purpose can change tremendously through different periods of your life.
I have a client that who is an artist and her passions have changed many times throughout her life and career – she had a passion for painting animals, then she had a passion for painting florals, then she had a passion for teaching others how to paint. Those things come and go with the natural cycles and flow of life. what people get confused about is that they get passionate about something in the moment – like, I suddenly get passionate about dancing – but that doesn’t mean I’m going to create a whole business around it.
When you talk about “passion” in the context of a business – that’s an underlying fire that has to keep you going through the rough times.
To me, its sort of like a 3-legged stool –
Passion – you have to bring passion to whatever you are doing. Passion is something we choose.
Monetize – if you have a passion for something that you want to turn into a business then you have to find out how to monetize that – otherwise you are not in business.
Marketing – You have to understand what people will pay you for and how to message that in a such way that people will be intrigued enough to look at what you have to offer.
Without those three things in place you are not going to have a business. you might have a great hobby, or even a bit of extra income, but it won’t be a business.
I often get people coming to me who have a variety of interests and don’t know which way to go. For example, someone might come to me and say “I have an interest in animals, cooking and for college I studied graphic design – what might that look like if I put all that together.” Well, it might look like a cook book for dogs. It might look like creating your own dog biscuit that you are going to sell. It may mean opening a doggy day-care, or it my mean something totally different and mean that you have a house full of cats, dogs and chickens and that you are going to chef school. It is a matter of digging deep and seeing what in your “thread” of your life can start jumping out as a place to really sustain a business.
Ultimately, the common thread of all the people that come to me is that they want not to just have control over their life, but they want some measure of creativity in their life. They want freedom that isn’t just free time, but freedom to really express who they are.
Favorite Book: Illusions by Richard Bach
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Michelle helps small business owners, entrepreneurs, authors and coaches get more clients and make more money. You need help from someone you can trust, who has worked through their own big dreams and actually makes money. Michelle has been an entrepreneur – many times over. She’s a mom (foster – mom many times over, and has adopted from the USA) and a traveler. She likes to hike, think, create and dance. She’s a Doctor of Divinity and a successful business consultant.
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