While it could be argued that every business is influenced and informed by our own experiences…a great deal of opportunity goes unused when we fail to see the potential of putting that experience to work to help others.
In fact, personal experience lends itself to all sorts of enterprises. It’s really a matter of recognizing things that might be hiding in plain sight.
Begin by valuing your own experiences. Very often the things that are easy and effortless for us are overlooked because we assume that everyone can do what we can do.
That’s almost never true. Your special set of talents, skills, and life experiences are a one-of-a-kind package.
A case in point is my neighbor, Susan, who had a gorgeous yard. In every free moment, she was out digging in the dirt.
One day we were talking and I said, “Why don’t you start a gardening business?”
“Who would ever hire me?” she laughed.
“Ah…how about anyone who wanted their yard to look as good as yours does?” I suggested. A few months later, her gardening business was born and was such a success that she hired her first employee shortly thereafter—her husband Steven.
You might also adopt my personal business plan: have a great life and talk about it. Review your passions and see which ones have the potential to generate income.
Although writing is John Schroeder’s primary occupation, he’s also a longtime fan of garage sales. His weekends are spent hunting for treasures and he regularly holds sales of his own.
As much as he enjoyed his profitable hobby, it became even more profitable when he self-published a book called Garage Sale Fever, sharing tips for having a more successful sale. That led to a flurry of media interviews and an invitation from a community education program to share his information in an evening class.
Personal experience can be the basis for autobiographies and how-to books, of course. But that’s not all. Workshops, seminars, and consulting are other ways of making your experience pay.
You need to live it first, of course. That may sound like common sense, but I am always startled when I get a call or email from someone who hasn’t made the connection.
One fellow went on at great length about how confused he was about what business to start, then added a P.S. saying he planned to organize a seminar on Discovering Your Purpose.
So take a fresh look at your own life experiences. You may be sitting on a gold mine. Isn’t it time to get a return on your investment?
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