This week I sat down with The Stacey Harris to talk passion and building two businesses on her wonderful, educational & inspiring podcast Hit the Mic. You know, if you’ve been hanging around me—even if only virtually—that I am the multipassionate’s biggest advocate. BUT, I’m also the biggest advocate of understanding what you’re getting into, should you decide to follow your multipassionate heart into business.
So today’s post continues the saga of building two businesses at once…
Are You Ready to go Narrow and Strong?
When you have many passions, sometimes the best option is to go narrow and strong. Ground your passions in the day-to-day experience of wearing each hat and ask yourself: which business endeavor will provide the lifestyle and optimum work experience? Specifically, ask yourself what you want your days to look like.
Say, for example, you love sharing therapeutic yoga and you have mad graphic design skills. You feel torn between sharing therapeutic one-on-one healing sessions and creative endeavors.
Ultimately, the weeding out question is….
What do you want to do all day long?
Do you want to be creative, work with a small team – or by yourself – and be free to dictate your own schedule most of the time / every day?
Do you want to make connections and offer healing awareness to others in a group or one-on-one environment most of the time / every day?
You may have passions, but we all have particular Goddess Gifts and specific work in the world. If one of your passions serves that, but the other doesn’t, it’s time to let that one go.
If you want to spend most of your time creating, every day, then going narrow and strong in your web design business will be more fulfilling, long-term. Offering one-one-one healing sessions is a great part-time endeavor but won’t provide lasting satisfaction for a Creative.
If it’s still tricky to decide, then let your intuition decide which passions to go of by giving it a little time. Start on one trajectory – the one that appears most profitable and purposeful – and commit to “walking through the open doors.” (This is a quote from a conversation with wise-woman Joan Dwyer, yoga business mentor & studio owner.)
Take a step back and observe your feelings about your work and about your passions—observe your inner experience. Then observe what’s actually happening—the outer experience.
Option 2: Ready to divide and conquer?
If how you want to spend most of your days encompasses both passions, and you’re committed to a long-term vision, consider building both businesses at the same time. Yes, it will take longer, but it’s possible.
On building 2 businesses at the same time:
It is absolutely not for the faint of heart. You must be a Doer, not a Dreamer for this to work.
(Ok, you can dream, but it better be a Big Vision dream).
If you have a strategic plan (5 years) and a solid vision (10+ years) for each, and if you have a support strategy and if you have financial backing or a fiscal plan (both personal and professional) and if you have a strong marriage (just kidding! Sort of.)…
Then yes – give it a go.
(but read this first)
In my own businesses – coaching and yoga education, I chose to begin with each business branch interwoven. Since I was a small-town studio owner with a very small local community, it made sense to keep the two brands connected at the early stages.
The plan was to slowly grow each from the other, with the ultimate vision of dividing them into two strong, separate entities.
My offerings looked something like this:
- coaching and yoga packages
- workshops and yoga trainings with an integrated wellness component
- YouTube videos to build a global following
- A virtual wellness and lifestyle program.
That began in January 2012 with the advent of my virtual coaching business (Wisdom Method Wellness + Coaching) and my Yoga Education business (Wisdom Method School of Yoga).
Although these were under the same legal entity from the beginning, I kept finances, contacts and the brands separate. There was some overlap on social media and a lot of overlap in clientele; in fact, that was the intention: to use one stronger brand (what I was “known” for — being a Yoga Educator) to build the other brand (as a Coach).
As each supported the other in the beginning, I saw fairly rapid growth in the first and second years of each business. My work as a Wellness Coach was more multidimensional than diet and exercise – I brought in my yoga training to make it much more about lifestyle, inner experience and transformation.
I had learned to manage my business as an expression of my life’s work and the path to prosperity as energy management. It was a natural next step to begin sharing this with my clients.
The coaching practice enriched the yoga education side of my business and the principles of yoga enriched the coaching side of my business.
I was the obvious choice when yoga teachers & yoga therapists who had trained with me began seeking support for their own businesses.
I’ll be honest and say that I didn’t feel ready to “hang out my shingle” as a business consultant until some time later. I offered my services mostly for free, karma exchange or as a bonus to trainings in the Wisdom Method School of Yoga.
When I did finally come out of the yoga business closet, my business coaching practice grew rapidly because of my experience at all levels of yoga business.