We’re often told to “follow our passions” with our business ideas, but we want to reframe the question: What are you curious about in life? In your business? One of Tia’s favorite books to read (and re-read) whenever they’re in a funk is Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert. In the book, Gilbert essentially says that the advice to “follow your passion” is actually BS.
Think about it. If you had a passion, it would be all-consuming. You would know what it was, and you would likely already be following it. Being told to “find your passion” and follow it can leave a lot of people just feeling confused and lost.
So where does that leave entrepreneurs looking for a new approach to their business ideas? Follow your curiosity. If that doesn’t spark something in you, follow your jealousy.
Curiosity and Jealousy Inspire Better Business Ideas
American culture tends to idolize certain kinds of curiosity because it leads to innovation. For many, following your curiosity initially might be a more comfortable idea than following your jealousy. We came across this idea in Rachel Rodgers’ book We Should All Be Millionaires. It has been a game changer for us. Even though many of us grow up thinking of jealousy as one of the most shameful things we can feel, this emotion can teach us a lot about ourselves and the things we want for our lives.
What does it mean to follow your curiosity or jealousy? It doesn’t have to be an intensely emotional process. Start with questions like:
- Are you drawn to something that you can’t stop thinking about?
- What is something you see other people do that you’d like to try?
- What topics can you get lost in a wormhole on the internet about?
- What are you daydreaming about?
Your curiosity could be anything from gardening, to bee keeping, to activism, to storytelling. Your curiosity and your jealousy is your own.
Starting with the Kind of Life You Want
None of this needs to be directly related to your business ideas. Sometimes evolutions in your business and life take lots of little steps along the way. When Tia set out to make a career change into a creative field, they never would have expected to end up in wedding photography. Their path looked like this:
- I am jealous of people who don’t work 9-5.
- I am jealous of people who get paid for their creative work.
- I am curious about how to make money doing creative work.
- Maybe I should try selling my costumes or knitted goods.
- I am curious about getting better at taking pictures.
- My friend got married, and I felt so jealous that her photographer made $1500 (my full paycheck at the time) for 5 hours of photographing the wedding.
- I think I could be a wedding photographer.
- I make a beautiful living as a wedding photographer.
Despite what some business coaches say, the paths to your best business ideas are rarely logical and linear. So what are you jealous of? What are you curious about?
Are you trying to grow your business in a way that’s ethical and sustainable for you? Tia provides one-on-one and group business coaching that honors your energy and illuminates paths to income growth. Reach out to learn more about working with Tia!