I used to say things like, “Follow your passion. Work on projects you are passionate about.”
I was so wrong.
Don’t follow your passion. Follow your skills.
If you have a skill people pay for you can build a product around that skill.
My friend Sophia is passionate about traveling. I feel like each time I see her in my news feed she is in a different state or country. She is a skilled traveler. There are a lot of things I would need to learn in order to travel effortlessly as Sophia travels.
At the same time, Sophia possesses a strong skill in finance. She is in the process of completing a three year certification program to become a Chartered Financial Analyst. Anything that takes three years to complete requires serious determination and commitment. I can only imagine all the little things Sophia has learned along the way that help her succeed. She is creating a roadmap to success for others to follow in her footsteps.
Presented with the option between writing an ebook (or blog) about traveling vs how to pass the CFA exam what do you think would be her best choice? She spends money on her passion for travel and she makes money through her skills in finance.
Hey Sophia – you didn’t ask for my advice, but I am going to give it anyway 😉
Use your finance knowledge to build a product that teaches others what you know. Why? To set up a passive revenue stream to support your passion for travel. Young analysts following in your footsteps will find great value in advice from someone who successfully went through the same process. Producing a manual or handbook like this will allow you to pursue your passion for traveling.
It’s not about loving the product you sell. It’s about loving the outcome. Tweet this
Skills pay the bills
The first product you build or business you start should be around a skill you possess. Ignore the people who tell you to follow your passion. I was one of those people so I am allowed to say that.
If you have a skill that will increase someone’s value and help them make more money you have an extremely valuable commodity on your hands. We take these things for granted because the knowledge is already in our brain. It’s easy to forget we spent two, three, or five years building a skill in something.
Skills turned into businesses
It’s easier to describe something to you if I use real people. The list of business ideas below are about a few of my friends and family.
Steve is a close friend. Steve is an account manager for a commercial company. He works hard and has created a nice life for his family. I consider Steve to be successful. Steve is also a NJ State Wrestling Champion and national collegiate wrestler. Steve spent years of his life dedicated to being the best wrestler in the world. Determination was one thing he had, but more importantly he created a road map for success. He figured out how to go from square one to being the best at his sport. That’s valuable knowledge to possess. Parents and young athletes would pay a lot of money to learn the ideal process for becoming a national athlete. Steve has first hand experience – this gives him authority to teach others on the topic.
If I was Steve I would write a handbook for other wrestlers to follow in his footsteps. This would allow him to continue working his day job as he completes the manual. He can put it up for sale on the internet and begin generating passive income while he works his day job. He can make more money by scheduling in person consultations with people who purchase his manual. He can develop personalized roadmaps with athletes and families for a very high price in addition to the manual.
My friend Vanessa is a guidance counselor at a high school. She enjoys her job, but would prefer doing something else. Vanessa has a strong skill set in training horses for investment purposes. People pay her to train horses so they can resell the horse for more money after the training. I asked Vanessa what she would prefer doing full-time. She said if she was able to train and invest in horses full-time she would be in love with her lifestyle.
Vanessa should write a manual about her process for training horses. If she shows her expertise in the skill it will do two things: 1) generate passive income by selling the manual to other horse trainers, and 2) increase the amount of money she gets paid to train horses by the sheer fact she wrote a book on the subject.
I spoke with my friend, Yael, about this topic as well. Yael is an attorney. She passed the bar exam in NJ and NY. Yael spent many years as an active community organizer as well. I mentioned she could write something for future law students to learn from her experience studying and taking the bar exams. Yael came up with the idea of writing something for community organizers from a legal perspective. It would include helpful legal information she wishes she had as a young community activist. Being that Yael is an attorney and a community organizer it would make the book very useful to community organizers around the country. Especially in New Jersey and New York.
My friend Adam is about to graduate from college. He is an extremely talented musician and he currently teaches private music lessons. I recommended to Adam that he start building an online library of video music lessons. He would still hold in-person music lessons, but if he provides an online library his students can learn from it will increase the value of his program. If he offers more value he can charge higher prices.
This one is about me, Daniel DAlonzo. I spent the last five years generating over 2 million dollars worth of online sales for my clients. I have skills people pay me for. I could continue being paid for my services, but it’s time consuming so I can only help a few people a time. It’s also not very rewarding to make money for someone else.
Four months ago, I decided to take the skills I spent five years building and package them into an ebook for people like the friends I mention above – and who knows, maybe you can benefit as well.
These ideas aren’t new or revolutionary. You may even have thought about some of them before. What’s holding you back from getting started?
Beginning tomorrow, I am running a 48-hour early bird sale for my new product, You Got Skilz. With the special promo code you’ll save 40%.
If you’re interested in learning more about building a product around a skill you have or are currently building enter your email address below and I’ll send you the coupon code.
I will also send you a free chapter from the book along with the promo code. In the free chapter I outline everything included in the book. I’ll never spam you. The only email you will receive from me is regarding the early bird special.