Recently, I had the chance to sit down with Ewa Chodakowska to talk about her journey as the fitness entrepreneur in Poland. I wondered: How did her passion for fitness lead her to not only owning a gym but multiple brands including a running a magazine that covers everything from healthy catering to training programs, a fashion line and more?
Here are my five learnings from Ewa on how to start a business by finding your passion:
1. Passion - Your love for the game
Depending on what you love, your passion should:
- Embody your strengths
- Enrich your life
- Come naturally to you
- Be part of your lifestyle
- Give you drive when you fall
The last one is crucial. It’s not easy to build a business. Your passion should, therefore, be so motivating that it keeps you going when times get tough.
It’s like choosing your favorite sport.
2. Target market - Find your audience
Think about who you want to add value to. Who do you have a unique connection to? You might even be part of your own target market.
Does your passion influence your life? If yes, you want to bring this value to your market.
Understand their needs and how your passion can satisfy them.
3. Value - How you bridge the gap
Your passion is not only the value you give. It’s a tool for change. How will you impact your audiences’ lives? Dig deeper than just ‘teach them tennis’ or ‘improve their fitness’. Define what you’ll support them to transform. Understand the aspirations and visions you’ll help them realize.
To start a business which delivers real value, ask yourself: Who does my audience want to become? Then write down how you can help them achieve it through your passion.
Your business’ value is the gap between where your audience is and where they aim to be.
4. Product - Your tool for impact
Your product embodies your passion, is made for your audience and delivers your value. I asked Ewa how she was able to transform her love for fitness into a variety of products. Her answer: “Own it!”
Many influencers put their faces on products, often without knowing what’s in it or what goes behind it.
Own it from production to distribution. Because the more you bring yourself into your products, the better they will perform.
You are unique. When you start a business and bring your whole self into it, your audience will recognize it as uniquely valuable.
5. Messaging - Creating a connection
Remember this messaging rule: Personalization is key. Consistency is king.
To transform your passion into a profitable business, keep communicating the value behind it. That’s your content.
Content marketing will help you build relationships that make people care, through digital tools like blogs, videos or podcasts. Successful content comes by reverse-engineering your audience’s needs:
- What do they need and how can your business provide it to them?
- Why do they need it in the first place?
Start your business by committing to add value. Ewa wrote up to 30,000 private messages to the women with whom she shared her training program for free. She built trust with the quality of her content and the consistency of her personalized communication.
I was smiling when Ewa said she was “obsessed” with her audience, but actually it shows. Her emotional connection with her followers is reflected in their comments, community building or purchases.
You might experience it yourself with someone you admire but have never met. You connect to them because they constantly communicate with you through a blog or social media.
Communicate with your audience genuinely, by listening and responding. Listen to their questions and doubts and answer them directly, or through the content you produce. And do it consistently. That’s how you start a business. A constant connection to your followership builds trust and loyalty, which equals profits.