Earn Entrepreneurship

How To Turn Your Passion Into A Business: 5 Questions To Ask Yourself

Launi King  |  March 15, 2024

Wondering how to turn your passion into a business? One entrepreneur shares how she transitioned from corporate America. to entrepreneurship.

Like many young people fresh out of school, I was driven, excited, and… broke. Early into my career, I struggled to see how I could turn my passion into a business that I truly loved. 

Thankfully, I was fortunate enough to secure an entry-level position in my desired field, as a temp at Warner Brothers, and I felt like I had struck gold. But pretty soon I realized that in order to engage in work I truly loved, I would need to carve out unique opportunities within the company — the kind that spoke to me and my passions directly. 

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To do that, I began to seize every opportunity to take on additional projects, and I was able to transition to a role that allowed me to support the design team in the creation of consumer products. I loved creating art and collaborating with others to bring the best products to market. 

Of course, this journey of discovery and self-realization in my first job was just the beginning… It forced me to think critically about where my career was headed, and helped me see how I might turn my passion into a business. This ultimately guided me to roles at Disney and Mattel, and finally, to founding my own company, Creative Play. My company, though still growing, now stands as a testament to the fact that anyone can make a successful journey from corporate America into entrepreneurship. 

But before I made the leap, I considered four key questions that helped me better reflect on how I could turn my passion into a business. I believe these questions were crucial in shaping my path to entrepreneurship, and I wanted to share them to help everyone wondering how to turn their passion into a successful company. 

Question 1: What activities, whether job-related, or part of a side hustle, ignite your excitement? 

Have you ever been so absorbed in an activity that you lose track of time, yet feel no regret over the time spent? This intense focus and enjoyment are indicators that you’re truly engaged with your passion-driven purpose. When your work aligns with your passion, it’s easy to lose sight of all else! 

In my case, recognizing product design as my passion led me to dive deeper into what I truly wanted to create. I began to understand that creating successful products wasn’t just about intuition, rather, it involved a systematic approach. I spent countless hours researching, visiting retail stores to identify gaps in the market, analyzing successful (and unsuccessful!) products, and understanding price points. This hands-on research and competitive analysis equipped me with the knowledge and confidence I needed to turn my passion into a business.

Question 2: In your current role, where do you see opportunities and gaps that could allow you to grow in an area that excites you? 

If you’re not quite ready to launch your own company, but you’re trying to gain more fulfillment or direction from your current role, it’s time to start documenting what you love, and then formulate a proposal on how you can transform that into your daily source of joy… And that joy will also come along with a paycheck for you, and a payday for the company! 

It’s up to you to articulate your vision clearly, as your managers may not immediately see its value. But by taking a chance on yourself and pursuing your passion with intention, you can make significant strides towards more fulfilling work. Even if the alignment isn’t “perfect,” when there’s passion involved, your work becomes more engaging and less tedious, because you’re working with purpose. 

Throughout my career, I found that giving my best in every role enabled me to create products that resonated deeply with our consumers, and also offered me exponential personal and professional growth. Each new experience broadened my understanding of marketing, retail, and manufacturing, and allowed me to gain insight into diverse perspectives. Today, I know that my past experiences are what enabled me to gain a 360-degree view of my business, and I’m a more successful entrepreneur as a result. 

Question 3: When was the last time you took a leap to stretch yourself beyond your comfort zone? 

Any good entrepreneur will tell you that innovating requires stepping away from conventional paths and embracing the unknown. When you do so, you not only grow professionally, you become more confident when it’s time to venture out on our own.  

In my role at Disney, I had an opportunity to work on an array of brands and dove into a diverse range of product categories — apparel, accessories, toys, food, health, and beauty, to name a few. I loved the work, but found that I craved to do even more outside of my comfort zone. In other words, I’d grown more comfortable with being uncomfortable — and that’s when the magic happens. Sometimes acknowledging that we’re ready to start our own company requires a substantial leap of faith, perhaps the biggest one of our careers. 

Question 4: Are you merely going through the motions in your current role, without feeling challenged? 

My years in corporate America provided invaluable opportunities to work across many departments and disciplines, and my work laid the foundation of knowledge and connections that were essential for my entrepreneurial venture. However, my experiences also left me wanting to tackle deeper challenges within the product design field.

While working at Mattel, I had a unique opportunity with the Monster High brand to push boundaries and challenge conventional notions of beauty and identity. During this time, I gained a much deeper appreciation for cultural diversity and the power of uniqueness, which fueled my desire to start a venture that mirrored these values. I believe that my company, Creative Play, with its product and design lab, embodies my commitment to championing inventors and spotlighting Black women-driven innovation. 

Yes, the journey to launching my company was arduous and involved countless nights and weekends of networking, securing patents, sourcing manufacturers, and establishing a supply chain… But every single challenge has been worth it. Any entrepreneur wondering how to turn their passion into a business should know that the challenges we face only sharpen our vision for what we truly want. 

Question 5: How can you leverage your experiences to fuel your passion? 

What have you learned about your skills in previous roles? What have you learned about your passions? Remember that even the jobs we don’t like are teaching us an important lesson. No matter what you ultimately choose to pursue, it’s imperative that you trust in your capabilities, embrace risk, and be unafraid to share your vision with the world. This approach can help you cultivate a supportive community that’s ready to champion your journey for years to come. 

I hope that these questions can serve as a roadmap for anyone looking to turn their passion into a successful business. Because the pursuit of passion isn’t just about achieving success — it’s about finding true fulfillment in your career.


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