There is a great book that every business person should be required to read by Bill Collins entitled Good to Great. Bill Collins talks about many factors that make one company stand out in their industry above their competitors. Bill suggests that there are three circles that intersect to let you know what your niche needs to be.
DISCOVERING YOUR PURPOSE
It seems that your purpose can be discovered when you look at three questions...
- What are you passionate about?
- What drives your economic engine?
- What can you be the best in the world at?
The way to determine your purpose is to look at where these three intersect.
At Vision Quest Virtual Tours, we made the decision that we would focus our business where our passions are. Our goal is to do most what we do best and for us that translated into shooting virtual tours for healthcare, hospitality and education. A study of our backgrounds gave us an easy and obvious answer to the first question.
GREG'S PASSION - PHOTOGRAPHY
Greg's passion has been photography since he was a little boy. His mom always has her camera handy for every family get together so Greg started at a young age carrying his camera everywhere he went. For him, there was no question what his career would be and so he got a degree in Commercial Photography. While in college, he managed his uncle's cabin rental company in the North Georgia mountains. He also knew that he wanted to be self employed so at the age of 22, he bought a photography studio that was closing one of their three locations.
This photography studio was wildly successful and they became well known in the North Georgia area as the Go-To studio for portraits and weddings. While Greg loved photography, he grew tired of being tied to one location and knew that he wanted a change that would allow him to use his photography but have more freedom and diversity than was possible from a brick and mortar studio.
PAIGE'S PASSION - BEHAVIORAL HEALTHCARE
I (Paige) have had a more winding and varied career path to say the least. The daughter of an Air Force pilot, I had a love for travel from an early age. I spent six years after college as a flight attendant but a back injury forced me to take early retirement from the airline.
I was at a career crossroads with a chance to start a new career and do something else that I really loved. The things that I have always been passionate about are helping people and working with children. And so the career path took a turn and I began working at a therapeutic wilderness program.
Living in the woods with a bunch of juvenile offenders was an opportunity I loved but after two years of living in a tent I was ready for a change. I began working at a group home as the Campus Life Coordinator. I was responsible for fund raising for the program and activity planning for the girls we served - all of whom had been sexually and physically abused.
I realized that to go further in my career I needed to get my Master's in Social Work. I applied and was accepted to Valdosta State University's MSW program on a full scholarship.
While looking for a job near the end of my Master's program, my career path took another unexpected turn. A friend needed help starting a financial services company and I began a ten year detour into the financial services industry where I excelled in marketing, sales training and recruiting. When the financial services industry began to nosedive, the career path took yet another turn and I returned to the behavioral health field working as Assistant Director of Admissions at a therapeutic boarding school.
COMBINING OUR PASSIONS - VIRTUAL TOURS FOR HEALTHCARE AND HOSPITALITY
While my career path was MUCH more winding than Greg's, every experience of our backgrounds came together to bring us where we are today. The question "What are you passionate about?" is obvious when we are actually working in those areas. We photograph all kinds of virtual tours for different types of businesses but the ones that we love the most are virtual tours for healthcare.
We can have the most exhausting day and be physically worn out at the end of a shoot but when we are working in the arenas where we are passionate, we leave the day energized. There is something different when we are doing work that we feel passionate about.
Ask Yourself - Am I passionate about what I am doing?
Not everyone is able to quit their jobs to pursue their passions. I understand that BUT ask yourself - is there a way to pursue your passion? Is there a way to make money doing something you love? Even if you have to keep your day job while you pursue your dream, start asking yourself the question and you may find out that where there's a will there's a way.