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How to Start a Business Rooted in Your Passion

One aspect of the lockdown period was its catalytic effect on those who wanted to start businesses and pursue new hobbies! The slower paced routine that set in during 2020 allowed Emmanuela Okon, founder of E’s Element, to develop the multifaceted jewelry and athleisurewear business. Although the circumstances prompted the launch of the E’s Element, Emmanuela’s work ethic is what sustains the business, supporting its continuous growth. For those who feel inspired by the surge of fast growing small businesses, right now is the perfect time to bring your ideas to life! Check out these tips that helped move E’s Element from a concept to an up and running online store.


1. Leverage your existing skills and knowledge

During the initial growth stages of a new business, operating it requires you to play many roles. From creative direction to accounting, your venture will heavily rely on your ability and willingness to learn new things. While it may sound overwhelming, you likely already have much of the knowledge and skills you’ll need to successfully actualize the business idea you’ve been thinking about. Emmanuela has a degree in communication, political science and digital communications. Prior to launching she took on the hobbies of fashion blogging and content creation. Without her knowing it at the time, these passion projects honed the skills she uses to this day in running her business. E’s Element fashion blog is dedicated to sharing the unique perspective, intentions and knowledge linked to the brand. This breathes life into the business and separates it from any other company. 


Think about what skills and hobbies you have that can be incorporated into your business idea. Get creative about ways you can build the things you love and are naturally good at into your stream of income! You can also mindfully leverage the tools and knowledge you’ve gained from your personal experiences. Think of things you’ve learned at school or at previous jobs. You can even look to peers and mentors, taking note of great qualities they have which you’d like to emulate! Integrating who you are and your existing skills into a business brings you closer to operating through your passion. 



2. Identify what you can share with the world

Each of us has a unique disposition and purpose. Whether we are fully aware and living in it or still uncovering it, it exists within us and is unlike anyone else’s. By taking a moment to consider what ideas, talent, or beliefs you naturally embody, you can identify what you can share with the world. Whether you are currently aware of it or not, you likely have natural ways of being that can align with something you can offer to others. Ask yourself what you like to do and what you’re good at. What role do you usually play in relationships and friendships? What tasks come easy to you? What do you excel in in your daily life? What are you excited about? Remember that all of your natural qualities and talents are useful. They can also be applied to various aspects of a product or service that you haven’t thought of before. Think creatively and have fun exploring what this might be for yourself! 



3. Create short term and long term goals 

Starting a business will involve a lot of work, especially in the beginning. It’s important to remember that sustainable, worthwhile creations take time and require honest work. This can be overwhelming but it becomes relative to its rewards. Using organizational tools and planning you can work away at your giant goals, making them straightforward and even enjoyable. Start by breaking down large goals into smaller, manageable tasks. Writing down specific steps you can take in the short term makes it easier to execute your ideas. For example, outline major steps in launching your idea then ask yourself “what is one thing I can do today to contribute to this step?”.  Realistically map out the “how” of reaching your end goal, making sure to consider your existing limitations. By working within your means and planning for the present you can steadily move closer to operation. 


4. Embrace your mistakes and keep going 

Like any other skill building experience, running a business will involve some trial and error. Luckily, the best way to learn the most optimal ways of doing things is by making mistakes! It’s rare to find an entrepreneur, or anyone who is successful at their craft, who has never struggled in some form to reach their goals. Early on in the development of E’s Element, Emmanuela implemented different business models that were not the best fit for the way she wanted to run things. At times it was discouraging, frustrating and stressful to face the aspects that were not working. By persevering through the hiccups, Emmanuela was able to build out a system that worked for her. You can hear more about how Emmanuela overcame struggles related to E’s Element through her podcast interview with Renee Warren’s Into the Wild Podcast!


When you run into mistakes remember that it is encouraged to let negative feelings pass through you. Be patient with yourself and don’t forget to give yourself credit for taking on the journey of creating something you care about. Mistakes often engender the most rewarding lessons in life! Embrace them and don’t give up!

via We Wild Women Podcast

5. Just start

The best way to learn, grow, and execute is simply to start. It can be intimidating to move past the dreaming that goes on in your mind, especially when you have grand ideas. While dreaming is arguably the most important part of starting a business rooted in your passion, it will remain just that if you don’t start somewhere. Starting to execute doesn’t look the same for everyone and it doesn’t have to be a daunting task. For Emmanuela, and many others, the first step of bringing E’s Element to life was writing down the vision. The simple step of putting a thought onto paper brought E’s Element closer to its physical manifestation. You can learn more about Emmanuela’s process of launching by watching the interview video she completed for the Sustainable Community Aid Network’s Career Fair. Your first step may be writing down your vision and plan. It may be buying a piece of equipment, sending an email inquiry to a supplier, or even reaching out to a collaborator. Regardless of what it may be, the important thing is to put in your best effort in taking that first step. 


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