If you want to turn your passion into profit, write down your vision and surround yourself with people of skill, expertise, and wisdom who can help you work your plan. I knew I had the gift to lead. When I finally recognized my strengths, then all of my prayers and lifestyle choices began to focus on how I could move in that direction. After that, I started to do health care consulting and I loved it! I decided to apply my strengths to that industry and start my own rehabilitation company. —SHARON SAULS, CEO of SKY Neurological Rehabilitation
I figured out early on that my mission was to remember why I’m here on this earth. What problems am I here to solve? For me, that meant looking at the intersection of my gifts and talents and what goods or service I could provide. —KAREN TAYLOR BASS, president and CEO of Taylor Made Media, a professional empowerment agency in New York (www.taylormademediapr.com)
I remember annoying the hell out of my husband with my need to organize, my love affair with a label maker, and my fascination with color-coded systems. I used to beat myself up about my obsession, and then I realized that it was a skill that unorganized people would pay for. I get such joy out of restoring order to a room or closet. I feel so good after conquering chaos. I know it’s a weird passion. But I finally figured out how to not view it as a problem and accept it as a passion that can pay.
SHEILA JOHNSTON, owner of Organize This, an organizational and design service in Atlanta
I have always loved everything related to looking good and feeling good, so it was a natural fit for me to open a nail salon but provide a better experience for clients.
TRICIALEE RILEY, owner of Polish Bar of Brooklyn, New York, an upscale nail salon (www.polishbarbrooklyn.com)
Just look at what you do well, focus on your strengths in any area, and develop them into something you enjoy doing or something you always wanted to do. Understand your weaknesses so you can work around them.
SHAQUANDA SPIVEY, president of SOLUTIONS Drug Testing Services, LLC, a drug testing service in New Jersey (www.solutionsdts.com)
When you see your passion and business venture come together, it feels like that moment in a movie where you hear chimes in the background and see a light. Everything becomes clear and you see how and why certain things hap- pened in your past…to lead you to the steps you are at now.
MIA SEARS, CEO of Posh VIP Ltd., an entertainment, event planning, and publicity company in Cincinnati, Ohio (www.posh-vip.com)
I was nineteen, lying in the grass in the park with a good friend, discussing life, when I realized that the world was available to me…I was the only person holding me back. I didn’t know it then, but that realization and developing that kind of mind-set was good preparation for stepping into entrepreneurship years later.
MARSHA BURNETT, president of Musical Directions, of New York/ Detroit/Los Angeles/London, which provides tour production and management to a client roster that includes Beyoncé, Faith Evans, Stevie Wonder, and Mary J. Blige (www.musicaldirections.com)