Last week was my annual physical. I was shooting the shit with my doctor, who is a lovely man…tall and quiet, maybe in his mid 50’s, when I noticed he was wearing cowboy boots under his dress pants. I complimented them, as cowboy boots aren’t something I see often in Upstate NY, and that’s when he told me, sheepishly, he was into line dancing and square dancing.
I didn’t laugh at him, but instead got very excited and asked to hear more. He went into ~15 minutes talking about the different levels of square dancing, the community in our city, how it becomes more complex and mathematical the further you go, etc. All the while, I could see his excitement at discussing it, but still trying to stay reserved less he seems like a psycho.
To that I say, Dr. Dancing Man, let your cowboy boots flag fly. It reminded me very much of when I too nerd out about something I’m passionate about, but try to contain my enthusiasm so that I don’t seem too intense. I can talk for hours about marketing, soap/skincare, and ketogenic diets. My husband can go on about the Yankees, Bengals, and WWE until I have to tell him to stop because I really need to pee.
I think that nerdy passions are so important in life, and particularly in business. I’ve spoken before about how the goal of a marketing plan should be to think like a geek but embracing your passions should be a personal business goal, too, if that makes sense.
So many people have trouble getting started in business because they know they want to start a business, but they aren’t sure what it should be. Or they want to start blogging, but they aren’t sure about what.
Normally my opinion about this is that there are two paths:
- Start a business or blog about what you know and lean into it. Learn all you can about the niche and the market and think about how your contribution can make it better. What problem have you solved in your own life that can be translated into a profession?
- You do not necessarily have to be your customer. Maybe you love to make soap with traditional methods because you hate the way store bought soap strips your skin, but you couldn’t fathom paying luxury prices for skincare, yet you plan to run a high-end, organic soap company. Being able to relate to your buyer is a bonus, but if you can’t yet you see an advantage to joining that marketplace, there’s nothing to stop you (how many old white men run makeup companies? Just saying.)
Both are viable options but in my experience, it’s the passionate entrepreneurs that stand the test of time. Those who are in the business because they see potential only usually need to hire others who are passionate about the niche in order to sustain the business. That’s not to say you shouldn’t ever hire someone if you’re passionate about something (please please do) but you’ll be able to have a better understanding about what your customer is looking for, and consequently know who would best help your business to thrive.
So if you’re ridiculously excited about something in your life or your business, embrace it! Only good things can come from that and being open about your nerdiness will help bring your dedicated fans closer to you and your brand.