E1: How do you turn your passion into a business? Today, we discuss frameworks that might help you identify your passion and turn it into your next side hustle. And who knows? Maybe it might grow into something much bigger than you imagined.
Concept of Time & Money (0:49)
Time and money are the two most influential forces in our daily lives. Changing our perspectives on these two concepts can stretch our minds and reevaluate what we're doing on a daily basis.
Reframing Money (2:30)
Someone mysteriously wires you a cool $10 million. How would this change your life?
Reframing Time (3:31)
There's been a major scientific breakthrough and now anyone can live forever. How would this change the way you live? How would you be spending your time?
How Urban EDC Started (5:41)
I pulled out my credit card statements from the past 30, 60, 90 days and looked through to see if there were any patterns. I noticed that I loved spending my hard earned cash on small, pocketable, well-made goods such as leather wallets, fancy bottle openers, titanium pens, even desktop toys like spinning coins. This gave me a clue into what niche and community I could get into.
Exercises for Identifying Your Passion (6:19)
Jot down any trends or spending categories that you notice going over your credit card statements. How are you spending your time? You can audit your own time and see if there's overlapping interests between your spending habits and how you're spending your time.
The Hedgehog Concept (7:48)
This concept is from Jim Collins, arguably one of the most impactful business thinkers today. Draw three circles overlapping one another: Your Passions, Your Strengths, Your Economic Engine. Once you find yourself in the middle of all 3 circles, you're golden.
Real World Examples Using Hedgehog Concept (11:18)
You're a big wine lover. If you enjoy writing and have a knack for great writing, you can become a wine critic and start reviewing different wineries. You're a Fantasy Sports fanatic. You could create an app or start a podcast.
Using Hedgehog Concept for Employees (12:15)
Ensure that each one of your employees is in a position they're good at, in an industry or company that they're passionate about, and the role should make sense financially for the company.
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What's going on everybody? Welcome to the very first episode of First Class Founders, the show where we dive into concepts, frameworks, and mental models to help build your problem-solving toolkit. My name is Yong-Soo, and I'm the founder of Urban EDC and GrowthJet. Today we're going to be discussing a couple of different frameworks that might help you identify your passion and turn it into your next side hustle.
And who knows, maybe it might grow into something much bigger than you imagined. This is exactly what happened to me. I launched my e-commerce brand, Urban EDC seven years ago from my one-bedroom apartment in San Francisco using these exact exercises and techniques. Let's get right into today's lesson.
So how do you identify your passion and convert it into real-world value by getting paid to do what you love? We're gonna start by reframing the concept of both time and money. Have you ever noticed how time seems to speed up as we get older? When you're a kid, summer vacation seems like an eternity. I remember going to summer camp, meeting new friends, and thinking about how much fun I'll have over the next couple of months.
Now, Christmas seems to come around in a blink of an eye, and another year has gone by. Why does this happen? Let's switch gears now and consider our relationship with money. Okay. When you look back on your childhood, what memories or experiences shaped your relationship with money? Did you work hard to earn every dollar?
Has your relationship with money changed as you've grown? Older time and money are typically the two most influential forces in our daily lives. So much of what we do and how we do it are determined by both time and money. Changing our perspectives on these two concepts can really stretch our minds and reevaluate what we're doing on a daily basis.
So imagine for a moment, what if we lived in a world where neither time nor money dictate our lives? How would that change the way you view the. Stretching and condensing both elements can have some pretty surprising results in how we think about living our daily lives. This can be a powerful framework for resetting our goals, discovering new passions, and even starting a new business.
We're gonna do a quick exercise now that will warp your construct of time and money.
Imagine for a minute you log into your banking app on your phone and discover that someone had mysteriously airdropped you a few million dollars. You don't know where it came from, so you log out and log back in to make sure that you're not seeing things. Yep, it's still there. You can't believe it. It's $10 million in your bank account right now.
How would this change your life? Now you might be thinking, finally, I can go on that vacation that I've always dreamed of. Go buy that dream car that I've always wanted or purchase that house for my parents. Those are all natural reactions that might come up during this exercise, but let's go a step further.
After you've done all that, how would your life change? Is there a particular cause or a mission that you've always wanted to work on? This is the good stuff. Take note of what kinds of ideas and thoughts come up for you when money is no longer a constraint. Now we're gonna shift gears and talk about the other valuable resource that all of us have, which is time.
Time is a construct that is super interesting to me personally. Everybody has the same amount of it. Yet how we think and utilize time as a resource determines a lot of who we become and the impact that each one of us will have on the. For the sake of our next exercise, let's say that there's been a major scientific breakthrough and now anyone can live forever.
We've essentially removed a constraint that all of us would eventually face. How would this change the way you live? If nothing significant is coming up for you, try this. Let's invert this exercise. So now instead of living forever, you only have one year to live. Would this change anything for you? I really like these mental exercises with time and money because these are typically the two most influential forces in our daily lives.
If you isolate both time and money as scarce resources, what activity rises to the top? In other words, if neither time nor money was a concern, what would you be working on right now? This type of big-picture thinking is necessary to expand our minds beyond the everyday constraints. I love doing this exercise at least once a year to align myself with who I am and what I should be focusing on with my daily micro-actions to achieve my bigger goals, which might be 10, 20 years out.
Of course, your vision for yourself might evolve over time, but it's important to have some type of long-term vision so that you can plant this seed of your future self as your North Star. We're gonna take the same concepts of warping time and money and apply them on a more practical level, rooted in your current everyday life.
Earlier in the episode, I mentioned how I used a specific framework to start my own business, Urban EDC, an e-commerce brand selling everyday carry tools. But before we get into that, if you're enjoying this episode, I have one small favor to ask. Please go to FirstClassFounders.com/review and leave us a five-star review.
Okay. Let's get back into the episode.
Going back to the topic of. I pulled out my credit card statements from the past 30, 60, 90 days and looked through them to see if there were any patterns. I noticed that I loved spending my hard-earned cash on small pocketable well-made goods, such as liver wallets, fancy bottle openers, titanium pens, and even desktop toys like spinning coins.
This gave me a clue into what niche and community I could get into. Then I stumbled upon the EDC or Everyday carry community, which opened my eyes to even more tools and gadgets from all types of talented designers and makers. This was the community that I knew I wanted to be a part of. You can do the same exercise for yourself as well.
When you pull up your credit card statements and go over your spinning habits. Do you see a pattern? Is it shoes, clothing, or sporting events? Jot down any trends or spinning categories that you notice. These are the clues to which industries you might be interested in getting involved. Put that list aside for now.
We're gonna shift from one resource's money to the other resource. On a daily basis, how are you spending your time? For me, I noticed that I was spending a lot of time watching product reviews on YouTube, learning about different methods of tying a lanyard bead to a knife, how to anodize titanium into different colors and what the differences were between copper, brass, and bronze.
This validated my assumption that the everyday carry niche was the right industry for me at the time. Again, you can audit your own time and see if there are any overlapping interests between your spending habits and how you're spending your time on a daily basis. Are you binge-watching documentaries on Netflix?
Are you busy managing your fantasy football roster for this upcoming week, or are you shopping for your next outfit for an upcoming event? How you spend your time is a great indicator of what you're currently passionate about. You might discover new hobbies that you might want to turn into businesses in the future now that hopefully, you have a better sense of what you may want to get into.
What you do within that industry is a function of what you're good at and what value you might be able to. Okay. Now we're gonna shift gears a bit and talk about another concept called the hedgehog concept. I've adopted this from Jim Collins, who is arguably one of the most impactful business thinkers today.
If you can imagine three circles that overlap one another like a Venn diagram, but with three circles, if you're having trouble, draw your first circle, then draw the second circle with a section of it overlapping the first circle. And now draw your third and final circle, which overlaps both the first and second circles.
Let's label the first circle as your passions. This is what you're deeply passionate about. So these can be your hobbies or interests, or even your current line of work if you love your job. The second circle should be labeled your strengths. It's what you can be the best in the world at. So these will be the unique talents and skill sets that you bring to the table.
Your core competency the third circle is your economic engine. So let's label it your value proposition. How can you convert what you're deeply passionate about, with what you can be the best in the world at, into real-world value? In other words, how can you get paid for doing what you love and doing what you're good at?
That's the crux of this framework. You want to figure out how you can land where all three of those circles overlap, Then you're. If you're working at an investment bank, do you actually enjoy financial modeling? This might seem pretty obvious, but you'd be surprised how many people are stuck in a job that they don't enjoy because it just pays the bills.
The second circle is your core competency. Are you a great storyteller? Are you a creative that thrives on camera, or are you a great salesperson? What you might choose to do within your chosen industry depends on your skill sets and what you're good at. Now. The third circle is your value proposition. How do you get paid for doing what you love and doing what you're good at?
Combining this framework with a previous exercise of warping the concepts of time and money, you can discover your passions, figure out how to utilize your unique skill sets, and then finally convert that into real-world value that people will be willing to pay you for. But before we do, I want to tell you about the First Class Founders membership.
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Let's say you discover that you're a big wine lover. If you enjoy writing and have a knack for great writing, perhaps you could become a wine critic and start reviewing different wineries or specific wine vintages from certain winemakers you follow. If you're not a writer, but love the art of winemaking, perhaps you could work at a winery and learn all the ins and outs of wine-making so that one day you could start your own winery.
The possibilities are endless. Let's do another example. You're a fantasy sports fanatic and love geeking out about the latest wave wire pickups, best dynasty players, and more. You could start by writing a weekly column. If you're not a great writer, you could start a podcast or get on camera. If you're an app developer, you can create an app that aggregates all the relevant news for the players on your team and make recommendations on who to start for the week.
Today, there are so many tools for you to get started in any niche or industry. Combine your interests with the skillsets that you have and you have a winning combination. On a side note, this framework can also be used if you're a business owner. You want to ensure that each one of your employees is in a position they're good at in an industry or company that they're passionate about.
And the role should make sense financially for the company since presumably, the employee is on the company's payroll. This is one of the most used frameworks in my own business when evaluating a new hire or reevaluating an employee who has been with us for quite some. Before we close, I'll leave you with one more thought.
Time and money are two of the most influential resources available to every single one of us. Reframing them can be a powerful exercise to discover a lot about yourself personally. I do this every so often to reground myself with what I should be doing on a daily basis to align with my long-term goals while being mindful of staying in that sweet zone from the hedgehog concept.
Your goals may evolve over time, but just thinking more long-term about your goals is a powerful method of reprogramming your mind to think bigger.
All right, on the next episode of First Class Founders, we're gonna dive into the concept of the 20-mile March. Coined by business thought leader, Jim Collins. It's the most important indicator of success for any company during times of chaos. I'll explain what it is, why it's so important, and how it's transformed my company, Urban EDC in so many ways.
Thanks for listening, and I'll see you in the next episode of First Class Founders.