Follow you passion- but is it enough?


They say you should choose a career you love, and if you don't love it then you should change it.

Every day people wake up and go about their regular routine because it is what everyone else is doing around them. Go to work, come home, eat, sleep and then do it all over again. People discuss their dreams with those around them; though only a very small percentage take the reins in hand and plan for that change.

Following your passions and turning them into a business can help to drastically increase your day to day happiness.

Disappointingly, though, passion isn’t the only component that’s needed to guarantee success. You also need skills and strengths — those things that you’re good at, either naturally or by training and experience.

The horse industry Is a challenging niche market that attracts a lot of enthusiastic people who have heard the mantra"follow your passion", but is passion really enough? Many find this industry much tougher than they expected and give up when they face challenges or roadblocks.

Operating an equine business is a precarious undertaking both physically and financially. Injury or illness to either horse or operator can make or break a fledgling equestrian enterprise. Horses are expensive and we have all heard the old saying “How do you become a millionaire in the horse industry? Start out a billionaire”.

Planning is essential for every aspect of the business, and that starts from the moment you decide your key strengths and how to position yourself in the industry.

The equestrian world has diversified enormously, and the options available for a newbie horse business owner are tremendous. When considering where to position your business in the industry, it is worthwhile focusing on your personal strengths rather than just a passion for horses. We are not always as good at the things that appeal to us the most, and in the horse world, perfecting a strength can actually become a passion in itself.

Let's take Lisa for example, she realized she wanted to change her life and work with horses. After many intense years working in the corporate world her strengths were more people based than horse based.

She decided to start a business to help executives handle the struggles of today’s comercial world; and an equine assisted-therapy business came to mind. Now her passion is helping stressed businessmen through equine healing.

A French horseback travel agency visited me during my time working as a trail guide and told me about a dilemma they had managed to solve using some savvy problem-solving.

They were trying to set up an equestrian business in a small country where the riding was sensational, but the guides were not up to par. They visited many different stables that offered excellent accommodation and trails, but none had guides that spoke European languages.

Eventually, they solved the problem by finding a young university graduate from the target country living in Paris. He spoke many languages and was passionate about sharing his country's unique heritage.

Initially, he worked with the travel agent as a translator, assisting her whilst she searched for a guide. The agent saw the young mans strengths in language and communication and soon realized that he was the guide she had been looking for. After an intense riding course,he was offered an excellent contract as an equestrian guide accompanying clients from Europe to his home country on riding holidays.

What are your strengths and weaknesses? Step back and try and understand important factors like whether you work better alone or with people. Are you the sort of person that likes unvaried repetitive work or do you need to change activities often in order to stay interested? Working with horses generally means you will need to be good with people.

If there is an intent there will be an insight. It’s never too late to merge your passions and strengths and follow your dreams.