Real You: Are you marching forward on your purpose and vision?

RoadIf you are, you are stepping into your power. You are shining bright, sharing your vision with others and moving forward. You know who you are—The Real You—and you know where you are going. Your passions are defined (step 2 of the Real You process), and your personal brand is fully formed. You truly have found it within. When you are following your purpose in life—and applying that purpose and passion to your business—your competitive advantage crystallizes. You are able to use your fully formed Real You competitive advantage to delight your customers. And when you’re in business, that’s the end game. Truly.

Whether you are a full-time entrepreneur, considering becoming one, or somewhere in between, your personal brand and your business brand are unstoppable as long as they are aligned with purpose and vision.

Remember the strength found in conviction, in confidence. Remember, you aren’t alone. You are the only one who can define your dream and go for it. So, as the summer begins to wind down, the only question that remains is: Why aren’t you moving forward?

“People become really quite remarkable when they start thinking that they can do things. When they believe in themselves, they have the first secret of success.” ~ Norman Vincent Peale

Turn part-time passions into a full-time gig

Have you listened to your heart lately? In the second step of the Real You Process, we explore your passions—the things that make your heart sing. Maybe you love working with children, you're an excellent writer or you have a killer voice that you haven't used in awhile. We all have passions and talents that have been pushed aside because life got in the way. But that shouldn't be an excuse.

Start living your passions. Especially in this time of economic uncertainty, you need to have a back-up plan. Something to lean on. Something that makes you smile each and every day. Use that talent, and turn it into something profitable by starting your own side business.

Here are some quick tips:

• Start simple, on the side. You're not ditching your full-time job here. Not just yet, anyway.

• Take your time and think about your business plan. What would your product/service be? Who is your target audience? What companies could you partner with? Who do you know that could help you on your way?

• Confide in those closest to you, personally and professionally, and ask their advice. Do you have a mentor? Call him/her today!

• Pick up a copy of Real You Incorporated and fill out your chart. This will guide you through the basics and help you define your new company.

Now is a great time to start thinking about how you can turn your skills and passions into the business of your dreams, all the while securing your future in this rollercoaster economy.

Have you turned your part-time passion into a successful business? Tell us about your story!

Identify what you love to do.

Turn your avocation into a vocation, and you’ll never “work” another day.

While this is advice you’ve no doubt heard before, the real test is identifying what it is you love to do. Sometimes it can be too obvious, making it even harder to recognize. I suggest spending some time alone—time to soul search without the distractions of daily life. Then, think about how you like to spend your time when nothing else interferes. Write down some ideas. Brainstorm with people who are close to you and know you well. And be creative. Transforming what you love to do into an idea for a business isn’t always easy.

Linda Kick, founder of Our CupCakery in Dublin, Ohio, is a former teacher and manager who left education to pursue her passion for baking. According to Linda, it all started with the Easy-Bake Oven she received as a child. That’s what introduced her to baking, and through the years she often referred to herself as a closet baker. Now she spends long days baking everything from wedding cakes to gourmet cupcakes, but she’s having a blast. Linda always knew she liked to bake. Until recently, she just didn’t realize how she could turn her love of baking into a unique and viable business.

Learn more about Linda Kick and her thriving cupcake business at in the featured entrepreneurs section of RYI. Her contagious enthusiasm is bound to inspire you. Share your story!