5 ways your passion becomes a solid business

business research

We all have our passions. But what if you could turn what you love doing most into your livelihood? What if it could actually make you money?
There are many benefits to setting up a company around your hobbies and interests. Starting any business is likely to take you through a rollercoaster of emotions – excitement, frustration, happiness. Anyone can set up a new company – but only a few individuals have the key formula of attributes needed to stick to it and make it a success. When you love your business, this becomes a lot easier.
In this post, we’ll teach you how to access your entrepreneurial side and start turning your passion into a business model.

1. Do Your Research

You may be passionate about certain things but how much do you know about the industry and commercial landscape? Any successful business is built upon extensive research and know-how. Gathering this information will alert you to any gaps in the market, the big names to look out for, and the sales strategies that have and haven’t worked in the past.
Networking at any stage of the business is a useful tool, so if you can, speak to the success stories in your area and find out how they started. Think of this as your own personal “advisory board.” The more varied opinions and information you can gather, the better.
For example, if you’re setting up a new clothing line, speak to other apparel brands, consumers, designers and buyers. Knowing as much as possible before entering the game will place you ahead of the curve and give your business the best chance of succeeding.
See Also: From Startup Idea to Successful Business: 7 Questions to Ask Before You Pursue That Venture

2. Just Get Going

“I don’t have the time right now,” or “Next year will work better.”
It’s easy to put off doing things until a later date especially if those things are as big, important and unfamiliar as starting your own business. But if you keep putting it off again and again, realistically, when are you going to get around to doing it?
There’s no time like the present. Start off with step one, above, which will make you feel more informed and comfortable with what you’re doing. After that, there’s nothing left to do but jump in and start making history.
Of course, it’s likely that at some point, you’re going to use what you’ve learned along the way to make some changes to your business model but this is inevitable and shouldn’t discourage you. Herein lies the most important benefit of starting a business around something you love – you’ll always have the enthusiasm and passion to keep going when the going gets tough.

3. Choose The Right Team

choose the right people
Make sure that the people you bring on board to share in your business journey are not only as excited about your product or service as you are, but that they also share the same vision. Pioneering a start-up is not always a glamorous business, particularly in the early days, when it involves mainly long hours and little money. You need people who are as determined as you are to make your business a success, to ensure that they stick beside you through thick and thin.
It’s also a good idea to use your team to strategically fill in any skills gaps you have. Big picture person? Choose a business partner who’s into the details. If you’re good with numbers and sales figures, look for someone with a creative background who can effectively market your small business.
The more skills you apply to your idea at the outset, the more you’ll see it flourish. This will also allow you to delegate the tasks which aren’t exactly your strengths, freeing up your time to work at what you love.
See Also: How to Save Your Startup by Hiring the Right People 

4. Don’t Be Afraid To Break The Mold

Studied theater at school, but now thinking of setting up a floristry shop? Don’t worry. It’s no big deal to change your career path at a later date. In fact, it’s healthy to objectively evaluate your life and make positive changes where things aren’t working.
Similarly, acknowledge at the outset that there will be some naysayers. The more unique and innovative your business idea, unfortunately, the more people there will be to tell you it won’t work.
If you’ve done your research and are passionate about your idea, don’t let this discourage you. People’s intentions may be good, but in the end, you’re the only one with the power to make your business thrive. Letting doubt and negativity cloud your judgment will do more harm than good. Surround yourself with people who support and believe in your project.

5 It’s Time To Talk Funding

We’ll be honest. It can be an expensive gamble to set up your own business. If you don’t have significant capital to begin with, you’re going to need to look for ways to raise some cash, and at this stage in the process, it’s necessary to get creative with money.
When pitching to investors, you’ll need to produce all of the hard work you’ve put in so far: your research, your business plan, your expert team. You’ll be forced to cheerlead your company and justify your choices – which can really help you to solidify and refine your business idea.
To raise funding, piggyback on the conversations already happening out there in the industry. Look for Facebook groups and forums which might already be looking for a solution just like yours and gather information on the funding opportunities out there. Consider initiatives like Kickstarter to rally support and raise interest.
To save money in the beginning, start small. Call in favors when you can. Work from your home. Look for creative solutions to financial obstacles.
It may feel tricky now, but earning a living from doing something you love? That’s priceless.

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5 Fashion flair to your bathrooms


A bathroom, whether in a powder room or master bathroom, provides a unique opportunity to show a little personality. From sleek, modern bathrooms to spaces that are traditional and tailored, adding fashion and flair helps bring bathroom spaces to life and create a warm and cozy ambiance. Here are our top five ways to add a little luxe to the lavatory.

1. Accent Wall

If your bathroom boasts a mostly neutral design with a white vanity, consider adding an accent wall behind your vanity and mirror setup to create visual interest. Oftentimes bathrooms that are mostly white or another clean color look too one-dimensional, creating a flat or antiseptic design. Go glam with mirrored tiles or more spa-like with glass mosaic tiles in shades of blue and green.
An accent wall featuring a fun tile display or bright paint color adds extra dimension and flair, anchoring the bathroom’s overall design. Another of our favorite ways to create a subtle accent wall is with beadboard. It’s a great choice for a cottage- or beach-inspired bathroom, where larger planks give a cozy yet natural look.

2. Displayed Storage

Oftentimes, bathroom storage does its best to conceal all of the things that make a bathroom a bathroom. Instead of stuffing your bath towels in a closet or pushing tissue paper under the sink, opt for a beautiful storage system that showcases your bathroom necessities in style. We love using textured baskets to display bath towels spa-style, or a pretty wire basket to toss toilet paper in when not in use. The same goes for soap and toothbrush holders. Instead of throwing your essentials in a plastic cup or tucking them in a drawer, display them with matching holders that coordinate with your faucet and hardware or with accent colors found in the bathroom.

3. Hardware Happy

Looking for an easy and inexpensive way to instantly add fashion and flair to your vanity? Swap out the hardware! It may seem like a small detail, but it can make a big impression. Adding jewelry-inspired hardware to your vanity makes it look more like furniture than a bathroom sink. We love the way antique pulls look on a modern vanity, as well as geometric rings on a vintage dresser-style vanity. For a child’s bath, add a touch of playfulness with bright colors or fun shapes.

4. Fresh Flowers

Keeping fresh flowers in the home is a must. Move your favorite blooms to the bathroom vanity for a much-needed organic element. Put them in a pretty vase and display them on a tray to add height and freshness to a powder bathroom, or disperse them throughout a larger master bathroom suite. Flowers in the bathroom help create a cozy, homey feeling. They look best when matching the style of your space, like white tulips in a monochromatic space and full red roses in a traditionally styled master bath.

5. Framed Mirrors

Adding a framed mirror to your bathroom space takes any bathroom from boring to beautiful in the blink of an eye. Add a textured frame, like wrapped rope or antiqued wood, around a modern mirror for warmth, or opt for a bright gold or silver frame for glamour. For a spa-themed space, use recycled glass tiles in sage, green, gray and chocolate to frame the mirror. Better yet, hang the mirror from a leather strap or rope for a touch of personalization and visual interest.
Other accessories that add flair to bathroom spaces include fun yet functional towel bars, beautiful rugs and bath mats, framed art and floating shelves for added storage. What are some of your favorite ways to add personality to your bathroom?
Featured photo credit: Kerrie Kelly Design Lab via kerriekelly.com

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The origin of Christmas trees

The origin of the Christmas tree?

Bill Petro:

It is generally believed that the first Christmas tree was of German origin dating from the time of St. Boniface, English missionary to Germany in the 8th century. He replaced the sacrifices to the Norse god Odin’s sacred oak—some say it was Thor’s Thunder Oak—by a fir tree adorned in tribute to the Christ child. The legend is told that Boniface found a group of “pagans” preparing to sacrifice a boy near an oak tree near Lower Hesse, Germany. He cut down the oak tree with a single stroke of his ax and stopped the sacrifice. A small fir tree sprang up in place of the oak. He told the pagans that this was the “tree of life” and stood for Christ.


A legend began to circulate in the early Middle Ages that when Jesus was born in the dead of winter, all the trees throughout the world shook off their ice and snow to produced new shoots of green. The medieval Church would decorate outdoor fir trees—known as “paradise trees”—with apples on Christmas Eve, which they called “Adam and Eve Day” and celebrated with a play.


During Renaissance times there are records that trees were being used as symbols for Christians first in the Latvian capital of Riga in 1510. The story goes that it was attended by men wearing black hats in front of the House of Blackheads in the Town Hall Square, who following a ceremony burnt the tree. But whether it was for Christmas or Ash Wednesday is still debated. I’ve stood in that very square myself in the Winter, surrounded by snow.

Accounts persist that Martin Luther introduced the tree lighted with candles in the mid-16th century in Wittenberg, Germany. He wrote often of Advent and Christmas. One of his students wrote of Luther saying:
For this is indeed the greatest gift, which far
exceeds all else that God has created. Yet we believe so sluggishly,
even though the angels proclaim and preach and sing, and their lovely
song sums up the whole Christian faith, for “Glory to God in the
highest” is the very heart of worship.
Returning to his home after a walk one winter night, the story goes, Luther tried unsuccessfully to describe to his family the beauty of the starry night glittering through the trees. Instead, he went out and cut down a small fir tree and put lighted candles upon it.
In a manuscript dated 1605, a merchant in Strasbourg, Germany wrote that at Christmas they set up fir trees in the parlors and “hang thereon roses cut out of paper of many colors, apples, wafers, spangle-gold and sugar …” Though the selling of Christmas trees is mentioned back to the mid-1500s in Strasbourg, the custom of decorating the trees may have developed from the medieval Paradise Play. This play was a favorite during the Advent season because it ended with the promise of a Savior. The action in the play centered around a fir tree hung with apples.


The earliest date in England for a Christmas Tree was at Queen’s Lodge, Windsor by Queen Charlotte, the German born wife of George III, for a party she held on Christmas Day, 1800, for the children of the leading families in Windsor. Her biographer Dr John Watkins describes
the scene:
In the middle of the room stood an immense tub with a
 yew tree placed in it, from the branches of which hung bunches of
sweetmeats, almonds, and raisins in papers, fruits and toys, most
tastefully arranged, and the whole illuminated by small wax candles.
After the company had walked around and admired the tree, each child
obtained a portion of the sweets which it bore together with a toy and
then all returned home, quite delighted.


The Christmas Tree was most popularized in England, however, by the German Prince Albert soon after his marriage to Queen Victoria. In 1841, he began the custom of decorating a large tree in Windsor Castle. In 1848, a print showing the Royal couple with their children was published in the “Illustrated London News.” Albert gave trees to Army barracks and imitation followed. From this time onwards, the popularity of decorated fir trees spread beyond Royal circles and throughout society. Even Charles Dickens referred to the Christmas tree as that “new German toy.” German immigrants brought the custom to the United States and tree decorating is recorded back to 1747 in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.


Many individuals and communities vie for the honor of having decorated the first Christmas tree in America. One interesting story tells of Hessian soldiers who fought for George III in the Revolutionary War. As they were keeping Christmas in Trenton, New Jersey around a decorated tree, they left their posts unguarded. George Washington and his troops were hungry and freezing at Valley Forge, but they planned their attack with the knowledge that the Hessians would be celebrating and thus would not be as able to defend themselves.
Christmas trees really became quite popular in the United States following the invention of the electric light. In 1895, President Grover Cleveland decorated the tree at the White House with electric Lights. This idea caught on and spread across the country.

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Small Satellite Deployed From the Space Station

A satellite is ejected from the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) Small Satellite Orbital Deployer on the International Space Station on Dec. 19, 2016. The satellite is actually two small satellites that, once at a safe distance from the station, separated from each other, but were still connected by a 100-meter-long Kevlar tether. via NASA http://ift.tt/2hU5LNj powerd by primes

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