How to Turn Your Passion into a Business

Lara Golay is the bubbly Californian behind Barre Mode: a high-intensity, low impact fitness class, that fuses classical ballet, pilates, yoga and cardio training. This year she opened the first boutique Barre fitness studio in Stockholm and classes are already selling out! Inspired by her entrepreneurial spirit, we invited Lara to share her tips for transforming your passion into a profitable business.

1. Play to your strengths. I believe it’s essential to find something unique, but on saying that, don’t be afraid to take an existing concept and do it in a new way that plays to your talents. I first discovered barre classes in L.A. and soon realised that it was an idea I could adapt and bring to Stockholm. I drew on my experience as a former competitive figure skater, a performer and a musician, to create something that was new and fresh."

2. Do your research and make a plan. "We all have passions, but transforming your interests into a business is different. Take courses, get experience, research online, and allow time to develop your knowledge and idea before launching your business."

3. Start small. "Start by implementing your idea in the simplest way possible. I piloted Barre Mode by teaching a weekly, hour-long class in a studio I rented from a friend. This allowed me to see whether my business idea had potential - I now hold 17 classes a week in my own studio space! I think that the same goes for any business, even beauty: buy a small selection of products and get feedback from your potential customers. What do they like? What don’t they like? What would they like to see more of? This information is invaluable. You don’t need to start huge, start small and let growth happen organically."

"I truly believe that nothing is impossible and that no idea is unrealistic. What often sets us back is unrealistic timelines."

4. Learn to set goals. "I truly believe that nothing is impossible and that no idea is unrealistic. What often sets us back is unrealistic timelines. You will achieve your vision, but it may take you years, so it’s important to have tangible goals to reach along the way.”

5. Prepare for rejection.  "Rejection is inevitable, but don’t view it as failure, see it as an opportunity to learn. It’s taken me years to learn not to dwell on my mistakes and instead to reinvent and move forward.”

6. Love what you do. “Have a real belief in what you’re doing and what you’re working towards. If your passion comes from a genuine place, you’ll be willing to work hard and do whatever it takes for you to reach your goals. Sure, there will be bumps along the way, but they’ll be far easier to overcome if you love what you’re doing.” 

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Words by: Photographs by: Oriflame