#09 How to turn your passion and skills into a profitable business

The 360 Leadhership Podcast, Episode 09, 23 February 2022 by Lucy Gernon

More people are starting businesses than ever before. In Ireland, the latest figures from credit risk analyst CRIFVision-net show that a total of 25,695 new startups were registered in 2021, the highest figure on record, an increase of 17% on 2020.

Almost 80 new businesses created every hour across UK in first half of 2021. In the US Applications to start new businesses hit 5.4 million in 2021, a new record The number of business applications reached 5.4 million last year, surpassing the 2020 record of 4.4 million. In the pandemic, millions of people have decided this is the moment to chase their dreams.

Integrity is a big core value of mine. I was fully transparent with my boss that I was coaching on the side. I cleared my business with the office of ethics where I worked to ensure I wans’t breaking any company policy while I still worked there. Check your contract with your appropriate HR people.

I don’t think corporations should stop people from having a side-hustle. Many people will actually stay in the corporate world if they can fulfill their passion on their own time.

It’s the same as helping on the family farm or sports coaching for kids. If your boss doesn’t agree with your choice, I’d challenge him or her on that. Unless it’s stipulated in your contract, your employer shouldn’t have the right to stop you from doing what you want outside of work hours.

Also, your company will have a conflict of interest policy. For example, while I worked in Pharma, I couldn’t work with anyone in that industry, so I had to get creative and make new connections.

Just make sure you are delivering on your professional commitments in work and that your boundaries are very clear. Be ethical and maintain your integrity and keep your side hustle and professional work separate. Or you may chose to do it without disclosing, but you will probably be looking over your shoulder if you do it that way. I’m a big advocate for full transparency.

Do you want a piece of the pie?

Let’s dig into what you could do.

How to reveal what your hidden talents and skills are

You have knowledge and talents that other people are out there searching for. You have expertise and a unique way that people will pay top dollar for. We all have a purpose in life, and its up to you to fulfill yours.

What is your purpose? What is your true passion?

Grab the free resource 6 Steps to Reveal Your Hidden Talents That Will Make You Money!

Here’s another exercise you can do: Write out your life story.

Really powerful exercise. Take an hour. Look for the challenges that you’ve overcome and how. Look for the pivot points, defining moments and those epiphanies that changed your life. Points where you’ve changed your trajectory or changed your perspective.

Who do you love working with? Work with a number of people to determine who you love working with. Hello with confidence or hard-working go-getters.

If you want to learn more about figuring out your purpose,  after you finish this episode, go back and listen to episode 001: How to figure out what you want from your career and life so check that episode out to learn more about that.

In 2017, I asked my friend that question that changed my life “What else do you think I could do for a career if I wasn’t doing this?” I might never be where I am right now with a thriving online coaching business, that gives me more freedom and fulfillment than I ever thought possible… and I make more money than I did in corporate too!

It’s hard work but I bounce out of bed in the morning. I get so excited to support other women to create the career of their dreams. I love coaching but I also love the business and strategy side.

How to monetize your skills and talents 

I always say, if you’ve been a leader in the corporate world, you run a business in a business. You have all the skills and more you need to run your own!  I firmly believe that you only have one life. You are here for a reason.

You need to think outside the box and listen to that part of you that is not being fulfilled. Maybe a side hustle will give you that spark and you also love your corporate job or maybe its time to do something different.

Think about the things you love that light you up. YOu have skills and knowledge people will pay for. In my first month in business, I made double what I made per month in the corporate world, doing something I love and it’s only the beginning. You can have this too.


You can make money from sharing the knowledge you have in your head. You could monetize your experience and expertise.

You could co-found a company…there are so many options! Whatever you can see in your mind, you can make your reality. Whatever lights you up!

If you are getting excited and thinking, wow I’d love to have a side-hustle or start a business, get in touch, I’d love to answer any questions you have: hello@lucygernon.com or DM me on Instagram or LinkedIn.

What you can expect being your own boss


It is so rewarding. I love nothing more than working with people. It’s always been my passion and best of all, I can work my hours around my kids with no pressure.

My typical day is I drop the kids to school, I come home at 9.15 and do a workout and then start my day. I only see clients 2 days per week usually where I can, so the other days are for podcasting, marketing, creating new resources, strategy, and all the creative stuff I love!

I get to collect my kids from school most days, which is something I couldn’t do for years and I’m so grateful I can do this. I have an executive assistant who helps me part-time also so I have more time to spend connecting with women just like you. I went to a hotel recently and I was able to see a client from the hotel room and then go off exploring from the day.

I love the freedom my business gives me and it is so rewarding and financially lucrative.


I found leaving the corporate world a huge adjustment. I always had a team and a couple of colleagues who I could brainstorm with. You know those people where there is a problem and they are your go-to and you can bounce things off them?

You don’t have that when you’re a solopreneur. I found that so tough. I miss the sense of community and team spirit.

But now I am have found a tribe of female entrepreneurs and we support each other which is so important. You need support if you’re a business owner. Your family and friends while they try, just don’t get it! It’s so important you have a tribe of like-minded women.

Being your own boss is great, but you don’t have anyone to pick up any balls if you drop one! I have an amazing executive assistant and an intern but I am accountable for everything!

I use a system in my business called Asana to keep me organized as there are so many moving pieces between the podcast, social media, press, creating resources, website updates, breakthrough calls all outside of the actual coaching work I do. I love it but it’s a lot of work.

Also, when you run your own business, when creativity strikes, you have to go with it. I’ve often spent all weekend working to develop a new resource or to plan and strategize. It can be hard to switch off, which is something I’m working on! Hard when you do it for the love of what you do rather than because you have to!

Finally finances. Also, i’ve worked hard to get my business to a place where I have a great income but, it is not guaranteed. Leaving behind a 6 figure package was tough but once you have the right strategy, support, and mindset, it is possible to earn more money than you ever thought possible!

I made more in month one that I would have in the corporate world by an exponential amount! It didn’t come easy, believe me but once you have a clear business plan, take imperfect action, and just keep moving forward, seeing every no as a “no not now” and embracing a growth mindset you will be all good.

Entrepreneurship is hard. It’s not for everyone. 

Leaving your corporate job is a huge decision. The corporate world gives you so much security, you know it so well, you are the go to person for your job and then all of a sudden you’re a learner again. The learning curve is steep.

You’ll hear a lot of no’s before you hear those yes’s so you need to be a determined go-getter to make it work, a successful business wont just happen.

If you want to do a side-hustle just for passion, a lot of what I’ve said won’t apply. But if youre serious about turning your passion and skills into a profitable business, get ready for a tough road, consistency, pivoting, learning and growing… but its so so worth it.

3 actions you can take today to begin making your dream of a side-hustle your reality

  1. Complete the exercise to reveal your skills and talents

  2. Do your market research online and with your network. What problem do you solve and how do you solve it? What does your ideal client or customer want? And how can your product or service deliver what they need?

These are the questions you must consider.

Market positioning is also very important. If you sell goods or services for a low fee,  you’ll need to work more and unless you have a big company and team, it could be hard to make a profit.

I recommend you position yourself at the higher end of the market and specialize in something. I had a business mentor who told me that and it was the best advice I ever got.

When you niche down, you can command higher prices. Because you are an expert, you will deliver better results than a generic service. E.g. I specialise in supporting female corporate ladders to create their dream career.

Whether that’s gaining confidence and advancing your career faster, gaining work-life balance while still being successful professionally or helping them start a side hustle or plan their corporate exit. I have done all of these things in my career and business and my program is a premiums service, only for those willing to invest in themselves to surge forward.

I could have been a “life coach” and worked with anyone, but my clients hire me because I have been in their shoes and my services are tailored specifically to their needs, they are willing to invest in their future success and happiness.

3. Reach out for support. If you’re in Ireland your local enterprise board will have start your own business courses. Whatever country you’re in, you should have a similar service. But if you want to really expedite your business success, reach out to me. I’d love to support you to create your business plan and make your dreams your reality. I’ve been through it all. I’ve failed miserably, but i’ve dusted myself off and got back up stronger. I have created a profitable business on purpose through strategy, learning sales and marketing, content creation and much more.

If you’re interested in learning more about I could support you to create your side hustle or business, click here to book a free 30 min breakthrough call – I’d love to hear your big goals and dreams and be there to take you through step by step as you turn your passion into profits.