Why You Should NOT Go Into Business Doing The Thing You Love

Why You Should NOT Go Into Business Doing The Thing You Love
Photo – pixabay.com (PD)

This wealth tip is a “shocker”. I’m going right against the grain here and for a very good reason. Are you ready? Here goes…

Q: Why is going into business doing the thing you love typically a really bad idea?

A: When people are doing something because THEY love it, they are often placing considerations of profitability second to considerations of enjoyment.

I can almost hear the wails of protest. But I do NOT agree with the old saying “Do what you love and the money will follow.” I have found it to be a false, confusing axiom; an over-simplification often made by people who need to tell themselves something comforting while they avoid doing the kind of work that is going to lead to actual results. I think it misleads so many people. I prefer to use this axiom:

“A HOBBY is something you do because you enjoy it. A BUSINESS is something you do because it is profitable.”

Remember also the old saying “Where there’s muck, there’s brass.” In other words, there’s a lot of money to be made doing the stuff that others don’t want to do… and plenty of boring-but-well-paid jobs out there; such as accountant, air traffic controller, claims investigator, database architect, gastroenterologist, mortgage loan officer, orthodontist. And whether you are working for yourself or for someone else, this principle holds true. In other words, if you want to do something fun, go play with your kids. Work is work.

Making a lot of money is in some ways a fundamentally boring process, get used to it. You have to work hard when others are relaxing, and be prepared to take on challenges that others would rather not, so that you can get ahead.

Making money is not necessarily about doing what you enjoy. It is about doing what is profitable and doing things well. It is about being prepared to make strong choices to do the work which leads towards the goal, rather than to do the things which lead to immediate enjoyment.

It is of course absolutely VITAL to take pride in what you do; to pursue excellence and to enjoy your achievements and the benefits you are creating in the world by your actions. But if you want to be rich, you should be prepared to put profitability first, and instant gratification second.

It’s essential to have a clear head when investigating the potential of an enterprise, and to do that which is most likely to get results, rather than that which seems like it will be a fun ride. In most cases, when people do something because they love it, it does not make much money. But the world loves feelgood stories and the idea of “living your dream” has mass appeal – of the kind that sells self-help guides by the thousand. Efficiency is awesome; but since when did anyone actually create anything worthwhile on four hours per week?

It’s true that loving what you do really helps motivate you. But it only has value if the thing you love happens to have a revenue model and profit potential which you actualize!

It is, however, highly important to do something you believe in. There’s nothing worse than doing something for profit which you disagree with in principle; which you know in your heart to be wrong. It either has the effect of making you feel bad about what you are doing, or (worse) makes you rearrange your values in order to suit the life you have chosen. This often happens to people without them realizing it has happened.

So the choice of what you do is very important. Choose something you believe in, but let it not be your hobby or fantasy unless that happens to have a visible or demonstrable revenue model with genuine potential to be extremely lucrative.

There are many who think that they want successful businesses – but in truth aren’t actually interested in doing business at all. They are simply interested in having their hobby be funded – often to the tune of millions of dollars – and are under the illusion that the “beauty of their fantasy” will be sufficient to create serious revenue.

These individuals aren’t really serious about profit or about improving the lives of others. They are interested in being able to do what they please, and get paid for the privilege. That’s called… being a parasite. They say that they are interested in business, sure – but they are just interested in the cash; not in doing what it actually takes to produce it. “Not a problem” they say – “If I just do things the way *I* want to do them, people will flock to me. They will love me. They will hand over their cash in fistfuls in return for my radiance. Besides, why are you trying to rain on my parade?”

These people are kidding themselves. They probably haven’t even done any market research or a real profitability study.

So there it is: Running your own business is not about getting paid to do your hobby. It’s about providing things that other people greatly want or need – and doing so efficiently, predictably, successfully and profitably. You cannot be completely self absorbed. Remember… in business, it is not about you. It is about your customers / clients. In business, success is defined as helping others – with systems set up in such a way that a “by-product” of profit is achieved.

People think that being self-employed is about freedom, but remember that there is always a master to serve. In a job, it is your boss. In business, it is your customers – and if you are not serving THEIR needs… [insert sound of boat sinking]… down you go.

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Why You Should NOT Go Into Business Doing The Thing You Love
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