Do what you love and the money will follow?

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... will it really?

Small business owners are usually encouraged to follow their dreams and start a business in a field they are passionate about.

Making money is assumed to be a natural or logical consequence of hard work and enthusiasm. But does doing what you love necessarily mean that you should take that next step and become a small business owner?

Some people find that while they possess the core technical expertise to deliver a product or service, running a business and doing so successfully is an entirely different proposition. Romantic ideals of mastering one’s craft and honing skills can easily be abandoned in the face of demanding deadlines, divergent customer expectations around quality and innovation, and the rigors of administration (e.g. managing employees, keeping an eye on the business’ finances).

It may take a while for the income of small business owners to match or exceed their previous earnings; in some instances, small business owners may end up permanently earning less than if they worked for someone else. There are many possible reasons for this, but a common mistake is failing to align one’s talents and interests with what people (customers) want, need and are willing to pay for.

Another common mistake is lack of perspective – enjoying something does not make one good at it; and on the other hand, there may be a tendency to undervalue one’s own work because of altruistic notions of fulfilling one’s life purpose and giving back to society. Finally, prospective small business owners still need to do their research, build up networks, find ways to differentiate themselves from their competitors and do all the other fundamental things required to build a sustainable business.

Doing what they love does not absolve small business owners from the need to be structured and strategic in their approach. Instead of taking the leap and becoming a small business owner, there are other ways to make money doing work one enjoys.

Maintaining a full-time job and being self-employed after hours is one, as is playing more of an intrapreneurial role in one’s current job. Volunteering will not make one cash-rich but may yield a wealth of experiences and contacts that could come in handy at a later stage.

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4 comments
    Let us say you have the passion and the will to do the thing that you love; you have business Ideas but no resource how do you get to your Dream and follow your passion?
    Let us say you have the passion and the will to do the thing that you love; you have business Ideas but no resource how do you get to your Dream and follow your passion? You know that this is what you wnat and youhave aplan. What is your next step?
    @DukeD? Good morning I would say if you have the passion the will and the idea then you are better of than most people wanting to get into business. Your first step is to put it all down in writing in the form of a comprehensive business plan this will enable you to properly organise your ideas evaluate business viability and approach the necessary sources of capital. It is important to rememberthat finding capital or funding is only one part of starting your business and there is a lot you can achieve and complete prior to receiving funding. For example if you plan to import products to sell you can find the best suppliers and secure a distribution channel to sell these products without having any funding in place. Every journey starts with one step and the more you nail down before asking for investment will make you that much more investable. The more quesions you can answer and problems you solve prior to asking for investment the more likely it will be that an investor will see value in what you are trying to do. The goal is to illustrate how your business is more than just an idea and how you as the key person are the one to make it profitablle and investable. The good news is that most successful entrepreneurs travel the exact road you are on and have managed to navigate their business's to greatness through the above approach. Here is a link to a business plan template you can use to make sure you don't miss anything https://www.entrepreneurmag.co.za/advice/business-plans/business-plan-template/business-plan-template-download/ Also once you have completed your business plan and answered as many questions as possible here is a list ofVCs looking to invest in startups in SA:https://www.entrepreneurmag.co.za/advice/funding/angel-investors/a-comprehensive-list-of-angel-investors-that-fund-south-african-start-ups/ I hope this has been helpful to you. Many thanks and good luck MG
    Mark Twain once said “The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why.” Perhaps the third is the day you land the job of your dreams. Although it is not set in stone that money will come with your passion it is good to find a realistic balance to adhere to in terms of rationalising and being realistic as to what you really need (financially) and how you can shift time to do more of your passion. Once you have figured out what that extra time produces then you can assess accordingly.