One of the most controversial things I have ever said is that your ‘passion’ doesn’t always equal profit. At least not directly. And this was echoed by the wonderful Carrie Wilkerson at Youpreneur 2018 and prompted me to share this nugget again.
When I talk about passion in this context, I’m talking about the hobbies you have. The granular activities that you love to do. The social responsibility endeavour that lights you up and fills your soul. As wonderful as these things are, sometimes a hobby needs to stay a hobby. And sometimes social responsibility needs to stay a humanitarian project. When you’re running a business you have to be serious about making money just as much as much as you are about making impact and having fun.
I’m not saying that you can’t turn passion into profit full stop. There are plenty of people who have turned their passion into a business. Just look at Andy my Evertrekking other half who created a business helping other people fulfil their adventure travel dreams. But it’s not always possible and it’s certainly not always possible to fit ‘every’ passion into your business model.
In fact, I'm going to go as far as to say a lot of people love their craft, but they don't like running a business. But what you really need to get passionate about to run a profitable business - is making money. You have to get passionate about making money and becoming a great marketer. Because if you don't, you really are just running a hobby or a passion project.
This doesn't mean you have to become a cut throat business person. Of course, if we're all honest, the core reason we started a business usually isn't about the money (myself included). But it soon starts to become about the money when you realise the time, effort and energy that goes into serving others. And when people don't want to pay for that service we can become pretty resentful over time. We're all here to make impact, serve others and perhaps even leave a legacy... but we can do that without running a business. We can volunteer our time for free to make that difference.
Let's get honest here, after reading that last line, does that make you want to leave your business, go rogue and get a job? Hell NO! Because deep down you know you were here to run a profitable BUSINESS! There is NO shame in that. We can still give up our time, and in fact, the more profitable our businesses become, the more time you can release to go and do that charity work, spend time on your hobbies etc.
But you gotta feed you and your family first!
What you can do is intertwine some elements of your life into your brand and bring your big why and charity endeavours into your visibility and message.
We all know James Wedmore loves the sea and surfs because he uses his message around having a business so you can lead the life you want. He's featured surfing in his videos and his message about business by design really works well with this.
Andy helps corporates raise money for charity by be the fundraising platform and gives back to Nepal to help them rebuild their country and drive their economy. But he's still making plenty of money. He's also an avid scuba diver, film buff, socialite, gamer, surfer, family man etc etc - some of this stuff get's drip fed into his content when it's relevant to do so and he can link back or fancies letting his audience know more about him. But he's not losing sleep over the fact his business doesn't encompass all his multi-passions.
But your business should first and foremost be about helping an individual solve a problem and achieve an outcome that they want, AND charging for it. That has to come first. Otherwise you don’t have a viable business and you can’t earn the monies.
People don't pay you to do the things that you love to do. They pay you to help them...
If your passion can help someone achieve a goal and solve their problems – go for it… otherwise it’s time to reassess your business.
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Jen Hall is Business Clarity Coach for Coaches, Consultants & Experts who want to become Unrivalled Go-To Experts. Jen not only gets you clear on your micro-niche, message and what makes you unique and desirable, but she helps you to define what makes you an irrefutable offer to the market so you can position yourself as a high-end 'must have' option for your prospects. She is a Multi-Award Winning Speaker and Best Selling Author of Expert Unrivalled.