What should you chase after? After your passion or after profit? Which is the smarter decision? Which would make you more money?
After all, we’re all in this to make money. But, is it possible to have fun while at it? People usually think that running a business is all work, that there is no fun involved. Is it always like that, or is it only like that when you chose it to be?
Both aren’t mutually exclusive
I want to make this clear. Passion and profit aren’t two mutually exclusive things. Hardly. Take Bill gates and Mark Zuckerberg for example. They both started out in 2 extremely profitable markets of their time (operating system and social media), but I believe what made the difference was that they were passionate about what they were working on.
They are one of the richest men on Earth today, and the fact that they went after their passion should tell you that you can make money if you went after what you love.
In fact, you’ll do better than the rest. Why? Because you love what you do, so you have a better chance of creating something better than what is available in the market at present. Since you truly care about your field, you’ll come up with solutions that truly make a difference, unlike people who are only in it for the money.
There is nothing wrong with being in it for the money, everyone is, but care does play a big role. If you care about your field, you’ll care about your target market. Your products or services will reflect your care, and you’ll be left with a slew of satisfied customers or clients. I can’t find a better way to find success.
When work is fun
Business is never easy. You’ll have dry/boring days. You’ll have horrible days where nothing goes right. You’ll encounter horrible customers or partners who’d drain more of our energy than all of your other customers/partners combined.
Among all the chaos, if you can truly have fun doing what you do, wouldn’t that be a blessing? When work isn’t work, you’d be excited to get up in the morning to get to work. That’s what you should strive for.
If you truly love working on your product, you wouldn’t mind the criticism or pressures, because you love your product enough to always want to make it better. This goes for any kind of business driven by passion.
If you get yourself a job or a business that’s fun, you don’t need weekends off, or vacations to de-stress. I work on the weekends. In fact, I work all the time. Not physically, but mentally.
I’m always brainstorming, I’m always coming up with new ideas for my business, and I LOVE it. I love the thrill of finding a new solution to a persistent problem and seeing that solution come to effect in the form of a new product or feature.
I love promoting my work. I love writing about my products, about what works and what doesn’t in the business world. I love writing blog posts on my blogs on the topics I’m passionate about. I love every aspect of my business.
I love when people praise my products, because they are indirectly praising me. I also love when they criticize my product, as long as they are civil about it, because their criticisms motivate me to solve yet another problem. I love problem solving and learning new things; ergo, I love my entire business setup.
I get up in the morning wanting to switch on my laptop and start working. I’m always eager to look at my traffic and sales stats to see what’s happened since I went to sleep. I want to look at reviews to see how people are responding to my work.
I want to talk to my programmers to see how far my new product is. There are so many things I want to look at first thing in the morning, and they are all related to my work.
I don’t work all the time because I’m afraid of a reprimand from my boss if I don’t. I do it because that’s what I love doing.
My business started out as one of my hobbies, something I wanted to do because I was a bored teenager. It still has a pretty high position among my hobbies.
Shouldn’t you choose something like that too?
If you’re crazy about crocheting, for example, who cares if it’s a profitable market or not? Some might say no, but as long as there are people interested in your niche, you’ll always have a market for your products.
Sell crocheting supplies, offer crocheting courses (online or offline), create a community out of it, gather people who are as passionate as you, and I promise you, you’ll make a good living out of it very soon. Sometimes even more than just a living.
A few years back, I read an E-mail from a well-known marketer. He was talking about how a guy he knew makes $100k a month from a small $5 membership program. What does he sell? Poems. That’s right. He sends his subscribers poems every month, and he’s making a million dollar a year. How crazy is that?
There are crazier success stories out there, all a result of passion.
You don’t need to be in the money industry, the weight loss industry, or the dating industry to make money. The 3 big industries: health, wealth, and relationships, are always recommended as the go-to industries for everyone, be it in terms of a career or a business, but they aren’t the only ones out there.
When you choose an industry, remember that you’re going to have to stick to it for at least the next decade. Let that thought simmer for a while. Do you love the industry enough to work on it for years?
There are plenty of people making a killing with their passion, and so should you. You’d probably even achieve more success than the ones going after the go-to niches, because the competition is considerably lesser in your niches.
It just so happened that the some of the niches I was passionate about belonged to the top 3, so I started on the make money niche. That doesn’t mean you should stick to them too, if you don’t want to.
Recently, I’ve gotten into some niches that have nothing to do with the top 3 industries, and I’m seeing consistent results so far. Don’t worry about whether your niche is the most profitable. As long as it has an audience, go for it.
Would you persevere?
I do agree that the time taken to succeed might be a tad bit more in passion-based niches than with industries where people are used to paying for stuff. That is, if your niche isn’t a well-known one.
There are some hobby niches like Golf and dog care that are filled to the brim with buyers as, but the competition tends to be higher in those niches (as expected).
Take weight loss as an example. More proven buyers doesn’t mean you’ll make money with the weight loss niche faster, just because the target audience are habitual spenders. The competition is huge there, and you’ll probably spend more time getting your footing there than in an obscure niche with only a couple thousand people interested in it.
So, it’s not going to be a walk in the park either way. Nothing in life is. You’ll need to persevere to finally achieve success. Where do you think you’ll persevere more? In a business you’re totally passionate about, or in a business where you need to do an hour’s worth of research to write a simple 500 word article?
I tried out the weight loss niche. I did make some money there, thanks to the awesome viral power of social media. But, writing articles on my weight loss blog was like pulling teeth.
I had no way to relate to the market because I was too skinny and people always reprimanded me to put on more weight than loss any. I didn’t understand what was going on in the market, and I didn’t have any interest in learning either.
I could write a long 2000+ word article in the business niche or create any kind of software with my eyes closed. If I didn’t know about the subject I was writing about, I gladly learned about it, because it’s going to help me in the future anyway, and I wanted to learn (read: passion).
That wasn’t the case with weight loss. I had no use for the niche in my personal or business life other than my blog. I couldn’t connect with my readers on a personal level. I probably came off as a fake.
I couldn’t persevere. Weight loss is a tough market, and you need to put in a ton of work to stay afloat. I just couldn’t. It was just too much work, and there was no ounce of fun in it, and what I was making wasn’t justifying the time/money spent. I gave up.
I haven’t given up on any of the businesses I was passionate about. I’ve had ups and downs in them too. I’ve had moments where I felt like pulling my hair out. I’ve even thought about just throwing everything away, but I always came back.
Why? Because ultimately, this is what I love doing. I would do it even if I wasn’t making money from it. I did for the first 2 years of my business life. I made 0 cent from my business endeavors, but I still persevered because it wasn’t work for me. It was more like a hobby.
So, pick a business where you’ll know you’ll never give in no matter how tough it gets.
Should I not go for businesses I’m not passionate about then?
Of course you can. By all means, go for it. Who am I to tell you not to? I just want to tell you that people who are passionate about what they do have a clear edge over those who aren’t.
That’s why Bill Gates is a billionaire now while probably better programmers than him aren’t. Because he was passionate, and hence he persevered, while the others gave up mid-way.
Most startups fail, not because they didn’t have a chance to succeed, but because they “stopped digging 3 feet from gold”. Some of them had better products than the established ones out there, but they didn’t persevere.
While the success stories out there worked on their success for years, sometimes even decades, 90% of the business people didn’t. They just weren’t passionate enough to stick with their product.
If you’re passionate, even if your blog isn’t a success yet, you’ll continue to work on it, while keeping your day job. You’ll never give up. If you consistently blog for months, or even a year or two, do you really think your blog wouldn’t be successful at one point in the future?
Then again, you shouldn’t completely give up on profitable businesses just because you aren’t passionate about the market/field either. There are a ton of hands-free ways to run a business.
In my case, if I decide to go back to my weight loss business, this is what I’d do. I’d hire a writer who is truly passionate about weight loss and its various sub-topics to write well-written posts with personal twists.
Then I’ll probably hire the same person or someone else to create product(s) or membership(s) in the certain sub niches (weight loss exercises, weight loss with yoga, etc). I’ll hire a marketer who’s worked a lot in the weight loss niche to promote my products and blog for me.
I’ll also hire someone to write my E-mail marketing sequences for me, to automate my sales. If videos are a part of my plan, I’ll hire someone for that too. There you go. An automated business on a topic I know NOTHING about, and want to know nothing about.
Would I make good money this way? Of course, but there is considerable overhead involved, as you can see. So, I wouldn’t have chosen this path when I first started out. That’s the difference.
What I prefer – conclusion
If you’re truly passionate about something, don’t hesitate to go for it. There is money to be made in everything and anything. We see that weird products in weird fields becoming the next billion-dollar startup every day.
Everyone loves gushing over the achievements of actors and actresses. They are the best example. They went after their passion, and they persevered. Because, in the entertainment industry, unless you are truly passionate, you can’t survive.
How many actors of today had a past where they went to auditions around a full-time job of waiting tables? It’s a tough industry. That’s why not everyone makes it there. There are too many who give up half way or don’t give their all.
If you are lucky enough to have something you can get 100% behind, go for it. You’ll achieve success from it one way or another.
You don’t have to give up a money earner to go after it either. Make it a hobby. Start working on it on the side, and once you start making money from your passion to sustain yourself, you can give up your job/other businesses.