Back to basics: business is about money

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Let’s talk about the elephant in the room: Being in business is NOT about following your passion. It’s about helping people to achieve their goals and dreams when they buy your stuff. (products and services). Being in business is about money.

Yes it sounds wrong. And it sounds cynical.. but I’ve learned the hard way that following your passion is costing you money.

I get a little antsy when I hear people talk about succeeding in business and all they talk about is that you need to dream big and follow your passion.

Yes it helps when you’re passionate about your vision for the business. It helps to create clarity and focus. And I totally agree that you need to dream big, as long as you follow up with a solid action plan on how to achieve those dreams and visions. But if you only want to follow passion for the sake of being passionate you’re better of getting a hobby.

A hobby can cost money and you’ll be happy to spend money on it. (I have two horses so I know what I’m talking about!)

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Business is about money

A business however needs to make money. Doesn’t matter if you’re a Not for profit or a For Profit. And ladies: money is not a dirty word!

Let’s get practical for a second. At this moment the interest rate for a term deposit is around the 2.5 – 3% (as stated at the National Australia Bank  website ). So unless your business makes more than 2.5% NET PROFIT, you’re better off putting your money in a term deposit and follow your passion somewhere else.

Oh, and the net profit I just mentioned… that’s after you’ve paid yourself a commercially viable wage/salary.

I know it hurts to hear this, and trust me.. it took me a LONG time to come to grips with this concept but every dollar you spend in your business is YOUR dollar.

Every day you make a choice on how you spend that money. If you choose to invest this money in business activities, it better make you more than 2.5% more in return. Anything less than that and your stealing borrowing money from yourself.

Passion is unfair.

I think it’s unfair when people only talk about following your passion. As if it’s that simple… “simply follow your passion and you’re going to be a successful entrepreneur“.

If passion is the only indicator you’re setting yourself up for frustration and self doubt. As if your business will fail if you’re not passionate enough? No – you business will fail if you don’t offer what people want and need. It fails when you’re doing the wrong things. It fails when you take your finger off the pulse and lose track of your KPIs and finances.
It will probably do a bit better when you’re passionate enough to put in the extra energy and hustle, definitely! However, running a business is not just done by passion alone.

Be passionate about your business, but don’t expect passion to be ‘the be all and end all’.

Now it’s up to you: how do you think about your business? It it a labour of love, only driven by passion? Or do you agree that business is about money and you fuel your passion by a successful and healthy business?