Ignoring Your Passion is a Mistake

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Why Ignoring Your Passion to Focus on Profits is a Mistake in Business. I spend a lot of time talking to people who started a small business and are struggling. Often, they panic because they expected to immediately begin making money and cannot figure out why they cannot get clients. 

They end up desperately focusing on the money and what they expect to receive from the business. This is the beginning of a vicious cycle that is more and more about themselves, and their frustration shows. This is shown in their interactions with potential clients, who are ever more resistant to whatever is being offered because who wants to work with someone who is already frustrated?

In fact, when I talk to potential clients about helping them with their small business, I tell them that if they are only focused on making money, I am not the right small business coach for them.

You see, I have three key beliefs about how to set yourself up for long-term success.

  1. You have a solution to a problem that others are willing to pay you to solve. The more this problem that you solve is a basic human need, the more others will be willing to pay.
  2. You have a passion for solving that problem and for helping the people that have that problem.
  3. You have a solid plan of action for how to solve that problem. The more you have experienced solving that problem for yourself and others, the more you have the wisdom that you need to solve it for others from your unique point of view.

The best example I have of this is running a daycare. Clearly, childcare is a basic human need that many people will pay you to solve.  Potentially, there is a lot of money to be made.

If you, as the daycare owner, adore small children and want to add value to their family by taking great care of them and you have experience that helps you do that in your unique way, your daycare will likely be a great success.

But let’s look at why this business might fail:

  1. If you are focused on money, rather than taking care of the children, you may make decisions to reduce costs that have a negative impact on the children or the parents. Or you may want to charge them a price that is much higher than the parents can afford.  
  2. If you are not passionate about small children, their development, or their parents, this will never be a long-term success. While this will show through to your clients, the biggest issue is that you are at risk of burnout. 
  3. By looking at everything through the lens of making money, you are likely making decisions about how to manage your business from the perspective of how much you it will profit you.  This means that you are not thinking about how much value you can add to the lives of the families that you serve. 

The most effective way to make money is to look at your business from the perspective of how you can add value in the lives of those you serve.  The more value you can add to their life, the more you can charge and the more they are willing to pay. By being passionate about what you offer, you create excitement around your offerings that inspire others. By using all of the wisdom from your unique experiences, the more you can connect with exactly the right people to work with.

I personally have always found that when you do the right thing for others, the money always follows. So, if you are having trouble making money and are frustrated with your business, here are three things to try:

  • Start with your passion. Are you passionate about the problem you solve and the people that you help? If not, is there some part of it you are passionate about? Is there a way that you could choose to be passionate?
  • Next, look at the problem you solve. Many of the small business owners that I talk to are very passionate about what they offer but describe it in very vague terms. For example, they might start off saying “I help women love themselves.” And I ask them “but what is the problem that they have that they are willing to pay you to solve?” This is really key. While women should love themselves, there are not many people that are willing to pay you for that. Instead, get more specific. What is their real-life problem that not loving themselves is causing? Is it that they cannot maintain a personal relationship? Is it that they cannot advocate for themselves at work? The closer you get to a specific, urgent, real-life problem, the more you can create a dialogue in your social media and advertising that will create a meaningful connection between you and your potential clients.
  • Lastly, look at how you solve this problem. When do you want to work vs. when do your clients need you to work? Where do you need space to meet with clients vs. where do you need space to do the paperwork of the business? And how do you solve this problem using your unique wisdom that comes from all of your experiences. No matter how many other businesses solve this problem, no one will do it exactly like you do.

While there are many small business coaches out there that will help you set income and profile goals for your business, I focus rather on creating a recipe for long-term success with prosperity for you, value for your customers, and the ability for you to do what you love. 

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Maya Manseau
Maya Manseau is a grief guide and the founder of She Creates Peace, a platform which aims to help others learn to live intentionally again after loss. Becoming an expert in grief was not a path Maya would have chosen. In 2013, her 23-year-old daughter died from leukemia just three months after learning she was ill. The grief completely overwhelmed Maya, but the experience inspired her to help others make the most of their lives and find their true purpose. To achieve this, Maya also works as a small business mentor and is the founder of The Small Business Path where she helps her clients create businesses which bring them success and joy. Her aim is to help people tap into their inner dreamer, find their passions and put them into action. Maya is also an author and has written books on both business and grief.

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