As a small business owner I’m constantly learning. I’m continuously developing philosophies about how to properly operate my business. Some are standard and you can find them in any ‘new business owner’ handbook or online article, while others are unique and very much my own. Normally I choose to keep these to myself, but there is one inparticular that I feel is the core ingredient to successfully launching and managing a new business that I felt like sharing.
Love the work, not the money.
If your number one reason to start your own venture is for financial gain, it has already taken its first step down the path of failure. If you have recently decided to turn an idea you have into your very own business, make sure to ask yourself what that decision is based on. Inspiration? Desperation?
A new business takes a lot of work and effort and tends to take time to gather momentum in the early going. As a result, a new venture will have the best chance of getting off the ground if the driving force behind it is your own passion and joy, rather than the need to make money quickly.
Since operating your own venture requires a very significant amount of your time and energy, the benefits you receive in return should be deeper than monetary. If the main goal is to make money, one of two things will happen:
- Once the venture inevitably sputters out of the gate, you will quickly become discouraged. This will likely result in decreased motivation to continue to put in the time and effort necessary which is the trigger for a devastating and destructive downward spiral.
- If you do manage to stick it out through the early struggles and have the venture off the ground, the wings will not be strong enough for long term sustained flight. Since money is a comparatively shallow and unfulfilling reward, the early excitement and drive you once had will slowly disappear and you will be left with doing something you do not enjoy just to sustain an income. Which is fine for a lot of people working a regular 9-5 type job, but isn’t that usually the reason why people like us choose to launch their own venture, to escape that pattern?
Look at the income as an added bonus.
The majority of successful new businesses are owned and operated by individuals who find fulfillment in their work, and truly believe in what they are doing.
Another good question to ask yourself when considering starting your own business is “Would I still be doing this as a hobby if I wasn’t able to make an income from it?” If the answer is anything close to ‘heck no’ then you should seriously re-think your plans. However, if the answer is ‘yes’ or even ‘probably’, then you know you have the key ingredient of success. Since you enjoy doing what the business is based around in the first place for reasons outside of an income, then that would mean the money you do make from it becomes an added bonus to the already great benefit of doing what you love for a living.
Love what you do. Love life. Define success your own way.