Time and time again, I have heard people say that the key to starting your own business is to find your passion. To that I say NO! Starting a business takes a lot of hard work and planning. Even the simple act of coming up with an idea of what your product/service will be should go through multiple brainstorming sessions and eliminations. Why you ask? Because not all ideas are good business ideas. Passion does not guarantee success and passion definitely does not guarantee financial lucrativeness. When evaluating what you want your future business to be, consider these three factors:
- What do you like to do
- What are you good at doing
- What will make you money
What do you like to do? This is the passion aspect. Can you picture yourself doing this business everyday? Because the cold hard truth is that when you are just starting out, you’ll be dedicating 15+ hour days to your business without any financial compensation for quite a while. If the thought of putting in endless hours and immeasurable amount of sweat and tears makes you want to grind your teeth, then I’m sorry to say that you have not found your passion.
What are you good at doing? Is there some hidden talent or skill that you have? If you say that you have a passion for baking cupcakes but you are really dreadful at it, then chances are that not a lot of people are going to be buying your cupcakes. Although I have heard of people starting businesses in a completely new field to them, they will often admit that the learning curve is going to be steep. Not only do you have to deal with the operational aspect of getting your business off the ground, but also of learning a new trade. Your 15 hour days are going to skyrocket to 24 hour days.
What will make you money? Will someone actually pay you for your service or product? A business isn’t really a business unless you’re profitable. Even the IRS agrees because until you start making money it’s called a “hobby”. And a hobby doesn’t get you the same tax deductions. If your passion is to bird watch, but no one is going to pay you to watch birds all day, then obviously you can’t make a living off this passion.
So in conclusion NO, passion is not everything. It’s a combination of passion, skill, and marketability. Setting up a business requires a lot of planning and research. For more details on how to start a business, sign up for our free e-book (on the right side).