Choosing A Business – Should You “Follow Your Passion?”

There’s a big “buzz” out there in the entrepreneurial world today, and I want to talk to you about how it pertains to entrepreneurship and business ownership in general, as well as network marketing.

It’s the idea that, when you’re choosing a business model to start, you should “follow your passion.”  Basically, most “gurus” are saying, whatever you’re most interested in personally, that’s what you should base your business around.

If you are into butterflies, make your business about butterflies.

If you’re into mountain biking, serve the mountain biking community in some way.

If you’re into jazz-fusion electric dulcimer music… (you get the idea.)

The generally accepted thought process is:  whatever it is you are interested in, that’s the thing you are passionate about, and that is where you should start your business.

While I do think if you’re going to work for someone else the rest of your life, you should be doing something related to what you like to do, or what interests you.  The idea of “following your passion” when it comes to a job or a career is great advice.  You’re going to be spending most of your time, trading your life for a paycheck, so you ought to at least be doing something related to your personal interests.

But, when it comes to starting a business, I don’t think just “following your passion” is always the best idea.

Here’s the reality:

If you are going to be an entrepreneur, you better get passionate about entrepreneurship.

You better get passionate about succeeding in your business.

That should be a passion, and every entrepreneur and every successful business person I know that has crushed it in their business and has built an empire, at some point, became passionate about their success in business and making an impact.  Period.

That passion to succeed in a business of your own should be your strongest desire.  Stronger than your passion for whatever personal interests or hobbies that you may have.  Because if it’s not, you’ll quit when it gets hard.

And it will get hard.

Some people say this is why you choose to follow your passion, because success is a long road (which it is).  In traditional business, it’s likely you won’t make any money for the first couple years (at least), so the passion you have for the subject matter will pull you through those tough years.

I don’t think so.  I think it just makes it that much easier to quit and go find a job doing the same thing.

But, if you’re passionate about being in business, about winning as an entrepreneur, then quitting isn’t an option.

Many people who love a particular activity or hobby start small businesses around that topic, because they figure they can work for themselves and still do what they like to do.  Rather than working for the paycheck, they think they can make more money and/or have more freedom if they’re in business for themselves.  But, that’s not reality, especially in the beginning.  You’ll work more hours, and spend more time growing and managing the business than you will doing anything directly related to the interest or hobby you based your business on.  And when that reality sets in, and it gets hard, and you’re not making any money… it becomes awfully easy to throw in the towel, and go get a job… especially if you can get one related to the same “passion” you based your business on.

BUT, if entrepreneurship is your passion… If succeeding in your own business is your passion… QUITTING IS NOT AN OPTION.

That’s not to say you can’t succeed in a business about butterflies… And if you have the entrepreneurial passion AND a butterfly passion, well that’s great.  Maybe that is the right fit for you, but let me give you something to think about, based on my experience.

The action of the business, or what the business does in terms of product or service, is not important as being passionate about as succeeding in the business and in entrepreneurship in general. That passion about winning in business is more important than what business niche you choose to be in, in my opinion, if you want to crush it. 

The Reality:  Choosing A Business Category

“If you follow your passion, you will never work a day in your life.”

And a lot of people will tell you this. Meaning, it’s fun and rewarding, because you enjoy the task or topic of what you are doing, and if you enjoy the task, it doesn’t feel like work.  But the reality of a business owner is, if you’re going to have any high level of success at all, you’re not going to spend a lot of time doing the activity you “like” to do.

I owned a web design company before I became a full-time Network Marketer.  I started that company in my basement in the late 90’s.  I was building websites myself, and I liked the creative aspect of it.   It all started because I built a site for a band I was in at the time, and found I really enjoyed it.

So I made a business out of it, because I liked doing the activity and I liked the topic.

Well guess what…

When I grew that basement operation into a real business, with employees and subcontractors, with accounts, and a lot of customers… when it wasn’t just me building one website at a time… I built very, very few websites.

I wasn’t building websites anymore.

I was running the business!

I was selling the product.

I was providing customer service.

I was managing employees who were doing the creative work.

I really wasn’t as involved in the creative process as I was when I started… which is what I was passionate about in the beginning.

If I didn’t transition that passion for the creative aspect of the product of the business into the creative aspect of building the business, I would have never succeeded.

Why?

Because I would have always limited my growth.  I would have not wanted to delegate the creative process of the actual development of the website.  I would have not had the time to multiply and compound my effort.

See, in any business that you are going to pursue, if you want to go big, at some point you are going to transition from the activity that the business does to the actual running of the business. So you better be passionate about the idea of the business itself, not it’s subject matter.  If the activity or subject is all that interests you, you’re going to be limited.

 

For me, I wanted to win in business. I wanted to have the freedom, the recognition, the autonomy of a business owner.  That’s what drove me, more than any of my personal interests.

I didn’t want to have to check in and report in to a boss. Those things are what I was passionate about, and the passion about those things drove me to success more than the passion of the activity, even when I was in a business specifically related to a topic I particularly enjoyed. 

Let me give you another perspective on this too…

Think of all the businesses around you…

For every business that you can point to that someone has started and become successful, and they were passionate about the subject matter of the business, I can point you to another one where it is very unlikely that the entrepreneur that started that business had the same super-passionate feelings about it’s associated activity or product.

Fro example:  Toilet paper.

I mean, come on. Who cares about toilet paper?

I’m not sure that toilet paper was a passion of the person who invented toilet paper. Now maybe someone is going to go research this and prove me wrong, but my guess would be that toilet paper wasn’t something that somebody was excited about.  What they were excited about was, they found a problem that toilet paper solved, and therein lied an opportunity to start and succeed.  (Footnote:  The Scott Brothers are credited with the first “rolled” T.P.)

You can point to anything. Look at all the mundane business, and all of the everyday boring stuff that people make millions producing… billions producing.  Are they passionate about that mundane product?  I have a hunch they are probably more passionate about:

  • Solving a problem
  • Helping others
  • Making an impact
  • Being better in the industry and
  • Winning in business

Network Marketing As A Business Choice

I eventually sold my web design business in favor of my network marketing business.  What I saw and was developing in network marketing was a way to multiply my efforts much more efficiently and effectively than I could do in my traditional business.  The web design company always needed me… The business owned me, rather than the other way around.  With network marketing, leverage was inherently built into the business model.

So, because I was passionate about winning in business, about personal and financial freedom, and about making an impact, it was a natural choice to pursue.  Once I learned that these were the core drivers of my success, the subject matter of the business wasn’t as important.  So, I looked for the business model that provided the best platform to achieve those goals.

Some traditional entrepreneurs don’t have a lot of respect for our industry, and I think the primary reason for that is because too many network marketers are “playing business,” and that’s offensive and insulting to “real” business owners.  These “real” business owners think it’s a joke… and if you don’t treat your network marketing business at least as professionally and seriously as any other business you could be in, then it is a joke.  

But, if you are passionate about winning…

If you’re passionate about your freedom…

If you’re passionate about making a difference in peoples lives…

And you’re willing to work and treat it like a real business…

Network marketing is an incredible vehicle to achieve your entrepreneurial goals.


The above article is expanded from this video.  For more like this, follow on YouTube!

Choosing A Business – Follow Your Passion?

About the Author Jason

Jason is a 3rd generation network marketer and founder of Network Marketing Accelerator. He and his family are collaboratively responsible for generating a multiple 7-figure income in their network marketing businesses. A coach and mentor to hundreds of successful business owners across multiple verticals, Jason is also a co-founder of OuterBox Solutions, a premier eCommerce Web Design firm.