One thing that greatly saddens me is meeting so many wonderfully talented souls who have set up a business doing what they love but are struggling to make it work financially.
Typically these kind well intentioned business owners say things like:
Money isn’t important, I want to make a difference
I don’t expect to earn as much as I did in my corporate job
I want to keep my prices low so more people can afford my products/services
I want to work with those who really need my help, even if they don’t have money
I don’t like asking for money
I prefer to wait for clients to approach me as I don’t want to appear pushy
I can’t afford business training or to pay people to help me
Can you relate to any of these statements? If yes, you are potentially in danger of embarking upon an expensive hobby rather than a business. Especially if:
You don’t know what your ideal clients want and are willing to pay for
You don’t have enough good sales leads or regularly attract people who can’t afford your products/services
You often under-charge for your product/services or give them away
You spend days/months mainly doing what you love rather focusing on cash generating activities – at times when you need to earn money
You manage to find the money to attend courses on topics that interest or excite you, but you don’t invest in becoming business savvy to the same extent
Your ‘business’ consistently costs you more money than it makes
You’re not able to pay yourself well
By contrast those running successful heart-centered businesses:
Want to earn good money doing what they love, through making a difference in the world or helping others
Invest equally in developing their passion AND becoming business savvy
Spend most of their time and money doing cash generating activities that play to their strengths, until they have sufficient income and resources to free them up for their creative goals
Confidently charge fair market rates
Charge for their services and have healthy parameters in place for charitable giving
Offer services aligned to their heart AND what their ideal clients want to buy
Attract plenty clients who can afford to pay them
Make a healthy profit AND pay themselves a good salary (or as a new business are on track to do so soon).
Are you running an expensive hobby or successful business?
I know I’ve had times when I’ve fallen into the ‘expensive hobby’ trap and it’s not a pleasant place to be. In the early days I remember feeling frustrated, disappointed, over-whelmed and wondering if I’d ever be able to make my business work. But I continued to invest in learning which has helped me enjoy a good business for over 12 years. Sometimes my creative mind still tempts me into ‘hobby’ mode which I sometimes allow as one of the reasons I set up my business, was to be able to spend more time doing what I love. But I also have a strong sense of financial integrity which helps keep me focused on cash-generating activities too.
Why did you set up in business?
When I ask those struggling with their business this question, it’s often as though they’ve forgotten one of their intentions was make to money.
Many say they set up in business to make a difference, that money’s not important – yet if this was true, they’d be gladly offering their services for free (volunteering), be enjoying their passion in their spare time (a hobby) or have set up a charity. They wouldn’t be presenting themselves as running a business or be trying to get more paying clients.
What do you want?
It is OK to be running an expensive hobby if that’s what you set out to do and you don’t need to generate a good salary through your business.
However if you’ve been in business a while and your financial needs are not being met through your business, consider whether you are really committed to turning this around.
It is possible to get paid well for doing good in the world
You don’t have to choose between doing what you love, making a difference to others and earning good money. There are plenty heart-centered business owners who are touching the lives of many people through their work – and getting paid well for doing so! If this is what you’re striving for, how would you feel if you start turning things around today?
From expensive hobby to successful business
It can be great fun and very rewarding to turn a hobby, interest or passion into a business. However attempting the transition from hobby to business isn’t always an easy one.
Many people get stuck in the expensive hobby trap and wake up to this too late – when they realise they don’t have the money or energy to keep going.
Please don’t let this be you!
Instead get all the resources, training and support you need to succeed – a good place to start is to:
reflect on why you set up on business
set yourself goals that will help you live your vision
align any beliefs you have about business success, money and selling to your vision/goals
identify any gaps in your business building knowledge/skills and commit to learning these
put all the support and resources in place to ensure you succeed
And don’t worry if you don’t know how yet. Often when you change what you do and start moving in a new direction, the opportunities or people to ask present themselves.
If you have any questions or comments please share them below or get in touch if you’d like any help.
With love & light as always,
PS did you know members of The Heartabiz Hub get immediate access to my Jumpstart Your Business course, other Marketing Masterclasses and ongoing support to them grow a profitable heart-centered business – for a very affordable monthly fee. You can find out more HERE – http://alisoun.com/heartabiz-membership-lp/
Alisoun Mackenzie is The Compassionate Business Mentor, Author, and Speaker who inspires business owners and social entrepreneurs to turn their passions into profits and make a difference in the world.
Last week a friend and I had to laugh at each other as we spoke on our mobiles from our sick beds. Not because we were both ill, but because we both recognised the irony of teaching the importance of being kind to ourselves, and yet knowing working too hard had contributed to us being ill!
The desire to enjoy a better work/life balance was one of the main drivers for me going into business. As well as wanting to do something I loved that made a difference in the world.