Why are the ideas of “passion” and “profit” talked about as being separate entities from each other?
Maybe it’s because of the age-old misconception that in order to make money in your business, you have to be a money-hungry, deceiving hustler who just cares about making money.
Or the other lie that in order to be profitable at business, you have to love money more than you love your mission or values.
But do you know what iconic visionaries like Steve Jobs, Richard Branson, Oprah, Elon Musk and Martha Stewart have in common? Not only did they grow extremely profitable businesses, they accomplished their financial success by simply loving what they do.
Their passion for their business, products and customers is what ultimately created their profit. Therefore, the more simplistic business success equation becomes:
Success = Passion + Profit
Without passion, there isn’t the maximum potential for profit. Without profit, there is no success. Both are needed in order to build and grow a company, and the higher amounts of each, the more successful a business becomes.
It’s also from an mindset perspective. There’s a difference between an “entrepreneur” and an “opportunist”:
Entrepreneur: A person who builds a business with vision of the future to help others and make an impact bigger than themselves.
Opportunist: A person who builds a business for the only sake of many money, and stops at nothing to make that money.
Typically, it’s the true entrepreneur with a grander vision that ends up becoming the most successful. While the opportunist wants to “get rich quick” and disregards quality of product and customer satisfaction to make their money.
If you simply want to make lots of money, regardless of what you’re doing, become an employee of another company, because being an entrepreneur will actually be much more difficult. You won’t be as fulfilled or happy doing the “entrepreneur grind” of 80 hrs/week for months or years to build the profit of the business. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with being an employee or “intrapreneur” within another company, it’s stability and a steady paycheck (and entrepreneurship lacks both most of the time).
Therefore, to be a truly successful entrepreneur means to build a business you’re passionate about that can also yield profit. Opportunitists could care less if they are selling neck ties or car washes, they only care about the profit and not the passion for the business they’re building.
And the higher your passion, the higher your profit. Because building a business is difficult. There’s no real shortcuts, and even if you had all the investor money or cutting edge software, the amount of problems, sleepless nights and time it takes to create a massively successful business will only be fueled by the passion you have. Because in the beginning of every business, there will be a time (could be months or years) before your business turns any profit.
And during that “dark age” of your business (and 99.9% of businesses don’t make 7-figures overnight), it’s your passion for your work that keeps your motivation to push forward. Success is simply a waiting game at the end, because the longer you can work hard and push through the challenges of business-building, the higher probability you have at succeeding.
If you’re just taking the leap to entrepreneurship (or you’ve been in business for a while but can’t seem to get to the level of profit or success that you want), then ask yourself if you truly love the products you’re offering, the day-to-day work you’re doing, and the industry/market that you’re currently in.
I personally have a passion for green beauty, I eat/sleep/breath/think about beauty almost 24/7, therefore that’s the business I’m currently in. But I also really like fashion, and in my previous career I was actually a wardrobe stylist for red carpet and luxury fashion brands, but I wasn’t as passionate about that industry. There’s a difference between “really liking” and “loving like it’s your child.”
And now that we’ve cleared up the importance of both passion and profit in business, here’s some quick tips on how to foster both for massive success:
Be happy with any and all sales
This one is tough, because in the beginning of any business, you most likely won’t be hitting the ideal profits and/or margins. But keep asking yourself, “Am I an entrepreneur or opportunist?” Be happy with any sales you get, even if it’s 1 sale per day, or 2 sales per week. As cliche as it sounds, it’s really being happy with the journey and not the end result. Remember that all businesses started from Zero.
Recognize when something isn’t working (then fix it)
There will be many times in your business where products won’t take off, systems will fail, sales are slow, or press is bad. We must be able to step outside of ourselves and recognize when a part of (or the whole) business isn’t working, then make a conscious decision to change, pivot and fix it. My brand had 4 different variations in 3 years, because it took that many tries to figure out a product/business model that I was 10000% happy with, that could also create the profit/margin potential that I wanted.
Continuously research and learn
It’s not enough that we are checking off items on our to-do list, we must also remember that “leaders are learners.” This means that you must continuously (as in, daily) be researching, reading, listening to and watching new material where you can learn how to improve your business or your mindset about business. We have to become more strategic with how we run and build our business, and the only way we can do this is to learn, everyday. Some great resources I personally turn to include the works of Brendon Burchard, James Wedmore, Ryan Moran and Marie Forleo (Google each of them and start following their email list). If you truly love your work and your business, you will have no problem taking the additional time to learn how to improve (and if you do have a problem with this, then it’s time to re-evaluate how much passion you really have about your business).