By Ginger Palma-Arboleda of MommyGinger.com
This is my first article for Makeitblissful.com and I’d like to take this opportunity to thank Martine for inviting me to be one of the contributors. She knows that giving advice to those who want to delve into entrepreneurship and business is what I am most passionate about!
When I was asked to choose a section of the site that I would want to handle and write articles for, I readily chose business, careers and finances for the work-at-home-mom and the mompreneur. These are topics that inspire me! My husband tells me that when I talk about these things, I glow and I suddenly come out from my shell of insecurities and become a confident expert.
I guess that’s what passion does to you.
I’ve interviewed a lot of mompreneurs and when asked about what traits an entrepreneur should have, the word PASSION almost always comes up. Passion is something that keeps you going! If you’re passionate about something, you don’t mind doing it repeatedly and forever! When you’re doing something that you’re passionate about, time flies so fast and it seems as if there are not enough hours in a day. It’s something you love doing and wouldn’t mind doing even without monetary reward.
BUT CAN A BUSINESS BE BUILT ON PASSION?
In his book, ‘Startup: An Insider’s Guide to Launching and Running a Business’ by Kevin Ready, he describes an entrepreneur as someone who is a risk-taker who invests time, energy and/or capital to create a new product, process or service that has resonance within a given community. He defines resonance as people participating by getting their participation and buy-in.
In business, an important part of the puzzle is for it to resonate to a given audience (these people become your consumers). If you do not address any need and your target market could not relate to the product or service that you are offering, then, there is no business. If your market understands you and likes your product, but does not buy it, then, there is no business.
When there is no business, then what you are doing is simply a hobby. The thing about hobbies is that it may or may not be sustainable in the long run (depending on how much money or capital is required to help you continue doing this thing that you love).
TOO MUCH passion with no logic at all can be the death of a business.
One of the things to look out for is if the entrepreneur has too much passion for the thing that she loves doing. She may lose the mark and neglect the other important things that one has to do for the business.
For example, if a person loves to do crafts and wants to make it a business, even if she loves creating trinkets and bracelets, she should not lose sight of planning and fixing the other aspects of the business like marketing, sales and the other administrative tasks. If she has no skills or expertise in this field, she should learn to outsource or delegate the tasks to others.
Another misconception about starting a business is that people think that they can do their passion 24/7 and forever! A good entrepreneur knows that there will come a time when you have to let go of your passion in order for you to expand and enjoy greater rewards. Even if you delegate tasks that you have no expertise in, there will come a point when the business is so huge that you will need to let go of being a passionate doer to become a passionate leader.
PASSION, followed by PRACTICALITY, is the key to continued growth.
I started Manila Workshops, my business, alone. I loved setting up an entire event by myself. I loved seeing the smiles on people’s faces after they attend the events that I came up with. I loved being physically present at each event. I said to myself that I could do this forever. But when my business grew, I realized that I had to let go of these things that I loved doing and I had to outsource them to event directors (that’s what I call people in my team). I had to concentrate on building relationships with brands and business development. I had to look at the bigger picture, because someone had to do that. Now, I could not be present at each event, but it’s a reality that I have to accept if I really want to grow my business.
So to answer the question, ‘Can a Business be built on passion?’, my reply would be yes, it can be built on passion, but to continue building a business, you need so much more. (We’ll talk about that in Part 2 of this series.)