Turning Your Passion Into Profit!
I am always astonished at how many dedicated, smart, hard working men and women who are passionate about their field and know it well –who know they have something of great value to offer others – can’t seem to turn things around and have a truly profitable and well-run business.
There are usually many reasons and we won’t even attempt to cover them all in this article. The good news, however, is even if you see yourself in this list, you can overcome any of these traits and design a profitable business.
You can become a “business magnet” and attract the very customers who want and need what you offer! The essential requirement is to be honest with yourself. Check it out and see how you stack up.
1. You can’t make decisions. Making decisions doesn’t mean you need to make every single decision (we call that micromanaging), that you have to deliberate for hours over the ones you do make (called procrastinating). You do have to be able to make the call, one way or another, move that decision into action, and then deal with what happens as a result of that action, good or bad. In business, taking too long to make a decision on how to proceed means you lose the chance to proceed.
2. You won’t take responsibility. If you’re known among friends and family as the Master Excuse Maker, don’t open a business, at least not until you get a handle on being the one who doesn’t invent excuses but takes responsibility. The fun thing about being a business owner is that you get to be in charge; and the worst thing about being a business owner is that you have to be in charge—hence, the bottom line depends on you.
3. Your only motivation is money. You can certainly get rich as a business owner; many people have. Many (more) people have also lost money attempting to start and run businesses. If you aren’t in it for more than the money, you’ll find your motivation wavering. Building a successful business takes time, usually a long time. Failure is part of the process. You have to have an internal motivation, a desire to succeed, an intrinsic ambition or motivation that moves you forward even without the fat paycheck.
4. You swing between extremes. If your moods have two points on the psychological map, one being “extremely depressed” and the other being “unrealistically optimistic,” then you’re in for a rough ride as a business owner. The ability to keep an even keel will help you deal with the challenges you’ll face as a business owner. If a minor setback can take you down into depression, you might not be equipped to run a business. You’ve also got to be able to temper your excitement and enthusiasm and look at possibilities from a realistic angle.
5. You can’t overcome chronic disorganization. Do you have piles of paper on your desk, and can never find the one you want? Never quite got that filing system set up? Is it your habit to live in clutter and disorder and simply try to survive despite the problems it causes? Are you perpetually late paying bills because you don’t have an efficient system?
These dis-organizational habits can doom your fledgling business. No, you don’t have to be an alphabetized, color-coded, organizing wizard; you do have to be able to operate efficiently and do what needs to be done when it needs to be done.
6. You have no track record of completion. If your past is a manuscript of opening paragraphs without any conclusions, you need to step back from the business arena until you’ve proven that you can take an idea from initial spark to end result. Ideas are great, and they’re the food of innovation; but action that leads to results must be part of how you live, or your business will flutter, like you, from one great idea to another. A lack of completion means a lack of success.
7. You have no support system. Being a business owner is difficult, at best. If your friends scoff and your family isn’t supportive, you’ll be waging a lonely war against the forces of internal resistance. The economy isn’t going to reach out and pull your business up; you’ll have to deal with your own personal weaknesses as you take one step after another toward building a good business. If you don’t get the support needed from friends and family, don’t worry. There are plenty of passionate entrepreneurs out there to lend a supporting hand. Just make sure you find them and surround yourself with motivated, passionate people.
8. You are addicted to the familiar. It’s a whole new world in business. Marketing is changing, the economy is in turmoil, the way of business-as-we-know-it is shifting in terms of product demand, distribution, processes and technology every day. Pity the business owner who takes refuge in the comfort of what is familiar, because what is familiar is quickly becoming what is obsolete.
As a business owner, you have to be able to let go of the familiar and deal objectively and fearlessly with the new that will present itself to you every day.
9. You never set your own limits. Being a business owner is appealing to many because they get to be the boss. As a business owner, you’ll find that you need to put forth your own resolve, your own measure of discipline, your own rules, and then you’ll need to live by them. That doesn’t mean you have to do things traditionally. It means you have to identify and rein in your own unruly tendencies in order to get the job done and run a company that can sustain itself.
10. You don’t keep your word. Honesty is fundamental. Whatever may change in business, from marketing methods to product offerings, an essential requirement for any successful business is that it does what it says it will do. You can’t make promises and break them; you can’t offer products and fail to follow through; you can’t make guarantees and then conveniently forget them. Trust is integral to successful relationships between consumers and business, and you can’t build trust without honesty.
While this article sounds rather negative, there are solutions to each of these. Articles in the coming months will offer suggestions about positive business-building strategies. At the Business Magnet luncheon workshop every month, we actually address many of these issues along with others. So if you want to learn how to become a “magnet” for your business, join us – 3rd Thursday of each month at the Crowne Plaza Hotel. You can register at www.wncwoman.com.
If you would like more info on how to strengthen your business and become more profitable with less work, contact Saralyn Collins at email@example.com or 828-649-8011.