The story of AIS Solutions, the business behind this blog, is one that began through a mix of a twist of fate, the realization of financial necessity, and – most importantly, and above all else – a desire to follow my passion, to do what I loved and make a living out of it.
That last aspect is usually the deciding factor that drives most entrepreneurs to start their own business, to take what they enjoy doing in life and what they know the best, and build something from it. There are often other reasons involved, but the bottom line is that the majority of those who run their own business set out to do so because they were passionate enough about something to take a chance and start from scratch.
But one factor that many entrepreneurs consider just as important as doing what they love for a living is the idea of, to put it simply, getting rich off of it. Certainly it’s not the only appeal, but it can often be a main – or the main – driving force behind starting their own business.
These thoughts stem from an article written by Jeff Haden at inc.com from December 28 of last year. Entitled “One Test Every Entrepreneur Must Take”, it talks about the fact that there are often two options to choose from when deciding to go the do-it-yourself route and start your own business.
From the article:
“When you start a business you have two basic options:
Option 1: Start a business to hopefully do a lot less of what you don’t like and a lot more of what you love.
Option 2: Start a business that will (hopefully) generate significant income.”
Sadly, these two options tend to be mutually exclusive–unless what you love to do is grow a business.”
Is he right? That’s a tough question to answer, because there are no doubt countless examples of entrepreneurs who have successfully managed to do both, just as there are no doubt countless examples of entrepreneurs who have only managed to do one or the other.
Mr. Haden goes on to say:
“If you’re a chef and you open a 40-table restaurant, your success will always be limited by price, number of sittings, and a few other basic factors. Even in a best-case scenario you can only make so much money.
The only way to generate more income is to expand: more locations, more employees, more investment, more everything.
But most entrepreneurs don’t think that far ahead. The idea of following a passion is so exciting, and falling prey to the “I will be the one person who does what no one else can do” syndrome is so easy, that many entrepreneurs forget to do what I call the satisfaction math.”
He argues that most self-starters are so excited, so passionate about the idea of opening their own shop centered on their greatest passions and making a career out of it, that they fail to see the big picture. They’re too focused on their aspirations to think about the requirements to ensure the business they start sees enough successful growth to generate a significant amount of income, an amount that will easily cover overhead, employees, and their own take-home pay while still leaving them with a serious surplus.
It’s a completely understandable scenario, but, unfortunately, it’s also one that prevents a lot of entrepreneurs from achieving the dual goal of running their own business and, to put it in simple terms once again, getting rich off of it. If you’re considering going down this path and want to pursue your passions to the point of making a career out of them on your own terms, you need to ask yourself these kinds of questions first. You need to consider if you’re alright with not making a substantial amount of money if it means getting to do what you love every day. To put it in Jeff Haden’s own words:
Will I enjoy the satisfaction of my business (or career) enough that I will be happy with the income I can realistically expect to earn?”
The full article can be read here. It’s an extremely insightful read that I would strongly recommend for anyone who’s thinking about starting their own business, as it can help you do some serious and necessary thinking about how to move forward with your ambitions.
Are you thinking about putting your passions to full-time use and making a career out of what you love? Did you find this article helpful? Your feedback is always appreciated, so share your thoughts in the comments!