Would you prefer to listen to this week’s article? If so, click here to listen.
Everywhere we turn, we’re told “do what you love and the money will follow” or “follow your passion”. Reality however, tells us that being passionate about our mission or simply doing what we love isn’t enough.
If it were, over 80% of all business endeavors would succeed rather than fail. After all, small business owners typically go into business because they love what they do and they want to make a difference. And yet, according to the U.S. Small Business Administration, over 63% of those same passionate, doing-what-they-love business owners are out of business within 5 years.
Here are just a few of the reasons:
- The business owner knows how to do “the thing” she does and may even do it exceptionally well, but doesn’t understand marketing or understands it yet isn’t consistent about it and so doesn’t earn the trust of those contemplating doing business with her.
- The business owner is so focused on getting new clients for “the thing” she does that she neglects current customers and clients, giving them a less-than-stellar experience.
- The business owner is seduced by programs and products which focus on everything but what she needs most — a consistent stream of recurring customers and clients — thus taking her time, energy and money.
So what’s our business owner to do? She’s working her butt off, yet not seeing the results she so desperately wants. She used to have passion and now she’s wondering if she’s lost it and should take a program to tap back into it (hint: she shouldn’t).
What she should do is take an objective look at what she’s been doing:
- to bring in new clients and customers
- to keep existing clients and customers happy
- to stay relevant and on top of what her community wants and needs from her
Note that I stress the word “objective” above. So often we think we’re doing much more than we actually are, especially when our business is our passion.
“Objectively” reviewing something means looking at that which are real, which can be proven. For example:
- how many new subscribers joined your list
- how many communications did you send out (whether audio, video or written)
- how many “reach out” activities have you performed
- how many offers have you made
You get the idea. These are things which can be tracked. . .no guessing or assuming necessary. Think of it as an audit of your business practices.
Does this mean you forget about passion and fulfillment? Absolutely not!
Passion is what keeps you motivated, what keeps you inspired and what keeps you going when otherwise you’d stop. Passion is important to your business, but it’s one piece of the equation:
Passion + Consistent Action + Ability to Adapt = Results
My Request to You
If you’re like most business owners you’ve spent at least part of the last 30 days planning for the new year. But have you done a “business practice audit” of the type described above?
Have you asked yourself the hard questions and looked for the hard support to back up your answers?
And before anyone has a fit, let me assure you that I believe passion is important in anything we do. However, passion, no matter how ardent, without the business and marketing practices to back it up, will, sadly, make your business yet another failed statistic. It’s avoidable. The choice is yours.