95% of all new businesses fail within the first 5 years of starting for numerous reasons but one of the most damaging reasons that condemns a new business to failure even before the business has ever begun comes down to your intentions.
A lot of people start their own business to make more money, to have more freedom, to do what they love or live their dream and there is nothing necessarily wrong with that. I mean that’s what we would all want right?
The problem comes though when you put your intention and your own needs ahead of providing value to your market place.
The market place doesn’t care whether you’re living your dream, loving what you do, whether you’re making money or anything else. All they care about is what you can do for them. How can you solve their problem? What value can you provide them with?
Chase Needs, Not Money
One way to ensure you don’t make money is to keep chasing money. I’m not saying you shouldn’t be looking to increase your income or set goals to become financially free, what I’m saying is that if your primary intention is only make money then you’re in for a struggle.
I’ve been in that situation numerous times where I was desperate to make money and so started a new “project” but then things didn’t go to plan, the money was too slow to come and so I jumped ship and was back to square one, lost at sea.
When you start a business and require it to produce an income straight away you’re probably not giving it a fair chance of survival.
I suspect there are many entrepreneurs out there that jump from idea to idea, never really putting in the necessary time and effort without pay to create a successful business.
They just never engage in the process long enough to see results because their results are purely measured by money and if they don’t see it quick enough they lose motivation to continue any further.
When you’re too focused on needing money or wanting to make money then you’re often blinded to whether or not your product or service is really fulfilling a need, solving a problem or adding value to the customer.
You’re not really thinking about your customers’ best interest but only how much money you can make from them.
Instead if your primary focus was on providing value and solving problems then you would attract all the money you want.
If your primary focus was on providing value and meeting needs you would probably stick with your business ideas a lot longer too.
Doing What You Love Doesn’t Always Work Out
I started selling custom built laptops at a time when IBM decided there was not enough money left in computer hardware. I should have been sensible and realized that the numbers just wouldn’t add up but I wanted to live my childhood dream and do something I thought I would have loved.
Whilst I felt immense pride at telling people I have my own brand of laptops I hated everything else about it. I was a prisoner to my company and had no life. I made the naive decision to compete on price against large multinational companies and got my ass whooped!
My low pricing model meant I was barely making a good income for working 16 hours a day, 7 days a week. It meant I attracted a particular type of low quality customer that gave me nothing but stress and hassle.
Oh and that other thing…I hated the business model of the electronics industry. Whilst I loved consuming the latest technology I hated being the one producing it.
In the end I was left with $70,000 of debt and bad credit.
If my business failed for one reason it would be that I hated being a prisoner to it and self-sabotaged to get out of it.
Sometimes that can be the danger. If a person who loves painting has to paint to make money then their whole dynamic about it can change. If things don’t go well they could begin to resent painting and lose their passion for it.
If there is something that you love doing so much that you would do it for free, then maybe continue doing it for free and don’t bring money and business into the equation.
Sometimes doing what you what you love doesn’t work out because whilst you may be able to create a job or income for yourself you may find it hard to create a viable business or real wealth from it. You may also just find that you don’t like the actual business of doing what you love like I did.
How To Do What You Love Successfully
I absolutely believe that if you’re going to be spending 8 hours a day or more on a business it should be doing something you love so how can you make sure you do it successfully?
Don’t let your passion blind simple business logic. Make your decisions based on the numbers not your heart.
You also must make sure there is a real need for what you want to do. Are others people doing what you want to do and are they doing it successfully?
For instance don’t open up a hip hop clothing shop where hip hop music and culture is non-existent. It doesn’t matter how much you love it, there will just be no need for it.
Can you do it better, faster or cheaper than the competition?
Is there scope for scaling the business to a global market? The bigger your market the more chance you’ll be able to succeed.
So do what you love but think about it as a real business, no an interest, passion or hobby. The business comes first, the rest comes after.
If I had based my decisions on the “electronics business” rather than my love for technology I probably would have done something different, but related.
You’ll Love Providing Value
When you focus on providing real value as your primary intention then you’ll begin to love what you do, make money and dare I say even live your dreams.
When you focus on enhancing the lives of others, people will love your products and services and will let you know.
The highlights of any of my past business ventures have been when I’ve seen growth, increased sales and especially those awesome thank you emails from customers letting me know how much they love my product or service. When you get to that stage you’ll love what you do, it’s difficult not to when you see the positive impact you’re making in the lives of your customers.
Now just to be clear I’m not saying you shouldn’t think about making money or doing something you love. You should absolutely live your dream life.
However when it comes to business, it pays to think about what you can give first rather than what you’ll gain.
So what’s the primary intention of your business? You stand a better chance of it being successful if you start with the primary intention of providing value.