Sorry for being offline for a few days on the blog end.  Sometimes things just come up.  I did actually hit my goal of 5 for the week, just not in the method I would choose.  Hopefully this will be nice and inspiring to make up for it.

Clearly business topics have been on my mind lately, for a variety of reasons.  With the upcoming move, it is likely that I will be finding a new employer unless the heavens align.  Which is fine with me, after five years in one place, it really is ceasing to challenge me at this point.  Having founded this community, I am discovering hundreds and thousands of people that share similar passions, many of them with small businesses of their own that are supporting themselves, and I want that for me.  On top of that, it’s spring, and I think everyone gets antsy for change in the spring.  Well, it’s spring in Arizona.  Sorry New England peeps that got 40″ of snow last night.  If it helps, I am jealous.

I am also not the only one going through this transition right now.  For every post I see about someone who has a small business up and running, I see at least one saying they want to start that, and they don’t know how.  While I admit that I am in that boat a little myself, I think that I have a good way of looking at this situation, and I can help.

I think we all get to this point.  We have been working for the Man for a long time, and something about it becomes annoying.  We don’t like the hours.  It’s not challenging enough.  We don’t like the people we work with.  The commute sucks.  Something.  It is impossible to work somewhere and be happy forever.  So the fact that we reach that point is unsurprising.

boredatwork

This is where people start to go wrong, and if it isn’t you, don’t worry about it.  We all know someone in this trap, so I am not calling out anyone in particular.

What is the first thing people often start thinking of when they get sick of the job they have?  Replacing the income.

Which makes sense.  No matter how homesteadarific you are, odds are good you need at least some money coming in.  So the fact that your mind goes there is at least understandable.  Except for one problem.  Whats the only reason you stayed at the job you hate as long as you did?  Money.  So you are about to take one slave driver and replace it with another.  That is either a good way to make yourself miserable, or quickly destroy a passion of yours.

Now I am not saying that money is evil or bad.  Money is a tool, just like a hammer or a gun.  In and of itself it is nothing.  It’s what we do with it that matters.  So what do we do?

Do what you love to do, and people will support you.  More importantly, if you are doing what you love, you will never hate your job.  How would you like to never need a vacation, because you love what you are doing?  So would I, which is why I haven’t started a business yet.  I love to write.  So I write a blog, and we wrote a book.  Neither of those things feels like work to me, because I love doing them.  I would assume that passions shows through, since I have gotten so much positive feedback.  This isn’t because I am an amazing writer, its just because writing brings me joy, and I like sharing it.  That’s why I can’t write when I am stressed or sad.  It would be an insult to my craft.

If you are the best in the world at something, no matter what that happens to be, you will make money with it.  So pursue your passions.  If you like doing something, you will naturally want to do it more often.  We call this practice.  The more you practice, the better you get.  Thus, given time, you will become better at it than anyone else.

So you might be thinking, that sounds great, and I really wish I could pull it off, but I just can’t.  I have a family and a mortgage.  I want to buy things at some point.  I have to do something just to make money whether I like it or not.  Well you don’t, and I can prove it.  The average household income in America is $42,000 a year.  For the sake of simplicity, lets use $50,000 to make the math easy.  How do we earn $50,000 a year?  We convince 1000 true fans of our work to give us $4 a month.

There is a principle called the Thousand True fans principle.  It basically looks like this.

truefans2

What do you have to do to earn $4 a month?  Sell one candle to somebody.  Sell one bar of soap.  Sell one copy of an Ebook (that is priced higher than mine).  Make one loaf of bread.  Sell a dozen free range eggs.  And do a really good job of selling yourself while you do it.  We live in a country where people shell out $7 a DAY on coffee.  You can convince someone you provide $4 worth of value in a month.

If you stop thinking of it like a $50,000 chunk, and start thinking of it as a $4 problem, you will automatically do a better job with it.  You won’t make stupid compromises and short cuts to make yourself more money because you think you have to.  You will be focusing on whats important, doing something you love.  Start with that.  Thanks to the glory of the internet, you can find 1000 people that are into whatever it is you do.  So stop worrying about what you think you need to do to succeed, and do what you love.  You will profit more in the end.

Advertisements