I learned in my youth that following my passion for a business venture wasn’t the best idea. I was really interested in mycology in my younger years. This is a fancy way to say an unhealthy obsession of growing organic mushrooms and vegetables. I was certain that if I could grow organic mushrooms in my apartment, I could easily sell them no problem, make big bucks, and become a millionaire eventually. One thing I didn’t think about was who on earth would want to buy these mushrooms? I figured they would sell themselves; well, nothing sells themselves (except vices).
This was a labor of love project, which I enjoyed every minute of with my partner. However, I rarely could find customers. None of the local markets would give me the time of day. So I backed out of it, stopped wasting my time and money on this project and shifted ideas. My friend continued this “business” and has made a grand total of $50, not this week, not this month, but this entire year.
Most of us will never find that “high end” market, because it is difficult and requires a bit of start up money that most of us don’t have to get there. It is possible to work your way to that kind of market however. The best thing to do is combine your “labor of love” to have mass market appeal. I started offering a service, which millions offered. My pay wasn’t high at first, or even respectable, but 100 dollars a week, is far better than 50 for half a year.
I knew I was on the right track here, and that I was doing something right. Not only is this something that I loved to do, but it had mass market appeal. However, I wasn’t making the money I needed to make in order to survive. In this case, I had two options; crank out as much work as possible, for pennies, or find another way, the “sweet spot”.
The sweet spot in this case occurred when I started taking more pride in my work. I stopped taking crap assignments, stopped doing work for free and started holding myself to a higher standard that I knew I was capable of. Of course, it helped that during the “mass-market” phase, I built up a reputation that I was worth paying for quality work. I reached this “sweet spot” when I started providing my services at a quality that was much higher than everyone else.
My ultimate goal is to reach the high end market, which will take work, however I am on the right path now. This improvement to me in one month, I didn’t work harder, I worked smarter. I could have the best shitake mushrooms in the world, but if Wal-Mart is selling them for 90% less than what I can sell them for, I’m not going to make a dime. If your passion is something that is in demand, then it is very possible to succeed in it!
You situation may be different, but I believe these aspects can be applied to any start up business.