... will it really?
Small business owners are usually encouraged to follow their dreams and start a business in a field they are passionate about.
Making money is assumed to be a natural or logical consequence of hard work and enthusiasm. But does doing what you love necessarily mean that you should take that next step and become a small business owner?
Some people find that while they possess the core technical expertise to deliver a product or service, running a business and doing so successfully is an entirely different proposition. Romantic ideals of mastering one’s craft and honing skills can easily be abandoned in the face of demanding deadlines, divergent customer expectations around quality and innovation, and the rigours of administration (e.g. managing employees, keeping an eye on the business’ finances).
It may take a while for the income of small business owners to match or exceed their previous earnings; in some instances, small business owners may end up permanently earning less than if they worked for someone else. There are many possible reasons for this, but a common mistake is failing to align one’s talents and interests with what people (customers) want, need and are willing to pay for.
Another common mistake is lack of perspective – enjoying something does not make one good at it; and on the other hand, there may be a tendency to undervalue one’s own work because of altruistic notions of fulfilling one’s life purpose and giving back to society. Finally, prospective small business owners still need to do their research, build up networks, find ways to differentiate themselves from their competitors, and do all the other fundamental things required to build a sustainable business.
Doing what they love does not absolve small business owners from the need to be structured and strategic in their approach. Instead of taking the leap and becoming a small business owner, there are other ways to make money doing work one enjoys.
Maintaining a full-time job and being self-employed after hours is one, as is playing more of an intrapreneurial role in one’s current job. Volunteering will not make one cash-rich, but may yield a wealth of experiences and contacts that could come in handy at a later stage.