This is the first time I am opening up on the subject of work here on my blog. There's a reason for this, I hate work! It sounds awful but it's a truth that anyone personally close to me knows very well. Work and I have a chemistry that very closely resembles that of oil and water. So how is it that I created a speech therapy company from the ground up, manage a group of therapists, handle a contract with the state of Arizona and ensure that my small business runs profitably and smoothly year in and year out? (Recently this probably has a lot to do with my awesome brother administrating it for me, thanks Sam!). The truth is that I have learned to enjoy developing and nurturing something that is entirely my own day in and day out.
One thing that didn't play a major role in starting my business was the level of passion I felt about my work.
Over and over I hear young people hoping that they will find their true passion or that they want their work life to revolve around what they are most passionate about. As if this magic word has everything to do with what makes people or a career successful. Here are a few reasons why I don't think passion was as important in my entrepreneur life as you may think and what I value more than passion for success.
Passion doesn't always translate to consistency
My passion is art but there's a small problem. Art takes a lot of practice, time and concentration. As a mom, alone time is basically a luxury. Also, I am an emotional painter who has sudden bursts of inspirational awareness and this is not something I can really force or evoke on my own. (Or at least I haven't been able to figure out how yet). My personal art methods make my passion an unlikely candidate for consistency. If your passion is similarly inconsistent, then maybe it should stay a hobby until you learn to keep it a consistent work.
Passion is fleeting
When I was a child I really wanted to be a teacher, then I grew a bit and wanted to be an astronaut slash astronomer, as teenager I knew I was going to become an archaeologist (or more specifically, an Egyptologist). You get the picture. Now I'm almost 30, and I would still love to be an Egyptologist or an amazing artist someday but only after heartily enjoying the gifts of being a mama. Life is constantly changing and with it passions also come and go. Don't embark on the costly journey of entrepreneurship if your passion is likely to change within the next year.
When you have a business model in mind, it should always include a valuable good that you can offer to the public. At Bloom & Speak, we offer speech-language pathology services. This is a service good that enriches our clients lives in a meaningful way. It provides them the invaluable good of communication. If people didn't value speech and communication interventions, Bloom & Speak would not be in business because frankly therapists don't work for free and it takes a lot of money to keep an operation like ours running. When you provide value to others, you create a circle of reinforcement between you (the creator of value) and your consumers (the ones who enjoy your goods). If you set this circle in motion from the very beginning, the energy it creates reinforces your commitment and dedication to your work. Round and round you go without it feeling like actual work.
Systems are Key
If you aspire to start your own business one day, you probably have already heard over and over the magic words. Business Plan! What you may not already know is that a business plan should include more than just a mission statement and financial goals. You need to include a system of operation - modus operandi. Essentially, you need to sit down and think about a system you can implement on the daily to keep your operation running (in the green hopefully) for years to come. Systems are what will help you keep things in order, so that you have enough time to meet your growth & financial goals. Your system should become almost second nature to you. Think of your daily routine as a system. You get up each morning, brush your teeth and take care of your hygiene basics before you have a sip of your coffee and then you are out the door. Do you consciously have to think about your morning routine every day or are you basically running on autopilot? If you were to skip this system one morning would you be able to get anything done at all that day? Probably not, or maybe you would plow through the day but how many days would you be able to keep this up? Not many. Systems are the key.
Thanks for reading guys and please comment below with any ideas you want to add on the subject. What's your MO?