My fairly recent article, “motivations for starting an online business“, had received an interesting question because I quoted a line from a book, and this view was questioned.
I’m never a person to suppress a good question and by looking further at the article, there is definitely some room for ambiguity so rather than simply just replying to the comment I decided to write a whole article about it. I’d actually like to thank Andrew Warner, before I get started, for allowing me to expand on this idea. It is definitely one core part of the article that left a lot to the imagination….
The Doing What You Love Question
Andrew Warner of Shadeofinfo.com was kind enough to comment on this article about motivation.
Andrew does summarise points I agree with based on this rather throwaway statement by Kevin Duncan.
The truth about work
In life, how often do you do what you love? I think you may find that in life there are a lot of points where life is just a grey grind of gruelling work.
With online business I would also agree that on the most part, you may have to chase your customer and find something they are buying in order to optimise your return. This may not necessarily take you in an area you are comfortable, or enable you to stake yourself in something you love.
So is this statement completely useless? Defunct?
How about an alternative
In Andrew Warner’s view you don’t necessarily create a niche or sub niche for business in an area you love.
When does “doing what you love” best apply?
Often, it doesn’t matter how much competition there is for something as long as you bring your passion and enthusiasm to it.
Google as a search engine came a long time after the traditional search engines started, and through simplicity and a change in the game, cleaned the clock.
Red Bull came to Formula 1 seemingly from nowhere (with a hunk of Austrian energy beverage money) and Sebastian Vettel stormed to victory 4 times against the established big teams. This was no less impressive than the Brawn team steaming to victory with Button behind the wheel. The Brawn team later became the Mercedes team and once again, the silver arrow is set to demolish the opposition this year in rude form, at time of writing I’m not sure which driver will be holding the trophy.
What do all these companies share in common?
They do what they love. They are committed to the win. They have “form” from past victory and they carry this into everything new that they do.
So this redraws loving what you do into loving the process. It’s going to be poop at times but because you are interested in the process and passionate about your work, you are more likely to stick with it.
Are there examples of loving the process?
There certainly are. Pat Flynn is a good architect of such winning processes and you can see the attention to detail that he lavishes into his niche projects. His most recent niche site dual (2.0) challenge comes in the form of Foodtruckr.com. It is a site he has built from the ground up, starting with absolutely no knowledge of foodtrucks other than from being a customer. Whilst Pat may have no particular love of the food truck industry, he has a passion (love) for helping people and providing useful information and he has been able to create a minimum viable product (something he can sell) to fulfil the monetary aspect of the site. His creation of Foodtruckr also feeds his nichesitedual site and in turn provides even more ammunition for people to take out hosting through his Bluehost affiliate links. Through linking up all of his activities he has created a powerful engine for cash income.
The important point that Kevin Duncan made about “doing what you love”
In doing what you love, you are able to maintain forward momentum during the hard times, and there will be hard times where your motivation will be challenged by the lack of results.
If you have a love for what you do, you are more likely to override these setbacks.
As Andrew Warner argues, you could potentially find that what you are doing is far from what you love, but is paying the bills. As I have redefined, loving the process enables you to perform any task with resilience as long as you love what you are doing and have faith in the journey.
Is there something to voids of interest?
The problem with niches are that if you go too obscure, your target audience is very limited. Whilst this is great for an enthusiast who has no aim to reap monetary divination, its terrible for a bandolier wearing entrepreneur. If the target words you are trying to rank for barely raise a whimper then you are probably on for a bit of a dull time. Your options might include waiting around until the area matures (in which case you are able to claim a historical advantage) or you might need to diversify into some more productive rankings which may ultimately steer you off course and make your effort a mixed bag.
So if you are a fan of tiddlywinks, it is quite likely that you will not become a storm in the Entrepreneur front if you try to market this aggressively.
A short checklist:
- You’ve got to make sure what you love has an audience (because in business, you need to fill seats, wrestle tigers and take names)
- You’ve got to make sure that audience wants to buy something (or can be persuaded by skilful artistry)
- It is important that what you do is not diminished by doing it as a job (the hobby to income threshold is something to consider) because sometimes by over producing you may take the shine off something you enjoy and you won’t find out until you try the conversion.
- You should trial how many potential posts you could write about the topic, less than 50 and you may struggle to keep this going.