When you first hung out your shingle, you likely were thinking:
- “I can’t wait to get away from this awful job.”
- “I just want to be home with my kids.”
- “This dead-end job is going nowhere.”
- “I’m tired of working crazy hours and holidays.”
- “I know I’m worth more than they’re paying me.”
These and many, many other thoughts go through the heads of
every would-be business owner, and are often the driving force behind that
final, “I quit.”
But while they’re great for lighting a fire and inspiring you to make a scary jump to business ownership, they’re not so fabulous at motivating you to grow and improve. They won’t inspire you to increase your skills and raise your rates and be brave and authentic in your marketing. They won’t help you find the courage to hire a new employee or launch a brand new program.
To find the inspiration to make your business thrive, you have to identify the real why behind what you do. If you don't know what drives you, what you own is a job, not a business.
“Passion based” is a phrase that’s found a massive following
in the past few years, and seems to be the holy grail of entrepreneurial
adventures. And for business owners with a true passion for their field, it can
be a strong motivator.
Some business owners are passionate about a subject,
spending all their waking hours learning about the topic. Some are passionate
about a market, and would do anything to help their ideal client achieve his or
Whichever type of passion-based business owner you are,
learning to harness that passion will help take your business to the next
Maybe you want to retire at 40 to travel the world, or send your kids to an elite private school. Maybe you love fast cars, and dream of driving a brand new sports car. Maybe you dream of a lake house. Maybe you are responsible for caring for a parent or other relative.
Whatever your big dream, you knew you’d never make it while
putting in time at the day job. While everyone seems to go on and on about
those passion-based dreams, the truth is there’s nothing wrong with wanting
financial fulfillment. Money is a necessary tool. We need it, and the more we
have, the easier life is. And wanting more of it is nothing to be ashamed of,
as long as you maintain your integrity and authenticity in pursuit of it.
Plenty of online business owners go into business so they
can have more to give. You’ve no doubt heard of—or maybe even know—marketers
who use their earnings to fund mission trips, build schools in war-torn, third
world countries, and support a variety of charities at home and abroad. Others
use the time freedom they’ve built into their business to volunteer with local
hospitals, animal shelters and children’s organizations.
If you have a heart for a cause, a philanthropic why might
be the driving force that takes your business to the next level.
To find your own why, consider your biggest dreams. If money were no object, what would you be doing? Don't just think about it - write it down and go after it!
To your success!
P.S. If you are a small business owner (or want to be one), whether you are just starting out, or have been in business for awhile, I hope you will become part of the Next Level family. Visit our Facebook page for tips, tools, and resources to help grow your business. We also have a Facebook Group, Next Level U, for those who are interested in joining a private community of small business owners and marketers.
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Laura Olson-Oxley is an entrepreneur, coach, speaker, marketing and business consultant, and sales professional. She has over 25 years experience working with small businesses in a variety of industries, focusing on strategic business growth through effective marketing and advertising. Also a strategist, numbers nut, project manager, and life-long learner, Laura looks at the big picture to analyze and recommend the most effective tools to take businesses to the Next Level.