Last Updated Apr 26, 2011 12:55 PM EDT
She's right, of course, in this sense: Just because you love something doesn't mean you can make a business or a living out of it. On HBR.org, Dorie Clark gives us four reasons to think twice before creating a vocation out of an avocation.
- "You love it, but you're not great at it."
- "You're too emotionally attached."
- "No one will pay for it."
My friend, an avid fly fisherman, got it in his head to open a store devoted to serving these passionate sportsmen and women. His location was great -- not an Orvis in sight to compete with. He knew the equipment backward and forward. He had work experience in retail, although not on the management side. And he had enough cash and two investors to fund his startup for at least two years.
But what he didn't have was an innate sense of how cash flow works, or any inclination that he should bone up on the subject. Running a small business without positive cash flow is like a doctor trying to keep alive a patient whose vital signs are failing one by one. The flatline is not long in coming.
It turns out my friend had a great business, which he discovered after he sold out to one of his investors -- someone who had his own passion to grow a small business using proven business principles. My fishing buddy was skilled as his passion, but hated the work around it.
Have you talked yourself out of following your passion? Are you still happy you did?
- Meaning Is the New Money? Really?
- Graduates: Go Ahead And Do What You Love
- Readers Find Time for Creative Sabbaticals