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On Doing What You Love

There is a commonly held nugget of wisdom that says “Do what you love, and the rest will follow.” Frankly, it’s always been one of my favourite phrases. In fact, I’d say it comes close to being a mantra for me. Who wants to spend a third of their life or more doing something that they can’t even feel a passion for?

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While this doesn’t refer specifically to entrepreneurship and starting a small business, it’s most definitely how I’ve always taken it. My own business is an extension of one of my interests. I’ve been lucky (or perhaps stubborn) enough to be able to make a buck at it.

However, there are several business books I’ve read recently that hasten to warn the budding entrepreneur against doing that very thing. One example that comes to mind immediately:

You Need to Be A Little Crazy by Barry Moltz says it straight out: “Be very careful about starting a business to pursue a hobby you love. Very few people can make a living from a their hobby or a favorite interest. I cringe sometimes when I ask people why they started a particular business and they say, ‘Well, I love to eat out, and I always wanted to own a restaurant.’ I tell them that they can have a lot of fun keeping their day job and eating at restaurants instead of starting one!”

Sometimes, in this age of information overload, it can seem like we’re bombarded with advice – pro and con – about just about everything, but particularly about how to start or run a business (at least, that’s how it seems to this entrepreneur!).

My personal advice: listen to all of it, remember some of it, ignore most of it. And go with your gut.

What do you think?

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