Business or Hobby - What Do You Have?

I recently ran across an article that included a quote we hear sometimes when it comes to starting and building a business, "Find something you love and money will flow". They make it sound so simple. But as many of you have probably learned, this is easier said than done.

Sure, passion for what you do is certainly an important ingredient. No one wants to spend their days, weeks and years doing what they hate. But if you can't make a living at it - or generate enough profit to create the income and lifestyle you want -- then you have nothing more than an expensive hobby.

A successful business, one with sustainable profit and personal income for YOU, requires consistent cash flow and a growing number of profitable customers that comes from products or services people want or need and a value proposition that is better than your competition.

Whether you are just getting started or looking to give your business a much needed boost, here are a few questions to consider:

  • Can I make significant money doing this? Will the business bring in enough cash to cover all the expenses, pay me what I'm worth, plus extra for long-term savings?
  • Can I make money consistently? Will it produce regular and predictable sales and cash flow?
  • Do you (or others you know) want this product or service, but can't find it? Or maybe current products or services don't provide the best solution?
  • When you discuss your business concept or model, do you find some people think it's great while others think it stinks? Sounds funny, but this can be a plus because niches are developed when small groups are passionate about what you do. You don't need the world to like what you do, just a small segment who are passionate.

If you are considering a new business or struggling with your current business, there is one more question you need to consider - do you want to be an entrepreneur or a technician. There is no right or wrong here -- it's a matter of personal preference, built on your goals and aspirations. So why is this important?

As a [designer], your primary focus is on mastering your craft. It's about doing what you do, well or efficiently. Of course, your personal income will typically be dependent on what or how much you can actually do.

As an entrepreneur or business owner, your focus is on building the systems to support what you do - so others can do some or all of it for you over time. It provides the flexibility to change as you and your business grow. Systems, in all areas of your business, are a key to sustainable growth and profit.

Building systems in your business is not difficult - I've done it with hundreds of small business owners. But it does take a commitment and time. However, it's important if you want more sales, profit, control and freedom from your small business.

By Joan Nowak
Photography by Yuri Arcurs

Joan Nowak is a Small Business Profit Builder, seasoned Business Coach, and creator of the Hybrid Coaching System for small businesses. For additional resources and ideas to grow your small business, visit While you are there, join her mailing list to get her monthly eNewsletter and receive a FREE copy of her eBook, Mastering the 7 Elements of Business Success.


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