Have you ever heard or read a question like this before?
I’ve read and heard this a hundred times. Instead of getting tired of it, I try to seek the answer. I read a lot of books and articles about Billionaires out there. You name it! Bill Gates, Richard Branson, Warren Buffett, Ray Dalio, etc. And I do it for myself!
Yes, I’m also one of those people who have such questions, just like other people out there who want to have more money for themselves. And I think it’s normal. We all want the same thing—to be comfortable (read: as rich as Warren Buffett or Bill Gates, of course!), right?
So, here’s what I found…
1. NEVER follow your passion!
That’s right, I said DON’T. I believe that “You should follow your passion.” is a piece of really bad advice. We’re told that we should do something that we love the most to be fulfilled. Take a look at hashtag #entrepreneurship in Instagram or Pinterest, you’ll find your timeline flooded with quotes and mantras that your passion can make you feel content about yourself. And if you go to bookstores, self-help shelves are full of books promising us to find our true calling in life by doing what we are passionate about the most—thing that wakes us up early in the morning.
But I beg to differ. Here’s why.
The idea of following your passion to feel fulfilled comes from dissatisfaction in life, especially professional discontent. But in truth, it would be wise for you not to follow that thought. Instead, start asking the question:
Is it possible for me to make a living from the thing that I’m most passionate about?
The most answer is no. If you really have a burning desire to start your own business or change roles/professions, you need to know what passion means first. Passion is defined as any powerful emotion or feeling or an instance or experience of strong love. To put this into perspective, think for a moment about what you’re truly passionate about. What would you love to do right now if time and money is not an object?
You can list travel as your passion. You think you can be a writer/photographer/blogger as long as it is related to travel. But in reality, this industry is already oversaturated with those professions. How do you make an impact? Try a Google search for a travel blog, you’ll get over 3.32B results.
You are going to need a very specific niche and a very unique point of view to make a dent in that universe. It’s not impossible to make a business in an already crowded industry like that. But before you jump with head first, try to do it as your side hustle. Track and measure everything you do. See where it goes.
The rule of thumb is: If it’s not making any revenue then it’s a hobby, not a side hustle or a side business. So, figure that part out before you get started.
2. Don’t do any easy and affordable business to start
I have an aunt that works as a seamstress. Together with her husband, they own a tailor shop in their hometown. They’re both great and well-known there. It has been running for more than 30 years. My aunt and uncle could send their children to universities thanks to the business－the tailor shop. Even though my aunt can make about IDR 10-15 Million (equal to $700-$1,000) take-home pay per month, their business doesn’t make them rich. It’s just enough to make an almost-decent living.
And her daughter — my cousin — with her husband build a furniture business empire, where they exported hand-carved teak wood furniture from Central Java (Indonesia) to the US and EU. They’re VERY RICH because of that.
They have hundreds of employees, big workshops and warehouses. They have fancy houses and cars. You name it.
But they didn’t start it easily. When they got married, they were pretty broke. Barely can make a living from their startup-back-then furniture business. They have to live in the same house with my aunt and uncle, together with their first daughter.
Do you see why my aunt and her daughter businesses outcomes are so different? My aunt does what other people in their hometown can do—sewing clothes. And my cousin with her husband does what other people in their hometown cannot do — exporting furniture worldwide.
Your capital investment should be much higher than what most people in your business category can afford, and it should be in an industry that very little can understand. This is where you can become an expert. And in turn, it can help you to become a rich person.
3. Turn MAKING MONEY as your ultimate “passion”
To create a multi-million dollar business, your first and foremost “passion” should be making money. You “just have to”:
- Concentrating on “the numbers game”—as in margins;
- Lowering your costs; and
- Maximizing profits.
Those should be our “passions” in any business. The universal language of business is money. That’s where we should be passionate about.
Because, without those being our primary focus, no matter what businesses we’re in, we will just end up owning our job — and not a profitable business.
To this very day, I still do side hustling. My husband and I not only building one business but two businesses going to three! It’s because our passion is to make money as much as possible in order to do good deeds in the future. We always hold on tight to a principle:
We have to be rich first before doing some charity projects.
How about you? Do you still want to pursue your so-called passion? Well, good luck!