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Old 7th July 2011, 04:29 PM   #1
zman
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Default Passion Vs. Profit?

Hello All,
Love this site. As I review the posts, I see (more or less) two lines of the thought emerging. I know this is a generalization. One camp seems to say that a startup should be based on an evaluation of a market that has demand and is likely to pay money for the thing sold--i.e., market-driven. This makes sense. The other camp says to do something based first on your passions and interests, as you will be better at it and you will be more able to put in the blood/sweat/tears--i.e., passion-driven. This also makes sense to me.

Of course, I am not saying that both lines of thought are always mutually exclusive; however, in my case, I sort of have to choose one or the other.

I am currently an attorney (looking to bail) and have insight into a rather specialized field that I am fairly certain can bring in revenue. However, it bores the hell out of me.

On the other hand, I have various personal interests, and although I am passionate about them and they could generate some business, they are relatively obscure, and would take serious effort to "monetize" them.

My question is, to the extent I have to, which do I choose? I guess I could use the legal angle for a while, but doing that halfheartedly would probably doom me to failure. Further, if I really want to do something that I am interested in, I suspect that it would probably demand 100% of my attention to get it off the ground.

What do you all think? THANKS IN ADVANCE!

Z

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Old 7th July 2011, 09:52 PM   #2
Spider
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Ah! The eternal business question - passion or profit?!

Here's my take on it --

It is often supposed that our emotions are fixed and external - "This thing makes me feel happy." The "thing" (external) is what make us happy every time the thing is present (fixed.) "I like to walk along the beach, and every time I walk along the beach I feel happy." But it isn't the beach that has made you happy, nor the walking. You have chosen to feel happy when you are walking aliong the beach. Happiness - as any other emotion - is a choice.

In the original post, it is stated that a certain lucrative field bores you. The truth is, you have decided to feel bored whenever you engage this subject. Solution - choose otherwise. Decide that you will engage the lucrative field in such a manner that it enlivens and excites you.

Or, tackle the alternative - the thing you are already passionate about. If you are truly passionate about it, having to devote 100% of your attention would be exactly what you want. If you would rather spend less than 100% of your time on it, I must surely question how passionate you really are.

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Old 7th July 2011, 11:37 PM   #3
jgbreeden
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There has to be some of both. Obviously you have to be profitable, but if the passion is completely flat lined, then I don't know how you find the motivation for the amount of effort that it takes.

I think you either have to find a profitable business model on the things that are easy motivators, or you have to find another angle to the profitable idea that will keep you motivated.

Of course, making boatloads of money is pretty motivating too, but it will take a ton of effort before that point.

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Old 9th July 2011, 05:35 AM   #4
Spider
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jgbreeden View Post
There has to be some of both. Obviously you have to be profitable, but if the passion is completely flat lined, then I don't know how you find the motivation for the amount of effort that it takes...
I agree that the first consideration is to choose a business that can be profitable. Buggy whips are not coming back into style any time soon!

It might be easier to choose a business in which you already have some passion, but it is not impossible to develop a passion for something that doesn't particularly interest you at this time. Every person is different and every person has the ability to develop their own passion and motivation. These things do not come from outside, they are self-generated.

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Old 9th July 2011, 03:00 PM   #5
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Hi!

You stated:
I am currently an attorney (looking to bail) and have insight into a rather specialized field that I am fairly certain can bring in revenue. However, it bores the hell out of me.

Well.. that is an answer to profit. But if it bores the hell out of you, I wonder how long you would survive.

The big benefit you what is your credibility. Because of your past.. you could easily set yourself up as the expert in the field. That way, you would have people actually sending you business... because you would be the expert.

If you have the financial ability to 'ride out' the process, then follow your passion because that isn't work. It's fun!

Hope this helps! Good luck!

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Old 10th July 2011, 10:32 AM   #6
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You should try to combine both. Choose your passions and search the market about them and then decide what to start and what can be more profitable.

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Old 12th July 2011, 09:55 PM   #7
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Thanks everyone for the replies. I really appreciate your collective wisdom!
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Old 12th July 2011, 10:07 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spider View Post
If you are truly passionate about it, having to devote 100% of your attention would be exactly what you want. If you would rather spend less than 100% of your time on it, I must surely question how passionate you really are.
The point I was trying to make (albeit, not clearly) is that tackling the passion would probably not allow any left over "free" time to take advantage of the more lucrative option, even to use it as a "side" business to prop up the more interesting (but risky) option...which brings me back to the point of having to choose between them.

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Old 12th July 2011, 10:10 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spider View Post
In the original post, it is stated that a certain lucrative field bores you. The truth is, you have decided to feel bored whenever you engage this subject. Solution - choose otherwise. Decide that you will engage the lucrative field in such a manner that it enlivens and excites you.
I am a proponent of positive thinking, but some things are just plain boring, and to convince yourself otherwise is, well, just kidding yourself.


Last edited by zman; 12th July 2011 at 10:12 PM.
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Old 12th July 2011, 11:03 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zman View Post
I am a proponent of positive thinking, but some things are just plain boring, and to convince yourself otherwise is, well, just kidding yourself.
And thus you will stay bored with it. Only you can change it but if you have decided that you cannot, then you cannot.

As Henry Ford is reputed to have said, Those that say they can and those that say they can't, are both right.

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