Making money out of something you enjoy doing

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This is a question that has been going round my head a lot this week. Lots of people spend a lot of money on the things they are interested in or enjoy doing. I now want to take my passions and the things I enjoy and work out how to make money out of them.

Don’t get me wrong I don’t need the money and I enjoy my job and am not looking at replacing my job, I just have an urge at the moment to see if I could make money out of something I love. Sometimes I think it will be really hard to do it, because I am in to a lot of niche things and I know many others have struggled to draw a profit doing businesses around them, but for some reason it doesn’t stop me from wanting to try.

Figuring things out

If I could run a business doing something I love and not lose money, even that would be amazing. Anything I do, I am not going to risk money or do something which requires spending a lot of money up front, but I do want to do something. It is now just a battle in my head to figure out, what people that have similar interests as me want and what they would spend money on.

I know a lot of people who are running small businesses and following their passions. Some of whom have a lot of trade but little to no profit, but I am in awe of those people who are trying to do something and make something happen. Making your time pay is a very hard thing to do but it would be a nice feeling to know I was doing something I love but getting paid for it at the same time.

In no hurry

It’s going to take a while but I am in no rush and I believe one day that I will get there. Not many businesses are overnight sensations and with not wanting to put

Help yourself – don’t hurt others

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One thing I have come across in the last week is how competitors in a marketplace will sometimes, instead of trying to improve themselves will try and harm their opposition. I think it is such a childish and immature way of behaving, your actions may do what they intend and harm your opposition but only at the price of harming yourself, which is very bad business.

Growing your business

If you are passionate about growing your business and developing your product, all of your time should be spent on it. Any time spent trying to harm your opposition is time wasted and a missed opportunity to further and improve what you are doing. When you try and harm your opposition, it also looks unprofessional to anyone watching on and your motives will be there for everyone to see.

By trying to hurt someone else you make your entire industry look bad. If you are a small and growing industry, this is something you cannot afford to do. It is this sort of behavior that puts people off getting involved in and supporting your industry.

Don’t react

If someone is trying to hurt you the key thing is to not react in a negative way to them. If you don’t stoop to their level or get involved with it, then eventually the people doing it will either get bored or people will turn on them. The worst thing you can do is react, as it will only keep it going longer and make you look as bad as them.

If you want your business and industry to be taken seriously you have to act like a professional at all times. You have to be the business and industry you want to be, even if you aren’t at that stage yet.

Just like you

There will be many people like you in your line of work, people with the same dreams, motivation and ambition as you. If you weren’t competing, you would probably get on. So my advice for this week is – don’t try and hurt someone that is just trying to do the same thing as you, if you care passionately about what you do, don’t ruin it for someone else.

Competition can be a great thing if it is used correctly, as it can make better products, brands and businesses, so you should crave competition. Just crave winning and not wanting other people to lose, just because it is a competition it doesn’t mean that more than one person can’t win.

Why do people need to listen to you?

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This is a question I wrestle with a lot professionally and personally. What makes, what you have to say important enough, that people should listen to you? If what you say is important enough that people should listen, why aren’t they?

Regardless of your position, background, experience and intelligence, most people at some point in their life have an opinion or an idea that they think will improve something in the world around them but no one will listen. When no one listens to what you have to say, you can become very bitter, very quickly. When people won’t listen, there aren’t enough people who will keep on fighting to get their voice hard.

Frustration

It can be very frustrating when people don’t listen to your ideas in the workplace. One thing you have to remember though, is that there are probably many people in the organisation with different ideas and that just because you might think your idea is the best, it doesn’t necessarily mean it is the best. It is so easy to get blinkered in to thinking that you know everything and know what is best but it is important that you try not to.

It is also very easy to start thinking that you are the only person with the idea you have in your head and that no one else has ever had that idea or one similar. The reality with most thoughts is that others will have already had them before you or at least ones very similar.

Research

When I have an idea, the first thing I do is research it. See if anybody else has had success with it and then really think about the idea from all sides to make it the best idea possible and turn that idea in to a plan.

There is a phrase that actions speak louder than words; I think you need to apply this school of thought if no one is listening to your idea. Can you do a small trial or experiment of your idea to show people in a tangible way what can happen if they used your idea. In todays world people seem to need numbers and evidence to believe an idea will work, so it is up to you to get those things.

Listening

Companies need to do a lot better job at listening to ideas from all levels of staff, as sadly at the moment too many only listen to consultants or managers. This is a hard dynamic to change and you can’t do it by yourself overnight. Until it does change the only thing you can keep on doing is trying to prove that your ideas are better than others. If they still don’t want them after that, then put them in front of a different audience that might want them.

People need to wake up to the fact that ideas can be birthed in anyone, you don’t have to be an expert, a consultant or manager to have an idea that could change the way a company does business.

Are businesses ruining the name of crowdfunding?

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Over the last year I have grown quite tired of seeing companies and businesses asking their fans to bail them out of bad financial positions and using crowdfunding as their vehicle to do this.

Crowd funding websites and services, like Kickstarter and Crowdfunder, have led this growth market, that sees people pledging money to support projects and ideas that they are passionate about:

https://www.kickstarter.com/

http://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/

I think these services are great for people or organisations that don’t have the resources to accept their own donations and have no other way of raising money. I love going on these sites and seeing people trying to gain support for ideas they are passionate about, people that are trying to make something happen and aren’t letting their dreams or ideas go to waste.

Crowdfunding to save a business

The one thing I detest though, is when I see established businesses who have fallen on hard times who use crowdfunding just to stay afloat. These organisations ask their customers, supporters and fans who have paid in to their organisation for years by consuming their products or services, to then hand over even more money, just for the privilege to continue paying for their products or services.

These businesses, when they ask to be bailed out by supporters are normally ran and owned by people, who have a better quality of life and are in more privileged positions than the people they are asking to put their hands in their pockets. In these situations they are asking for more loyalty from their supporters, but yet these supporters haven’t been treated with any loyalty by the business.

It would be one thing if the business asking for money were offering you the chance to fund something tangible, like a new building or a new scheme but to simply say we have run our organization badly, have got ourselves in to debt and now want you to pay it off is staggeringly poor. If I were to get myself in to debt, I couldn’t set up a crowdfunding page asking members of the public to pay off my debt that I incurred through poorly managing my finances.

Abusing loyalty

I also take a dislike to when social media campaigns start up saying something along the lines of save our organisation, club or company. The way to have save it would have been to run it better in the first place, the horse has already bolted on the easiest way to save it.

If you are a for profit company, you should live or die on the strength of your business and your plans. As a business you shouldn’t let yourself get in to a position where the only thing that can save you is the public’s generosity.

Charities – the original crowdfunders

If you are looking for the public’s generosity to survive, you should be running a charity not a business. Charities are the original crowdfunding platform and have been doing crowdfunding even before anyone had the term crowdfunding. That’s why I love charities and happily donate to them, as by donating you are supporting a cause that you feel passionately about and are doing something to help that cause. You give, knowing that your money is going to fight a battle that can’t be supported in any other way and that the organisation aren’t just using your investment to generate profits for people.

I would implore crowdfunding services to stop businesses using this source of moneymaking to get them out of financial problems. I would also like to implore the businesses themselves to look at other ways of raising capital to get themselves out of trouble, rather than take money away from projects and ideas that could really do with the support.

Support

If you have the spare money and you feel the urge to crowdfund something, please go on to one of the many crowdfunding sites that are out there and find something that inspires you to support. By doing this you can make sure your money is going to help make someone’s dreams come true and that you are investing in something new that you want to see happen, done by someone that couldn’t make it happen in any other way.