Want to hear a big fat myth about making money? Here it is: Do what you love and the money will follow.
How many times have you heard that before? Is it true? I hate to burst your bubble, but no, it’s not. I love hanging out on the beach and I love skiing. I’m passionate about both, so if I decide to do them for the rest of my life, then I’ll take a collection from you, wonderful reader, so that you can support me doing what I love.
What do you think? Do you like the idea?
The Real Way to Make Money
No one is going to pay you to do what you love. Trust me – it’s the biggest myth in town. The only way to make money is to add value, or to make someone’s life better, easier or happier in some way. They’ll pay you to do what you love if it serves them.
That’s the reality of human nature. Now don’t get me wrong – you also have to love what you do to succeed; however, just because you love it, that doesn’t mean it’s necessarily commercially viable. I am fortunate to love what I do in my business, but it still has to serve other people.
I believe that only one percent of all people in business get this important lesson: The big key to making money is to find out what people want at a deep level, and then give them what they want.
Here is a Huge Secret to Making Money
One of the most successful advertising headlines of all time is: They laughed when I sat down at the piano but when I started to play…
So, what’s going on here?
The advertisement is obviously selling piano courses. They don’t say they have the best piano courses, but what they do infer is that you will be admired by all your friends. The advertisement was outrageously successful because it addressed the deepest desires of its readers.
This is vital to understand because it reveals the deepest reasons of why some people are able to make money and others perpetually struggle.
People didn’t buy a course on playing the piano, they bought the ability to be admired and respected. When someone takes up karate, is it because they want to be a karate master? Well, yes, it is; however the real question is why do they want that? The answer is probably because it makes them feel safe or confident.
This is what you have to address: the underlying reasons of why people buy. If you are able to do this with your product or service, and put that in all your marketing, you will be streets in front of the vast majority of business owners.
How This Applies to Investors
Imagine if you decided to do a renovation and paint all your walls bright purple, because you love bright purple. How many people out there love bright purple? When I ran my project marketing company I found many developers whose projects struggled because they built something they liked. This was the same with their marketing. They tried to sell the project by doing advertising they liked; not what the market liked.
This is a huge mistake that I see all the time.
Here is another way this happens in business. People often say something like this to me: “Brendan, I realize the business I’m in is wrong and I’m not passionate about it any more. I’ve got this new passion. I’ve decided that I’m going to grow cucumbers. I’ve got the most amazing cucumbers in the world. I’m going to unleash my cucumbers on the planet because everybody wants a cucumber.”
Trust me, the world is not on tenterhooks waiting for your cucumbers. The reality is, most people couldn’t care less about your cucumbers.
If I had a dollar for every person who has been indoctrinated with the, “Do what you love and the money will follow” mantra – those who were ready and willing to turn their backs on a good business, just because they weren’t feeling passionate about it anymore, I’d be an even richer man.
Research the Market: Give Your Passion a Reality Check
Whether it’s a new cucumber or a blue widget, why on earth would you turn away from a viable business without testing the idea first? Am I saying you shouldn’t be passionate about what you do? Of course not. Passion is important, but make sure it is something other people are as passionate about buying as you are providing.
Test it. Find out if somebody actually wants your cucumbers. Just because you’re passionate about cucumbers, it doesn’t mean anyone else will share your enthusiasm for them.
Let’s take a step back for a second and get a reality check. No one – I don’t care who they are or what they’re doing – no one loves what they do all of the time. We all have to do things we don’t want to – it’s called being an adult. I am fortunate to love what I do; however, I have a client who I have coached who is now quite rich.
He is about to sell his business for approximately $9,000,000 and he was never in love with it. Now he wants to find what he loves, and that’s okay. It’s also easier with $9,000,000 in the bank.
“Do what you love and the money will follow,” is a myth that’s only half true. It’s popular in new-age seminars or personal development reveries. While the idea is sound in principle, loving what you do is no sure-fire path to riches, any more than hating what you do is.
By all means, explore working in areas that interest you and move your business into areas you are passionate about, but only if you’ve done the research and you know there’s a market for it.
So what is the answer?
Discover what people want at a deeper level. Making money is about service. The key is to provide people with what they want – not necessarily what you want.