How to experience true fulfillment in your business
I have always loved business and since 2006, I’ve been doing business. I started doing business on the side as I had a full-time job. I tried my hands on many different businesses, many of which failed.
My primary motivation for going into business in the early years was money. I wanted to make more money to achieve financial freedom. Now, while making money is still important, it is not always the primary motivation for me again. Now, I go into business to do things I love, to learn, and to serve.
Looking back to my experience trying my hands on different businesses, I’ve now found that you’re more likely to fail in business if you’re working in a business you don’t love. You’re more likely to get frustrated if you’re working with people you don’t like.
Now, when I teach others that are looking to start a business, I tell them to first start with their passion. You’re more likely to put in more effort if you’re running a business that lights your passion. You’re more likely to hang in there a little longer even during tough times.
One of the businesses I run is a chess event promotion business. We run chess events and tournaments by bringing lovers of the game together to compete for a prize. This is a classical example of a passion business as I love the game of chess. When I work on this business, it’s hard to tell if I’m working or playing. However, this business lacks one of the components required for success.
So, what is lacking?
In an article by Michael Hyatt, he writes that job satisfaction requires three components:
- Passion: This is where it begins. What do you care about? What moves you? What problems do you want to solve or issues you want to address? If your heart is not in your work, you have a job but not a calling.
- Proficiency: Passion alone is not enough. You have to be good at what you do. Being good enough will not give you the satisfaction you desire. You have to excel at your craft and be awesome. Mastery is the goal.
- Profitability. To enjoy a successful career, people must be willing to pay you for what you do. You don’t have to get rich, but there must be a market for your product or service. Otherwise, your career is not sustainable.
As Michael writes, if you have all three of these components, you can experience genuine career satisfaction which is at the intersection of all of these three components as illustrated in the figure below:
Anything short of these three components intersecting perfectly will lead to something other than true job satisfaction.
- If you have passion and proficiency without profitability, you have a hobby. Many people that work in the Not-For-Profit sector will fall into this category. They have the heart to serve using the skills they’ve been blessed with but end up overworked, stressed, and unable to pay their bills. My chess business fits into this category. The business fulfills my passion and I’m good at running these chess events as we’ve now become the top chess event organizer in Canada in two short years since starting this business. What is lacking is profitability. In my opinion, passion gets in the way of profitability. Although the margins are small, with some creativity and better focus, there is potential to make this business profitable.
- If you have passion and profitability without proficiency, you have failure. You can fake it in the short-term but in the long-term, your lack of proficiency will be exposed. You will struggle to get hired, or simply be flushed in the next round of layoffs.
- If you have proficiency and profitability without passion, you have boredom. This was my story in the latter part of my career where I had the proficiency and had decent pay but was bored as the job did not fulfill me intellectually or otherwise.
This explains why the majority of business owners never find satisfaction working in their businesses because it is rare to find that perfect intersection of all of these three components.
As an entrepreneur, you have a better chance of finding job satisfaction in your business. However, most entrepreneurs don’t start out looking for job satisfaction, instead, they focus on profitability. It takes years of tweaking the business to get to the point where you will have true job satisfaction working in your business.
If you have job satisfaction, lucky you. It is rare.
If you don’t, ask yourself, “Which of these three components am I missing? What could I do to build a business that will give me more satisfaction?
If you’re looking to start a business, check out my training on “How to Start a Profitable Side Business.”
You can watch the course introduction and the first two modules for FREE by going to the link below: