the messy, messy path of passion

It was 2008.

My first business.

My husband had drawn the logo. My web designer had made a really pretty website. And I was totally passionate about helping women get happier by eating “better.”

So I started a blog.

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And I wrote.

I wrote about my passion:  food and self-care and self-love. I wrote about eating healthfully and pleasure and getting lots of rest. I wrote about what I cared about.

And I naively believed that was enough. That my passion and my work would somehow become known to the world, folks would find me and I would make a lot of money.

I believed that if I wanted it enough, it would happen. That if I loved it enough, others would find it. And if I was passionate enough, it would pay off.

But being an entrepreneur isn’t like that.

It’s messy. And the rules change. Most of what you learned in school doesn’t apply. And it’s not true that passion is enough.

No matter how much I hoped, prayed and wished, it turns out you need more.

You need courage like a mother lion. You need to commit. You need business smarts. And you need to make stuff happen.

Courage

to face your doubts, fears and crazy thinking that will rule your head and take over your work. Courage to go beyond what you thought you could do. And most important, the courage to be you.

Commitment

I trust that you have made many commitments on your path in life. That you know commitment and you know running from it. That you understand enough about commitment that all I need to say is commit.

If you’re in this for the long haul,  be willing to commit. At least 100%.

Business smarts

here’s a bit on business smarts:

Being an entrepreneur, a successful one, requires that you also be a businessperson.

A lot of creatives, like me, don’t want to learn business.

They don’t want to strategize, plan, implement and tweak.

They don’t want to look at numbers, test and look at the numbers again.

I didn’t.

I believed in magical thinking. I set my store by magical thinking. And I tried to convince my husband that magical thinking qualified as a sound business plan.

Let me tell you right now – magical thinking sucks as a business plan. It feels good in the moment but will kick you in the rear over the long haul.

So decide: Are you running a business or a hobby?

If you know it’s a hobby and you don’t need it to be more, rejoice in the beauty of the pleasure it brings you. But if you run a hobby and you long to run a business, then become a businessperson. It’s not complicated. It just requires education and, of course, courage and commitment.

And lastly, make stuff happen.

Making stuff happen is hard. Steven Pressfield wrote an entire book about it, “The War of Art.”

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That’s why I put together a 30-day “Make Stuff Happen” challenge because I get it. Because I know that making stuff happen is sometimes the hardest part. (Stay tuned…the Free challenge is coming. And it’s amazing.)

I’m saying all this because I want you to know, as you walk this path of passion, that you will work hard.

You will, most likely, have to strategize and systemize.

You will want to know your numbers and understand your target market and define your niche.

You will need to take time to really think this through, be willing to confront all the scary stuff, and learn basic business tools.

You will want to do all this before you take your passion, create stuff, and offer it to the world.

But then the magic shows up.

This is the part you’ve heard before. Which is why I tend to talk about it a little less. But being an entrepreneur is the most AMAZING thing on the planet. I LOVE what I do. I work in cafés. I take bike rides in the middle of the day. I go to art exhibits in the middle of the week.

And that’s not even the magic part.

I do what I want. And it helps people. And I get paid for it. That is the magic.

Because being an entrepreneur is freaking amazing.

And I want you to fly.

I just want to make sure you have strong wings.

And that you land softly.

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Comments

  1. says

    Dahpne I’m so glad to read this article.

    You can’t imagine how much I’ve struggled with this myself, and tried to help others too… when they were not ready to accept this truth.

    I can absolutely perceive you speak from experience.And I couldn’t agree with you more.
    For me it’s very painful to see loving and caring professionals on that stage where they think passion will be enough!
    I see them emboding the Innocent archetype as the first stage in their biz. And it isn’t until they embrace the Orphan archetype, the one that has gone through difficult stuff and has been forced to look at reality, they won’t be humble enough to accept they need to also become a biz person.

    Thanks for becoming a voice of wisdom about what it really takes to build your own business.
    Charo

    • says

      I love that description Charo – moving from the innocent archetype to the Orphan archetype. Never thought of it quite that way but it definitely makes all the “difficult stuff” feel better. That it’s all just part of the training ground. Thank you Charo. It sounds like you do amazing work.

  2. says

    Love this! My Puppy Nanny biz started so much like your original business and now have several years of slogging is slowly beginning to see revenue. I’ve have learned a bit of strategy; I need more and it’s lack of clear strategy that drags me into the ditch every time…ah, the lure of the new webinar, the new learning, how so-and-so has been successful. All of that is useful, without question, but comes the time when I have to settle in and plan and DO!
    Thanks for your blog!

    • says

      Thanks for being here Jude. I love seeing your face and your comments. And isn’t it amazing how strategy is often one of the last things we learn! And yes, the lure of the next new thing is almost an addiction. I still have to stop myself from “the bright shiny objects.” It’s one of the reasons I put together the 30 day “Make Stuff Happen” challenge. Can’t wait til it is ready for release!

  3. Kelly says

    Thank you Daphne :) i feel like im in that place transitioning into the biz side of things, so this is SO helpful xxxx

  4. says

    Gods I was just having a moment in the shower yesterday, thinking “I can feel my mind shifting once again… I wonder what to?” and it then turned out to be just that: Becoming a professional. Not a hobbyist. Being a businesswoman.

    Then your post arrived in my inbox.

    Talk about confirmation!! Thank-you!

    xx

  5. Alex Mart says

    Thank you!!!!! So much. I am so grateful to have found you. I know why I have found you. Because you walk your talk. Because I so thoroughly resonate with your truth and authenticity and pizazz. Because you write like the creative artist you are. And because you create like the motivated impassioned businessperson you are too.

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