✔ It's all about passion! - Chapter 2 - Passion 1: Money [Part 1]

Note: This is a 5th excerpt from my book "It's all about passion" which I wrote and shared as a gift to my readers and my Nozbe customers on my 35th birthday. You can get the entire digital ebook (PDF, Mobi or ePub) for free or buy from Amazon (all proceeds go to charity).

I will be publishing the entire book as a series of blog posts over the next weeks here every Friday, so you can read it bit by bit (I know you might be too busy to read an entire book at once). I'm also doing it to be able to "talk to you" about each chapter in the comments section below, so make sure to post your feedback, questions and your passion-related stories in the comments. Thank you for your passion!

"It's all about passion!" - The 7 types of passion I discovered over 7 years of running my productivity startup

Chapter 2 (part 1) - Passion 1: Money

It's all about passion - chapter 2.1

"Money was never a big motivation for me, except as a way to keep score. The real excitement is playing the game." - Donald Trump, investor, author of "The Art of the Deal"

Money makes the world go around... kind of.

Money rules the world we live in right now. No doubt about that. But it's not what it's all about. Money is just a means to an end - a happy, fulfilled life.

It sounds nice in definition but the media want us to believe otherwise. In the consumerist world we live in, it's all about the money - it gives you power, cars, houses... the media wants us to believe we can buy ourselves a way into happiness.

The same applies to the startup world. Young, aspiring entrepreneurs are reading high-profile tech blogs where they learn about other young guys cashing it big time with huge company valuations, amazingly big venture capital rounds and fantastic financing opportunities where millions of dollars are just laying around there to be picked up.

These big sums of money only make young startup founders blind. They have very often never even seen more than a few thousand of dollars at a time, yet they seem to subconsciously redirect their motivation towards "getting rich quick... or die trying" (as the rap star 50cent would say).

I was like this when I graduated from college. I wanted to make it big for fame and fortune. And I failed several times to finally understand that to be passionate about money you need to approach it from a totally different angle.

Passion for money, not millions

Money is a tool. A means to an end. Really. That's it.

When you're running a startup you should be passionate about money in a sense of keeping a good eye on your finances, managing your cash-flow properly and making sure your costs don't get out of proportion.

It's your job to look at the money as a means to build a successful company and not be blinded by the millions of dollars you think you're going to have. Probably you never will cash in these millions. Yet if you do, you will not care about it anyway at this point. This is how it works.

Donald Trump in several interviews said he had more money he ever needed and he didn't care, all he cared was making great deals. When you follow your passions you will get there. And you'll love it. Several studies proved that if people had enough money to cover their basic needs, they stop caring about it altogether. I can testify it's true... and that your passion will get you there.

These days I'm crazy about the revenue and I'm watching it very closely, comparing to the previous months, looking at the increase or decrease of sales, making sure my costs don't sink our ship. I care about the "healthy revenue" and not the amount of cash in my bank account.

To me money is a benchmark and a health indicator of my startup. It helps me quickly determine if everything is going all right. This is the kind of passion for money I'd like to talk about here.

"It’s a bit of a myth that entrepreneurs and businesses are driven by money. Very few great businesses truly are: most great businesses are driven by a belief in a need and a belief in something that helps meet it. And getting paid and being profitable, whilst of course important in itself in the longer term, is more important as the vindication that what you believe has some truth in it: people agree with you." - Graham Allcott, author of "How to be a Productivity Ninja"

When I thought it was all about they money I failed...

This is my personal story of how I failed several times before finally making it with Nozbe. I've seen dozens of similar stories with my "startup friends" and I keep on seeing the same pattern repeating itself. Read it carefully and please learn from my example and don't replicate this approach.

In my country it's very common to think of a "copycat" business as a way to succeed. This is exactly what I did at first.

I come from a fairly big country in Europe and the biggest one in its central part - Poland with close to 40 million inhabitants. It really is quite a big market and there are many companies that succeed by only being present in our country.

The easiest way to "make it big" on the Internet in a country like mine is to simply get into a "copycat business", meaning to copy something from a bigger market that is not available in Poland yet, but according to our assessment will eventually be.

That's why there are so many "national" eBays, PayPals, Groupons, Facebooks, Twitters, Linkedins, etc. These folks decided to try to rule the market before the big player showed up. I was like this before. I read the American blogs and was observing what's going on there and when I saw a lucrative business opportunity, I'd brainstorm the idea and when I saw nobody was doing this in Poland yet, I'd just go for it.

That was my reasoning. To build something quickly, get rich fast and be famous. To rule my local market with a copycat business. Do you see how ridiculous this sounds? Well, I didn't find it so at that time.

The idea is to build the "copycat" fast and launch as soon as possible.

I was also quite confident I was the only one seeing the copycat opportunity. I was building the solution fast to make sure I could be the first to market and I was confident when it happened I'd succeed. I was twice wrong. Firstly, there were other guys building the very same thing at the very same time and secondly, I was about to receive a hard lesson in business that the first to show up doesn't mean is the best.

I built my first copycat web-based product right after college in 2004 and showed it to the world. I was proud and was seeing some initial traction and some early success. I was pumped.

To be continued... or get the book free and continue reading :-)

Question: What is the role of the passion for money in your life?

Posted on Friday, September 5, 2014 (passionbook,business,money)

Like this post? Subscribe to my newsletter, and every 2 weeks you'll receive updates from me. You'll also get you my latest book for FREE as a thank-you: "No Office Apps: How the Nozbe team uses modern technologies to communicate better and get more done.".