✔ It's all about passion! - Chapter 2 - Passion 1: Money [part 3]

Note: This is a 7th 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 3) - Passion 1: Money

It's all about passion - chapt 2_3

Money drives passion in a healthy way

When you love your product and your customers share the love by sharing with you their hard-earned cash, it steams up passion from both sides. You're even more passionate about doing what you do as you get this confirmation in something tangible also known as "money".

I've found that to be very true in my case. The more I earn with what I do the more motivated I am to make my business even better, more reliable and strong. Money, when approached wisely is an enormous motivator that helps you drive your passion forward and you share it with your customers along the way.

Earning money is also a skill - learn it

Asking for money is not easy. Designing a product in a way it entices the people to pay you and learning the pricing the hard way (by overcharging or under-charging) is not as straightforward as it seems.

I've met many startup founders who gave up way to easily because they didn't see the affirmation of their work in a form of healthy income coming in because it doesn't "just come" easily.

Charging for what you do and actively selling it is not easy, but it's a skill you must learn to pursue your passion and be reminded of the kind of great work you're doing.

When the best-selling author of "Rich dad, poor dad" Robert Kiyosaki was asked during an interview by an aspiring author about what she should learn more of to have the kind of success he had with his books, he responded: "take some sales courses". She was disappointed, she thought she should improve her "writing skills" and not her "selling skills" and then he replied: "Did you write about me as a "best-selling author" or as a "best-writing author"?" That's exactly the case of a startup founder. Learning how to sell the result of your passion is a skill you must learn.

Money is not a target - it's a benchmark

Approaching money as a target (i.e. "I want to earn a million dollars") is stupid, short-sighted and guarantees failure. Money is a confirmation (as I mentioned before) that you're doing something good and is a benchmark that shows how well you're doing it. Money indicates what's happening. It's not a "tap on a shoulder" kind of thing when you have a bunch of free users who are just saying nice things to you because your product is free. Nope. These are facts. Like my product? Great! Are you willing to pay for it? No? Yes? When you charge for a product you really see if people mean what they say. They vote with their wallet. And when they do, you want to offer them your best. One look at my spreadsheet and I can see which months I've been slowing down, I've been taken it in a sloppy way, I've not been at my best. That's why I carefully examine my cash-flow on a weekly basis and analyze it carefully. I don't do it for greed, or to enjoy my success. I search for patterns, problems, templates, schemes... Money helps me see what's going on.

Money also helps me think and seek new ways to improve my product. When I see lower conversion rates, I know what to work on. When I see more cancellations, I'm more motivated to convince my customers to stay than ever by just building a better product and service. It's all very well related and money can be a great indicator of what's really going on.

Surprised how money ignites my passion

When you look at the money as a target. When you just want to be rich, it's not very inspiring and you make wrong decisions. Not based on your passion, the values you have... but based solely on the ROI (Return On Investment). Don't get me wrong, watching ROI is critical for your success, just as we discussed earlier... But it's just a part of the story.

Guy Kawasaki once said: "it's all about making meaning, not money" and he said that the proper way to inspire anyone (including an investor) is to say this: "Here's how I want to change the world. And while doing that, here's how I want to earn money for it".

The customers really feel like investors. They're part of your team.

One of the things that surprised me along the way was something I mentioned already - people feel like investors when they pay you for what you're offering. They feel like a part of your team. They share your other passions (for product, industry, etc). They feel they're riding along with you. This lead me to many great conversations with my customers, unlikely partnerships, free dinners, you name it. By paying a small monthly fee for my service people feel like they just joined my team. I love it. They love it. It's very rewarding!

Earning money gives you freedom you never expected to have

Healthy revenue gives you an opportunity to inspire others, assemble a great team of folks who work with you and share your passion not only because of the paycheck, but because they share your vision and are happy to be a part of it. Good level of revenue gives you more freedom to experiment and try different paths in your product or service. It's important not to lose focus there, but I find the freedom to experiment very appealing and again, sometimes we built something surprisingly great just because we could.

It's all about the money when the money is not what it's really about.

You need the money to keep on keeping on and pursue your other passions. It's a tool, a device, a means. And you need it. But you shouldn't want it. Then it'll come to you and help you make your dreams come true.

Now, that we've talked about the money (the essential thing), let's focus on the really important stuff and the other, stronger passions.

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

Question: Do you agree with my point of view? What does money mean to you?

Posted on Friday, September 19, 2014 (passionbook,business,money)

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