As you know, I don’t have much time for the fluffpreneurs and their nonsense advice that tells people to follow their passion and the money will follow. That’s terrible advice given by broke people to people that are stupid enough to listen to them. While having a passion or interest in the area that your business serves is helpful, it’s not a prerequisite and truthfully sometimes it can actually hurt you as your passion blinds your common sense.
But what happens when you have a business and you entirely lose interest in it? Or worse, what happens if you actually come to dislike what you do or your customers?
As odd as that sounds, it happens way more than you might think.
I’ve had a few different online businesses over the years that I lost interest in and in one case I active started disliking it. A few years ago I used to do pretty well out marketing information products as an affiliate. I had a bunch of different email lists that targeted different niches and audiences that we’d find various offers for and promote those products to them. It did really well, but eventually, I got tired of it, lost interest and sold all of the associated websites and the mailing lists attached to them.
I’ve always been somewhat lucky that by having a good job, I’ve had built-in diversification of revenue to fall back on. If something I was doing online wasn’t working out or if I didn’t want to do it anymore, I could pull the pin and get out.
On the other hand, I’ve had a few people I know over the years end up getting trapped in their business. They build something up, it starts producing 100% of their income, it becomes their biggest asset and then they find that they hate doing it. Effectively they’re trapped because normally, the business isn’t big enough to support them stepping away and hiring people to run it and because it’s such a significant part of their overall wealth they can’t run the risk of it going south.
It’s a pretty horrible position to find yourself in.
I know one person who had a pretty good consulting business that was delivering them a solid six-figure income per year. The guy had lost interest in his existing business and decided that he wanted to start working with local businesses to help them develop their online marketing presence. He wanted to go from being an IT Consultant to a Local Business Marketing consultant.
He made the decision to sell his consultancy business so that he could have the runway to build up his local marketing client list. When the business sale went through, this guy had twelve months of runway to make it work and he was really happy.
Six months in he had made lots of videos, wrote plenty of blog posts and had enough meme quotes posted to InstaTweetChat to choke a horse. What he didn’t have though was revenue, an audience or any kind of traction.
By month nine his wife had left him, filed for divorce and he had no runway left because his soon to be ex-wife was entitled to some of his assets. He’s now working at a support desk call centre here in Sydney for a medium sized technology company making about 30% of what he used to earn.
So what’s the lesson in all of this?
Well, if you’ve built a business where you’ve come to depend on the revenue as an important part of your income, then you don’t have the luxury of getting bored. You have to be an adult and figure out a proper exit strategy that lets you get out of your situation in better shape than you’re in now.
I’m not talking about wishful thinking here either. None of this, “Oh, if I stop doing this stuff over there that I dislike and find boring, then I can spend all of my time over here doing the fun stuff and surely that will result in me making WAAAAY more in the long run.”
No! Life doesn’t work like that. It can’t be all chicken schnitzel and no veggies. You need to find a better answer than just jumping off the edge of the cliff and hoping there’s water below.
You need to be strategic and calculating but think back to what I said about having diversified streams of income. When one source becomes too high of a percentage overall, start investing in other opportunities and grow new forms. This gives you safety against one source failing but also gives you the freedom to walk away if you no longer have an interest in that thing anymore.
Remember, you can’t just close your eyes and “manifest” yourself a better life – you need to take control and drive the outcome yourself. If you’re not happy with your business, then grab that bull by the horns and get yourself something better!