Is Turning Your Passion into a Business.. Overrated?

A lot of people want to start a business but don’t
know where to start.

The typical advice they get?

Start something you’re passionate about.

It’s sound advice – if you know what your passionate
about that is. Even if you did, can you really turn your passion
into profit?

Here’s a nice video talking about passion, profits & the realities of
business from widely-renowned online entrepreneur,
Pat Flynn of

Here’s my take on it:

1. Can you run a successful business without being passionate about it?


I grew up in an environment where there are a lot of
small businesses surrounding us. The owners are hardworking and driven
but you could tell that they are not passionate about selling hardware,
sugar, glassware, school supplies etc. Meaning if they weren’t given any
financial reason to do it – they’d stop.

Yet, they all make a good living doing it.

What drives them if it’s not passion?


Just look at the rags to riches stories of the country’s richest people.
Most of them started out because of necessity and the drive to survive.

These stores are often handled by the 2nd generation onwards. It started out
with their parents who needed to provide a living. Most of them aren’t educated
and don’t have the qualifications to be employed, much less promoted.

They had to make a living another way. And when you have to make ends meet,
the last thing you think about is “What’s my passion?”. You think of
“What can I do (whatever it is) to feed my family”. Necessity is as strong if not
a much stronger driving force than passion.


2. Why is making your passion your business popular?

Entrpreneurship is very hard.

People who succeed in it has a combination of skill, perserverance & intelligence.
For some, frankly speaking, it’s their only ways of making a living so the drive is
definitely there. The will to survive is strong.

The reasons though for this popular belief of turning your passion
into profit are:


Nowadays, people have plenty of career choices – both locally & abroad.
But the lure of being your own boss and financial freedom is always at the
back of one’s mind.

Leaving your current career & venturing out on your own is scary. Abandoning
a “stable” career is a huge risk that’s why people are being lured to start businesses
that are related to their passion. Why?

It’s because of the belief that when you love what you do,
you don’t have to work another day in your life.

It’s believed that if you love what you do, you’ll give 100%, work overtime, go beyond expectation and sacrifice personal time to get things done and still be happy about it.

Passion is like anesthesia to the pain of starting a business.
It will drive you long enough to actually see your business blossom.

And I’ve seen it work too.

I saw a friend, Sha Nacino, go from being a banker
of 8 years to become a sought-after speaker, trainer and best-selling
author. It didn’t happen overnight but she’s now living her dream.

I’ve heard the story of Dan. A passionate fire volunteer
who turned his passion into his business by starting the Ambucore
ambulance service.

That’s just the start.

There are tons more who’ve done this – ONLINE.

One great example is Pat Flynn who I introduced in the video.
He went from being fired as part of his company’s retrenchment
(he’s an architect) and accidentally found entrepreneurship along the way.

He has several websites that earn him a good chunk of cash. He describes
them as his interestes. But this main source of income is from his passion
site –

There is merit to the passion argument. If you’re interested in taking
your passion and turn it into a profitable venture, this free ebook can
give you a great head start

Bottom Line:

Everything being equal, I’d choose to start a business
out of
my passion (or something close to it) 100% of the time.

Having said that, the market doesn’t care about you.
If you’re passion is watching TV all day, then creating a
course about doing that may not fly.

You must have a good sense of what the market wants and
what they are willing to pay for. If it’s something you’re not
passionate about, check if it falls under your interest.
You must balance what you can give with what the market wants.
Leaning too much one way or another will leave one party unhappy.

Quick Hack: How to Quickly Discover if your Passion is Profitable
Sample Passion: How to teach playing guitar

1. Google Ads Search:

Type in “How to play a guitar” in the search box. If there are ads appearing in the results page, that’s a good sign. It means businesses are willing to spend money on the topic. They only spend if they know they can earn it back. Also, you can click on their ad and see if they are looking for resellers. You may apply to resell their product.

2. Amazon Search:

Look for books about guitar playing. If you can see a lot of books written on the topic then it’s a good sign that there’s a demand for it. It’s a big bonus if there are a lot of good reviews, it means people are actually buying these books.

3. Magazines:

The magazine business is a hard industry to be in. So if someone is able to run a successful business publishing about a topic, there must be enough market demand for the topic. These are quick tests to see if your passion is profitable. Next, you need to find out what to offer them and how to make it happen, learn more about it by downloading this free ebook:

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  1. I learned that passion is not a “practical” starting point if we don’t know how to monetize it. You were right about necessity being a driving force in entrepreneurship. While was still employed, I had an affair with my passion on the side, even it didn’t generate income at the time. I funded my passion with my salary until I was able to figure out my own system of getting clients.

    However, I’m still a small business in a big market and I might take a detour in salary land again because of “necessity”.

    • Allan /

      Hi Rhoda,

      Great to hear from you. Yes, passion isn’t everything but there are also some ingenious ways of turning your passion into a product. I saw your website and you have the foundations of becoming an online entrepreneur already. I think you can productize your service and talent. I would highly suggest checking out this ebook.


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