Asset 2

Passion, skills or money? The ‘Why’ of running a business

Are you in business for passion, profit or to leverage your skills? If you answered ‘All of the above’, you are well placed to succeed. But what happens when one motivator prevails over the other?

Whether you are thinking about starting a business or want your venture to thrive, it’s important to understand what drives you – and find your own balance.

Is it all about the money?

Of course you want to make a profit, otherwise it would be pretty hard to stay in business for a long time. However, you also need to have skills and passion for what you are doing.

The ‘Passion vs Profit’ debate is as old as business itself. As a business owner, pursuing an idea with a ‘primary profit’ mentality can help you make quicker decisions about when to keep going and when it’s time to pivot. The important question you need to ask yourself is not “Will this decision affect my bottom line?” but “How will it affect my bottom line?”.

On the other hand, ‘money’ is not all. Even if you do it for profit and have the necessary skills, it will take passion to make the most of it and enjoy the ride.

Where does your passion lie?

If you are passionate about something that you can turn into a money-making business, then you are off to a great start. Of course, your idea needs to be viable and relevant to the market.

No matter how engaged and committed you feel; passion alone is not a guarantee for a business to do well. Take a bakery, as an example: if you want to open a bakery, don’t do it just because you love baking cakes — do it because you want to run a business AND have a great recipe. You need to love Business and get passionate about building something that serves others, while at the same time contributing to your family.

Have you got the skills?

Besides identifying market needs and niches, and making sure your passion is in the right place, it’s also important to assess your strengths. It may not be a good idea to step into an arena you don’t know – particularly if you lack the execution skills to make it happen.

Complementary skills, of course, can be learned or enhanced: if that’s what you need to make a brilliant business idea come to life, it’s not too late to learn those skills. But generally speaking, it’s good to have at least some ‘core skills’ and make them the building blocks of your business.


Running a successful business is a marathon and not a sprint. To reap the rewards, you need all the tools in your toolbox: a money-making strategy, the skills to execute it, and a strong passion to take your business to the next level.

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