Boss Lady

7 reasons doing what you love can ruin your small business


They say that if you love what you do, you’ll never work a day of your life. That’s rubbish. You’ll work harder than you’ve ever worked before!

Of course, if you love it, you’ll enjoy it… and when it comes to business, women are often told to follow their passion.

Unfortunately, deciding to start a business purely because you love something is the reason  many women struggle in small business. Loving what you do doesn’t help you if:

1. No-one needs or wants your product or service

Just because YOU think it’s a great idea and your friends think it’s a great idea doesn’t mean it is going to be a sellable product or service. You need to take your idea and put it through its paces BEFORE you decide to turn it into a business. For example, approach everyone that said it was a “great” idea, and ask how much would they be willing to pay for it.

2. It isn’t financially viable

Okay, so people are willing to pay for your product or service. Find out how much that amount is. Then work out the cost of producing that product or providing that service. Is it profitable? When you are working this out, you need to take everything into consideration including the cost of marketing, hiring experts, supplies and your time (which most women neglect to do).

3. You don’t put in the extra hours

Working for yourself doesn’t mean less hours, it only means more flexibility: having a small business turns your 9am-5pm into a 5am-9pm … and that’s on the good days! You will work very long hours for a very long time. Yes, you have flexibility on when you do those hours — although if you start at 11am every day, you can’t finish at 5pm – but you still need to put in the hard yards when you are out on your own.

4. You don’t have enough funds

You need enough money to support yourself in the first 12 months of going out on your own. To reduce stress and to help you focus on your small business make sure you have enough money to live off for at least a year. It may be a tough budget but it will help you remain on point when it comes to building your profile and client base. It is very common to have a part time job while you are starting out, too.

5. You haven’t developed a good support network

We have discussed this before, that the people who surround you in your journey can make or break you. You can’t have a bunch of ‘yes men’ (and women) if you want to succeed in business… nor can you survive with people who are negative about all your ideas and efforts. Review who surrounds you now and decide whether they should come on this journey with you or not.

6. You don’t know what you can’t do

You don’t have the skills and haven’t sourced professionals to assist in that area (marketing, accounts etc). When you run a small business you need to wear many, MANY hats, but there are some hats you just shouldn’t be wearing at all. If you are not an expert in particular areas — say finance — you need to make sure you recruit the best person for the job (outsource it) before you start.

7. You expect instant success

It will take a minimum of 12 months to get momentum: don’t expect everyone to jump at your idea, product or service. You need to be persistent and persevere for at least one full year before you will see some traction. During this time, you need to be open to evolving and tweaking what you’re providing to ensure the market wants what you have.

Doing what you love is often the key ingredient that keeps women moving forward during the tough times. It doesn’t however eliminate the need to treat your new small business any different than someone who may not be living out their passion.


About Amanda Rose

Founder of The Business Woman Media. Amanda Rose is also the only 'strategic connector', a brand strategist, keynote speaker and host of Amanda Rose TV. Connect with Amanda Rose on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter or visit

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