Should You Choose Your Passion Over a Paycheck?
Deciding to take your side hustle full time or thinking about starting one is not an easy choice, especially if you’re stuck in a job and you feel you should stay simply because you’re lucky to have one right now.
Emergencies fast-forward history — personal, political, and societal. Decisions that in normal times could take years of deliberation are passed in a matter of hours during a crisis.
If you’re stuck in a job, should you stay simply because you’re lucky to have one or take a risk on your passion project? If you’re just entering the workforce, should you spend time competing for a role or focus on building a business of your own?
There are many factors you need to weigh before making these decisions.
If you have a business idea in mind but you aren’t sure that it’s addressing a real problem, you might end up spending your time and energy building the wrong thing. Great businesses are built on deep insights. Consider if you truly understand the unmet needs of the customers or community you are serving and if you have enough data to validate your idea.
Even after you validate your hypothesis, you need to test your minimum viable product (MVP). Simply put, an MVP is a functional prototype with just enough features to convey your idea in its simplest form. The goal is to build something that your customer can actually use so that they can give you critical feedback on what’s working and what’s not.
In essence, you want to use this stage of product development to a) build a community interested in what you have to offer and b) figure out a business model that serves their needs based on their feedback.
Doing this will empower you in two ways:
First, it will help eliminate the gap between your product development and revenue generation. Through your MVP, you may have opportunities to make a decent revenue before officially launching.
Second, you can use any revenue you do make to help you build the next version of your product or service.
1,000 true fans, or unique customers reached organically, is an alternative path to success other than stardom. Instead of trying to reach the narrow and unlikely peaks of platinum bestseller hits, blockbusters, and celebrity status, you can aim for a direct connection with a thousand true fans.
On your way, no matter how many fans you actually succeed in gaining, you’ll be surrounded not by faddish infatuation, but by genuine and true appreciation. It’s a much saner destiny to hope for. And you are much more likely to actually arrive there.
Your goal doesn’t necessarily need to be to build the next Google or Facebook. And even if that is your goal, you still need to figure out how to get those first 1,000 people to pay for what you are building if you want to succeed. It may sound easy but getting people to pay for a product requires substantial grit, especially if you don’t have investors on board.
Quitting your full-time job to start a company is like proposing marriage on the first date. … The most durable businesses are typically started by people who play it safe.
Risk-taking is often glamorized by touting isolated examples of moonshot successes, but the best entrepreneurs are those who are able to figure out the optimum risk-reward ratio that works for them.
As an entrepreneur, you need to understand what you’re inherently good at and like to do and what you need help with. You don’t need to possess all the skills required to run a business, but you need to be able to find people with skills that complement your own to help you realize your dream.
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