3 Things I Wish I’d Known About Launching A Passion Project
About a year ago I quit my job. It’s been one of the most wonderful years of my life, with so many ups and downs that I cannot even begin to mention. As you have probably heard from most anyone who goes out on their own entrepreneurial venture, some moments have been beautiful, but others have been devastating.
I’ll never forget the day I hired someone to design and build my website. It felt as if making the message open to the public was the equivalent of launching the business. That easy, through a website! But it’s never that easy, is it?
Did you think launching a passion project was all roses and sunny days? It’s more like being addicted to a heinous rollercoaster ride.
If only I had known everything I know now…
If I had known these 3 lessons last January, I could have skipped a lot of heartbreak and propelled my business to incredible heights.
I want to skip that heartbreak for you. You can avoid the traps that I fell in with this advice.
There are times when clients want too many changes, and sometimes they won’t pay.
There are times when the team is exhausted, and other times free time abounds.
There are times when cash rolls in like the tide, and other times when it recedes more quickly than you ever imagined.
There are times when inspiration and excitement are nonstop, and other times when it’s difficult to clamor for a single smile.
You can’t say I didn’t warn you!
1. You are a business grower.
I first dipped my toe into the entrepreneurial world by starting a blog. What I didn’t know back then was that I wasn’t just starting a blog — I was starting a business. My blog has brought me more new clients than I can count. Blog, I love you.
As the clients rolled in, though, I found myself hating all the administrative work it required. Naturally, I hired someone so I wouldn’t have to look at the books. Mistake! Not only was spending that cash unwise (and we’ll get to that in a second), but not knowing the pulse of how my business was doing at every moment definitely cost me — big time. Quickbooks, I love you.
Whether you want to write, paint, or develop software, please know that you will always be a business grower first. The boring stuff isn’t so boring when it’s your baby you are keeping safe — trust me.
2. Without cash flow, your dream is dead.
I started off with a bang — three full-time employees and two part-time helpers, a cozy office, and too many projects at a time. Cash came in with new clients, but it waned over time. I wasn’t too business-savvy, but I’ve gotten better at it — by taking control.
If I could do it all over again, everyone would:
- be a freelancer on a per project basis
- work from home
- focus on one of two projects.
Actually, that’s exactly what I’ve started doing recently. I love my freelance team, Skype is more than enough, and stress levels decline when tasks are focused on one project at a time.
Look at me learning, I’m so proud.
If I can give you any business advice — of the kind that you might hear at an MBA course — it’d be this: cash flow is king. In launching a passion project, make sure you take good care of the green stuff for when you really need it.
3. The people around you make you who you are.
When I started traveling to conferences, I thought to myself, “How am I going to pay for this?” I worried about that a lot. Over time, not only did I meet amazing people and get new clients from these trips, but I also learned more than I bargained for. My career changed paths many times after attending these conferences, and the people I encountered form a huge part of my life now. Holy worth it.
I also put my friends and family first. Seriously. My husband, my brothers, my parents, my close friends — they all come before anything else. That probably doesn’t make sense, business-wise, but it pays off in the long run. A happy Marcella means a productive and creative Marcella.
Passion wavers when times get tough. Keep it close.
After a full year of entrepreneurship and trying to live my passion, these are the tips that I leave you with in the hopes that you can skip the bad and focus on the good.
Living your dream life and your perpetual vacation as possible. It’s up to you how quickly you get there.
Are you thinking about launching a passion project? Tell us how you’re going to do it in the comments.