Why following your passion trumps the financial benefits of starting your own business.

Lets talk about what no one wants to talk about in entrepreneurship.

The struggle.

5 years into a multi-million dollar startup, and for the first time in 5 years, I’m not getting a paycheck. Mainly because freedom and opportunity outweigh the money, and having the vision and patience to run a marathon takes huge risk.

I did something earlier this year that 99 percent of entrepreneurs would not do.

I fired a million dollar a year client.

I wanted to be the Starbucks of commercial service, in a world full of Dunkin Donuts stores. And I was willing to do anything to stay the course on this vision.

I did this for several reasons, but most importantly, was that my business plans did not mirror what this particular client was giving me. With time being the most valued asset in my business, this client was taking the most of it, without being the most profitable, and that is a recipe for disaster in any business.

More importantly than revenue numbers, is a diverse portfolio of clients that match the companies vision. What this massive client was doing, was taking attention away from the very clients that built the company. Clients that most businesses salivate over. I was putting the companies long term stability at risk, and it was time to do something about it.

Where I went wrong.

With a company that just came off a record 4.7 million revenue year (2015), firing a 1.2 million dollar per year client meant I was eliminating 25 percent of total revenue. What this meant, was I technically needed to then eliminate 25 percent of overhead in order to not feel the effects of this decision. I failed to do that, and the result was a cash crunch that came close to putting me out of business.

Onto the PASSION part.

Most people see money as the end result of starting a business. The truth is, it takes a very long time to build a sustainable, profitable, well oiled business. And if you want the end result to be long term wealth, you better be willing to put your own personal income on the line. I am so laser focused on the long term, that I am willing to risk my own individual income. The reason for that focus is a deep passion for my business. A passion that goes back 4 generations of my family. A passion that puts people before profit.

So the next time you think about starting your own company, ask yourself this question.

Am I willing to work 18 hours a day, 7 days a week, for free?

If your passionate enough about your business, the answer will be yes.

If your answer is no, you need to re-think your business plan, and “find your yes”.