As an entrepreneur I talk with many that are in the same endeavor as I am: How to make a living at what I love to do?
And therein lies the issue that nearly all people with talent or an idea have difficulty with: Knowing the difference between the craft of your business from business of your craft.
Craft of your business. This is the genesis of your business, whether it is being a lawyer, doctor, writer, graphic artist, baker, chef, cook, programmer, TV personality, farmer, sculptor, painter, radio interviewer, any of other jobs that you can think of, or lastly, any of the Dirty Jobs that Mike Rowe has listed that people do that most of us never would have thought about. It is your talents and these skills that others are willing to pay you for and what the market will bear whether you make any money, make a living, or make millions.
What do I mean by what the market will bear? Well, once the car was introduced how many blacksmiths were needed to take care of all of the horse shoes that were needed? Or how about the buggy whips? Those people with those skills that helped the horse transportation industry changed into things related to the automobile industry, and so did the skills. Changes in the market means that your skills might no longer be needed. A good business owner keeps an eye on these changes and adjusts accordingly to where the market is going. Those that don’t watch the market, i.e. those that only see what they do as a job, will lose out. There are still blacksmiths and buggy whip makers, but not like there were a hundred or more years ago. New technologies have created new jobs and old ones are left behind.
Business of your craft. This part is where you have to figure out how to make more than just a living at what your craft is. It’s about making a profit from your sales, not just making sales. It’s about pricing, taxes, time, money, marketing, sales, effort, customers, accounting, customer service, vendors, contracts, government bureaucrats, suppliers, and a host of other issues that most people do not want to handle, they’d rather be doing what they love to do: Their craft. But, it’s something we all have to do. But there is help.
1. Study business concepts. You need to learn about these issues, and you do not have to be an expert at them either. Be forewarned: you NEED to understand these things, even at the concept level, because it is the basics of what is going on with your business.
2. Hire someone to do what you don’t love to do. Outsource these issues to others that LOVE to do what you don’t, like an bookkeeper or an accountant. This frees up your time and let’s others who love to do what you don’t a chance to get paid for what they love to do. But refer back to #1 above, you don’t want to be taken by embezzlers who “cook the books” for you and take your hard earned money.
That is why I wrote my book How to Start a Business: Mac Version to help those that love their craft to get the most out of the Mac with the business of their craft. That’s my craft.
So, love your craft, but learn how to make more than what a starving artist makes by learning about the business of your craft.
I leave you with a quote about how to view businesses:
”Some see private enterprise (business) as a predatory target to be shot; others as a cow to be milked; but few are those who see it as a sturdy horse pulling the plow.” — Thomas Jefferson