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3 Pillars of Creative Business: Passion, Purpose, and Profit

Too many creative business owners stretch themselves thin. They have a million ideas on their mind and a number of projects they want to work on. They try to jump in a number of direction at once.

They push those projects—especially the ones they think will make them quick money. They aren’t super passionate about these projects, not caring deeply enough to make a critical difference. Unfortunately, this often leads to disinterest and these projects fizzling out.

Instead, before jumping in, first take the time to look at your passions and discover your purpose. It’s not easy to launch a creative business project. It takes a tremendous amount of time, energy, and effort to breakthrough online.

You can greatly improve your chances of success, though, by aligning your internal drives with your external goals. There are three key components to consider:

1. Passion

Passion is not an airy, ethereal term. It’s heavily loaded with tangible meaning. Your passion for a topic is your: boundless enthusiasm, fascination, and obsession—you feel it run through you like the zap of electricity.

When you’re passionate about a project, success is not determined solely by external forces, but rather by your internal drive to: learn, grow, and master your subject. You’re so much more likely to solve complex problems that arise, push harder than would seem logical, and make those intuitive leaps needed to outpace your competitors and gain market traction.

This passion is fuel that you can use to light your creative business path. It’s a competitive advantage that you can leverage every day. It gives you an endless supply of energy to power the rocket ship that is your growing business.

Imagine the opposite, pursing a topic that you see as an opportunity, but have little interest in. It’s certainly possible to start that type of business, and make some level of progress, but that journey would feel like trudging up the steep incline of a large, muddy mountain—maybe climbable, but damn depressing and difficult.

Instead, start with your passions first. Look for a creative business project to pursue that feels electric to you. What interests do you care about deeply? What do you enjoy learning and doing every day? What might hold your interest for the long term?

2. Purpose

Purpose is all to easy to loose sight of. In business, we readily get too focused, too early, on things like metrics and bottom-line driven viewpoints.

As creative business people though, we aren’t well suited for empty business pursuits. Pursing income without purpose will leave us feeling vacant.

It’s important that you choose a creative business project that fits a purpose you can feel proud of. Your purpose in your creative business is the problem you’re solving for your customers:

  • If you’re pursuing a freelance design business, then it’s the graphics you deliver to your clients that fit their business needs.
  • If you’re a writer that is selling your business ebooks on Amazon, then it’s the solutions to problems you deliver in your books, those that your fans find useful.
  • If you’re a coder creating a SaaS app, then it’s the problem that app solves, one that meets a real market need.

It’s more than that though. It’s also how your business fulfills your personal purpose:

  • What are you as a creative business owner meant to do?
  • What would give you the greatest satisfaction to pursue?
  • What type of creative business would fill you with the most pure joy day in and day out?
  • What would not only get you out of bed in the morning, but have the alarm clock ring fill you with a jolt of immediate excitement?

Both your business mission and your personal missions should be in alignment. The more so they are, the more fulfilling and purposeful your creative business will be for you.

Find your purpose and let it guide your creative business direction.

3. Profit

With your passion and purpose in alignment, you’re well suited to aim within that space for a creative business project you can earn a profit on. This is business after all.

Without profit you don’t have a thriving creative business, instead you have a passionate hobby. A lack of profit is—bottom-line—a business killer. I’ve seen too many interesting side projects dry up because they didn’t reach profitability, including a number of projects that I launched and abandoned myself.

Really, profit is the result of a healthy business. Profit is what funds your venture and allows you to grow further.

If you start your creative business as a side venture and it becomes profitable to a point that surpasses your full time job, then you can readily leave your full-time job. Whereas without that profit, how would you do that?

Profit is what you take home—giving you security with a healthy bank balance. It’s the result of all the creativity, and passion you put into a project.

Focus Your Energy

Aim all this energy, concentrate it like a laser beam, on just one important, creative business project. Go all in on it, or as close to all in as your current schedule allows.

But keep in mind, while important, profit is not your sole purpose. You need to discover your purpose—both your’s as an individual and the mission of your creative business. Your purpose and passion are what fuel your business—they keep it active and vital.

Your purpose is unique to you and your business. It’s can form the core of your brand and be difficult, if not impossible, for competitors to emulate.

Also, a tribe comes together under purpose and passion. It’s what inspires an audience. It’s contagious.

A business that is driven purposefully and ran with passion, is well positioned to make a sustainable profit. When all three of these are working harmoniously, you have a dynamic business on your hands—one that you can drive forward for the long term and feel great about.

What creative business is the right fit for your passion, purpose, and profit? What are you working on right now? Will it fill you with the same enthusiasm months from now?

Graphic Credit: Column designed by Timur Zima from the Noun Project.