If you have ever thought about starting a business or side-hustle, your ideas were probably inspired by the things you’re most passionate about. It’s super exciting to turn what you love into a business and there is something meaningful and special about a new venture that is a heart-centered labor of love.
I have had conversations with more than one entrepreneur who launched the business of their dreams, only to watch it slowly devolve into a nightmare scenario as the realities of business ownership crept in. This often happens when we start out 100% heart-focused on our passion, and in all the excitement of a new venture, we neglect to add the logic or ‘head’ component to the equation.
One conversation stands out from several years ago when I was a spa owner. I was grabbing coffee with a fellow spa owner who began her career as a massage therapist. When she started out, she loved being a sole practitioner and felt the next logical step was to open a spa and expand on her passion. Two years into the venture, she was no longer able to do the part of the business she loved – working with her massage clients – because she was so bogged down in paperwork, people management and dealing with taxes and customer service issues. She was becoming burnt out and was experiencing a growing level of resentment toward the business. What began as a passion was no longer fun and had become anxiety-provoking.
Within a couple months of our conversation, she put the business up for sale and returned to massage therapy as a sole practitioner. The next time I saw her, she looked so much happier and it was obvious that a huge burden had been lifted from her shoulders.
I share this story, because it is typical of many entrepreneurs or side-hustlers who begin entrepreneurship with their passion but get caught off guard when the realities of business operations begin to surface.
So, how do you balance heart (emotion) and head (logic) in a way that sets realistic expectations and gives you the best chance for long-term, sustainable success?
Balancing Head and Heart-Focused Traits in Your Business
Heart-Focused Traits: Let’s start with what likely got you interested in entrepreneurship in the first place – your passion. Emotion is a compelling driver of engagement and action and is the thing that provides the spark behind your vision.
Head-Focused Traits: While heart plays a big role in the success equation, there are times when you’ll need to consider the more logical or head-focused aspects of business to help ensure long-term growth and survival of your business – not to mention profitability. Head-focused traits are often driven by logic, skills, and analysis of data.
As you think about the head-focused skills that will help turn your passion into a profitable business, you frequently will have the option of hiring people to assist with many of these areas. When you’re first starting out however, and before the money begins coming in, you will likely have to do much of the work yourself. Even if you have a budget to hire a team, it’s a good idea to learn how to manage these pieces yourself. You never know when you may need to jump in and take over if something unforeseen crops up.
As you analyze your strengths and seek to grow your business your heart and passion will be the spark that drives your business, while the hard skills of planning, discipline and skill building will help sustain and evolve your business. Choose to blend head and heart to maximize your potential for long-term business success.