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For love or money.

Be mindful–is it the love or the money that drives you? If money weren’t an issue in your business, would you still be in the business you’re in?

If your answer to the above question is yes, than you don’t need to read on any further.  You already know, money aside, you’d still be doing exactly what you’re doing and loving it. You’re in your element, chances are you’re also experiencing an abundance of both love and money. My congratulations to you indeed!

On the other hand, if you’re currently stuck and don’t know if it’s the love or the money keeping you in the routine of your business, then this post might be useful for you to gain more clarity about your answer to the question.

If you take the money out of it, would you still be doing what you’re doing in your business? Or would you be doing something else? Perhaps something you love and value more than money?

Before we begin the discussion, let me make one thing clear–I emphatically believe doing what you love creates the energy necessary for money to follow. They’re not mutually exclusive. But money, by itself, has a way of getting one very comfortable and resistant to growth and new opportunity. After awhile, you can find yourself making important decisions about your life and business based on dough rather than love. Trust me when I suggest to you–money isn’t enough to keep the love alive. As John Lennon teaches, “money can’t buy me love”.

By now, you’re probably thinking, “hey I’m in my business for both love and money!” Of course you are!  I’m just suggesting that as you begin to experience greater levels of financial success doing what you love, you’re going to discover a couple of things about the dynamic tension of being in business for love or money.

Money makes you comfortable and risk averse.

As a creative entrepreneur, you’re business is based in your love of creating, being creative, creating your art, and solving problems for your clients. At the early stages of your business growth it’s all about the love of doing! You’re in the business of doing what matters to you – and creates value for your clients. As your business grows, the pursuit of money naturally becomes more necessary and central to all your daily activities.

As you become more financially successful, you’ll experience the paradox of success. Slowly underneath your awareness, your assessment of opportunity can be more weighted by its potential financial reward rather than if the opportunity aligns with your purpose, vision, talents and capabilities. After all you have a business to run, and business is about making money!

Over time, the quality of your clients, and the work you’re doing for them starts to be predictable and routine. As your business grows around your “output”, making more and more money, more of your energy will be focused on developing the systems to handle the project management and transactional complexities of serving clients. Before you know it, you’ve created a machine– and no matter how well oiled and efficient, the “machine” needs money to stay alive.

To keep the machine alive, you realize you’ve become a slave to the machine you’ve created out of your success doing what you love.

You start playing it safe. All your important decisions– the type work you want to do, the quality of clients you attract and take on, the people you surround yourself with, and the overhead you lock yourself into– become driven by the transactional (money) side of your business. Sometimes your original “love of doing” takes a backseat. Once you’re comfortable and accomplished, recognized by your peers and clients as successful, you’re ego is heavily invested in the status quo of your own success story.

A funny thing can happen on the road to your success– you get comfortable! And when you’re comfortable, that’s when the momentum of your growth and expansion loses steam and your slide towards dissatisfaction, boredom and burnout begins.

Be mindful on your road to success and accomplishment. Keep the love of doing for its own sake very much alive and at the center of your business growth.

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