Hide Ya Kids, Hide Ya Wife: Hobbyist on the Loose!

In last week’s post, I touched on the idea of a business article induced euphoria of laziness. This week I touch on the exact opposite, this is when one wounds oneself so tightly into the “reality” of business as served to you in a 4-5 paragraph amuse-bouche of “You suck and let me tell you why,” the fast and loose conventional wisdom of business traditionalists.
I read these words, “Any business that isn’t turning a profit after 3 years is a hobby”.
My response:
The AWKWARD moment when you realize that your “business” is far less than a business in the true sense of the word and more like a Hobby which you have quit your “job” or the-misery-of-working-for-others-with-a-guaranteed-paycheck  to pursue full time. And you, you have traded one misery for another. You my dear have plummeted yourself into the debasing hell of self-employment-failure-to-launch syndrome. What is that? that is the space where your “brilliant” ideas are sucked into your vortex of inexperience, incapability, and general overarching failure never to return.
Pick your head up off of that desk! Stop banging it [your head] on the wall!  Back away from the flight of steps you’d planned to throw yourself down…SO what? Your business and your journey haven’t followed conventional wisdom.
Do you love it?
Are you subsidizing it by doing odd jobs and looking the mirror thinking “when will I be able to really make a living? Did I make a huge mistake?” But every time you sell a new product or someone inquires about your biz, you light up from ear to ear and it renews your faith?

Being called or considered a hobby[ist] isn’t the worst thing you can do or be. Let them call you whatever they’d like. Call yourself a student of entrepreneurship, maybe enroll in a marketing class online to help yourself learn how to get to the next level. Sit down with your financials, your bizImage plan and/or biz history and outline the shortcomings, weaknesses, etc. Make a plan to fill the gaps and give yourself the time YOU need to get it right.

Check out our FREE DOWNLOADS for some help with getting organized.

1618555_10202292391703163_1112116865_nMelissa A. Matthews is author of the e-book, An Artpreneur’s Guide to Pigging Out and co-owner of MAM Squared, LLC.

Required Reading: Umm What? Why?!

By: Michele A. Matthews, Co-Owner of MAM Squared, LLC.

I have been a business owner/entrepreneur/starter for two years, five months, 29 days and six hours. I’ve been through A LOT in that relatively short period of time–some really high highs and some devastatingly low lows (all of which you will probably read about on this very blog in the not-so-distant future). I entered the world of solopreneurship and now, partnership, with a considerable amount of experience in my field of expertise–strategic communications. So, I thought I knew a lot about what my business entailed and how to handle said entailments. Thought is far and away the key part of that sentiment because though I knew quite a bit about strategic communications, especially where nonprofits are concerned, I knew very little about how to build and manage a business. Being an excellent (if I say so myself) communicator and networker and relationship-builder was a great start, but guess what? That’s right, it was just that–a mere start!

So, what did I do about it?  Well, I started reading; much like you’ve done because you’re obviously reading this right now.

I love to read–I love to read books, blogs, journal articles, especially pieces that can influence my thought process or give me another perspective on something I’ve been trying to master in my business. Over the past two years, I’ve read hundreds of blog posts and articles and quite a few books about everything from registering your business to online content creation management. The latter of which I’ve known a lot about for quite sometime, but I know enough to know that I don’t know everything and that there’s someone somewhere out there who knows more than me. Even if all you have at this point in your entrepreneurial journey is the idea for your new business, the best way to develop, grow and shape your business is by reading all you can about every aspect of business. And, I want to be clear: that doesn’t mean that you take everything that you read as the gospel and apply it all to your business. That would be a very, very, very bad idea.

However, I do think that Dr. Seuss had it right when he said ““The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.” So, I recommend you read everything you can and use your discernment to process what you’ve read or what you read on a daily basis. The things that resonate with you–the sentiments, tips, tricks, thought processes that you feel in your heart and soul–keep, act-on, bookmark for later! And the ones that don’t, you can handle in a few ways. For the things (advice, tips, tricks, general sentiments) that I read and violently disagree with–I mean loathe with every cell of my being–I use as fodder for content. Don’t look at me like that! I, simply, respond to it and state why I disagree so passionately and I do that on my blog to spark conversation or dialogue to get the opinions of other folks–other entrepreneurs. And, another way that i deal with pieces i’ve read that don’t particularly resonate with me, but that don’t necessarily evoke any real passion either positively or negatively, is to ignore them. You can adapt my methodology (or not), but you should definitely start (if you’re not already) making reading about improving your business, business processes and even your own personal development a major priority in your quest to develop, grow and sustain your business.

I say all of that to say, that we’re launching this column to share some of the resources that we consider required reading (because well, they’ve helped us…duh!) on our path to take over the world and that we think you’ll find helpful. We’re going to share and analyze everything from specific one-off blog posts and articles that we’ve found helpful over the years, to whole blogs (or the bloggers behind them) and books. Reading is fundamental to your and your business’ success, we want to see you succeed so check out our “Required Reading” every time we post, we can almost guarantee that you won’t be disappointed.

Michele A. Matthews is the founder of Agitate Media and Co-owner of MAM Squared, LLC.