Ask Celes – Should I Start/Work On a High-Profit Business or Do Something I’m Passionate in But with Low Money-Making Possibilities?

Ask Celes

I’m earning well from an established business but I’m not passionate about it anymore. Should I continue with this business or start a new business which I’m passionate about but does not have the same money-making potential? The latter will be more enjoyable but will be a risk. ~ Ash

Hi Ash, this sounds like our proverbial question of should I pursue passion or money? I have addressed this question before in Passion or Money?

Without repeating what I have written in that post, my answer is not to box yourself with either profit/money (Scenario A) or passion (Scenario B), but to create a Scenario C which has the best of both worlds—profit/money AND passion. That’s because picking either path will not make you happy, since you will be lacking something in each path (money in the path with passion, and passion in the path with money).

So in your scenario, you are earning well from your established business but you are not passionate about it anymore. Continuing with the business will make you financially wealthy but emotionally and spiritually empty as it is not something you enjoy (Scenario A). On the other hand, abandoning your business for your passion will leave you unsatisfied (Scenario B) since you will not be as financially abundant as compared to the previous scenario.

Applying my recommendation, you should then look for a third path which will lead you to Scenario C to get the best of both worlds. Some possibilities:

  1. Run your established business (X) while starting your new business (Y). This way, you can earn money through X while waiting for Y to gain traction. Transit to Y full-time when it generates as much revenue as X.

    If X is taking up all your time, delegate your work, outsource, or create systems in X to free time up for Y. In The Passive Income System (Modules 3 and 4 in particular), I teach strategies to remove yourself from your business and have it run without you.

  2. If your new business idea Y has low money-making potential, improvise it to increase its money-making potential. Money is a function of the value you give, so as long as you deliver massive value, you should be able to generate massive revenue.

    If you can’t generate much money from it, that means you aren’t giving value that people want. Return to the drawing board and create an idea that lets you do that. Read How To Get From Earning $6/hr to $1,000/hr (6 Essential Rules To Increase Your Earning Power) and Million Dollar Tip Series.

  3. Start a totally new business Z which has high money-making potential and is something you are passionate about.

My Example

Beginning Phase

I used to be in a similar passion-or-money situation where I was in a well-paying job which I didn’t love anymore (this was pre-PE) and I wanted to pursue my passion to help others grow. However, since I would be just starting out, my passion would not generate as much money for me at the onset.

Not wanting to settle with either passion or money, I quit my day job to pursue my passion, with the intention to earn more money than I ever used to. In the beginning where I had no income, I did private tuition so I would have some cash flow to offset my expenses. I stopped the tuition after I started generating revenue from my passion (within the fourth month of starting my business) and focused my efforts on growing the business.

Today, my monthly revenue from PE is higher than my last drawn salary in my previous job. This happened because I created a Path C. (Get The Passive Income System and Blogging Success Program where I share how I established PE into a self-sustaining business today.)

I have detailed the early months of my passion pursuit journey in Passion or Money?How To Overcome Fear Of Loss And Pursue Your DreamsHow To Discover Your Ideal Career: Your Message and Your MediumPursuing Your Passion With No Money, and Passion Paycheck.

Next Phase in Pursuing My Passion

Now that PE is established today, I’m looking to create something new–something which will require start-up cost, and as a result, some risk.

While I can keep creating group coaching courses on PE and generate good revenue, I do not feel that it’s the best use of my abilities. I feel like I can do much more. It’s a path with money but little passion because I would not be stretching myself and creating as much good in the world as I want to.

I feel like starting something new, something where I can develop new skillsets and impact more people at the same time. A new business (but still in the field of personal development) is what I have in mind. Doing this will fulfill my passion for growth and impact, but it may not be financially fulfilling in the initial phase due to setup costs. A path with passion but no money (at least at the beginning).

Applying my own advice of creating a Path C, my plan is to maximize my revenue at PE as I work on my new business. I’m also improvising on my new business idea to increase its market potential. Effective time management and application of my passive income strategies will allow me to run both businesses at the same time.

I’m actually pretty excited to get my new business up and running, but it might be a few months before I can officially start work on it as I’m intending to travel to South Africa (and possibly South America) for the next two months. I also need to consult a programmer to understand the technical viability of my idea.

(Speaking of which, if any of you has some hard-core programming background (I’m thinking PHP and MySQL) and you don’t mind answering a question or two from me, please drop me a note at [removed]. Thanks—I will greatly appreciate it!

Update: Have since received a barrage of offers for help and now have my hands full! Thanks so much everyone for getting in touch—I really appreciate it! I’ll get in touch with you shortly if I need your help; otherwise please accept my deepest appreciation for even getting in touch in the first place.)

End Note

The long and the short is not to box yourself with either Path/Scenario A or Path/Scenario B. Find a Path C that lets you accomplish everything you want (Scenario C).

If there isn’t a Path C, create it.

If it’s not possible to create Path C at the moment, then create your end vision and plan your way there while picking the better path of the two in the short term. Day 2 of Live a Better Life in 30 Days Program is about setting the vision for your ideal life.

Because by choosing A or B, you will never be truly happy. You will be faced with an either-or situation which will only leave you mildly satisfied and largely unhappy, as you are not being the best version of yourself.

You were not born to compromise. You were not born to “make do” with what you have. You were born to live the greatest life of all and that is something you have to create for yourself, by your own hands, because no one is going to hand that to you.

Good luck, and I wish you all the best in the start of your new business/job/path/whatever you decide to do in the end. :D

  1. Do check out the Successful Businesses Interview Series which features interviews with eight awesome and highly successful entrepreneurs whom I have handpicked myself. I’m sure you will pick up a useful tip or two about entrepreneurship from these incredible individuals.
  2. Also check out the original Passion or Money? article for my original answer to this proverbial question.
  3. And of course, the entire passion pursuit series:

Image: Question mark

This is part of the Ask Celes section. If you have a question to ask me, proceed to the Ask Celes page. Check out past Ask Celes questions here.


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  • prabhaker

    Very helpful Celes! thank you..

    • http://personalexcellence.co Celes

      No problem prabhaker! I’m glad that you are finding it helpful. :D

  • JadePenguin

    I would ask: what do you need the money for? Money is never an end in itself, only a means to something. What is it that you would buy with money and do you really need it? Beyond our basic needs, money doesn’t really bring extra happiness.

    Maybe you’ve never experienced just how happy it can make you to provide true value to people. Maybe it would make you so happy you would not worry about the money anymore ;) (as long as you have your bills paid, ofc!)

    • http://personalexcellence.co Celes

      I think it’s important to get to the root of why you want money as it’ll help you to be more conscious about your pursuit, but a large part of your comment feels like a justification *not* to have more money, which I feel might be a self-limiting view in itself. It’s something to watch out on.

      During the first module of the Passive Income course, participants were asked to address their limiting money beliefs, as these limiting beliefs are the very reasons preventing them from earning more money. I distinctly recall one of the participants (Sultana) who shared the realization that she had been holding herself back from earning more money because she kept rationalizing that she wouldn’t need the extra money anyway. Then I just asked, “So what if you have an extra load of money now? One million dollars? One billion dollars? What can you accomplish with that? Wouldn’t that be used to help you in your higher pursuits like build schools for kids in South Africa and so on?” That really gave her an a-ha moment because she never thought about the extra things she could do with the money, especially not in the context of pursuing her higher goals.

      It is very true that money can’t buy happiness but more money will always be helpful in realizing our goals and achieving more good in the world. Money is a means, a tool, to help us accomplish a greater purpose, so it’s important we learn to utilize this tool and put it to our advantage rather than trying to explain away its role in our lives.

      It’s something I’m personally working on myself actually. :) Some parts of me used to fall under the camp that I don’t need much money to live and be happy (which is true of course), but now I’m beginning to realize how that’s holding me back in life and I should embrace an abundance mindset rather than justifying a scarcity situation (which will only perpetuate the scenario).

      • JadePenguin

        The problem I have with money is I know all money is created out of debt by private bankers. They create money out of thin air and expect you to pay back with interest (money which doesn’t exist). This creates an artificial scarcity which leads to poverty, unemployment etc.

        Since they control the money supply, they also control the world’s resources. We would have enough to feed and house everyone but since the money is in the wrong hands, that ain’t happening (because there is no monetary profit in solving welfare problems).

        I’m not sure if that made sense but Positive Money’s campaign page has more in-depth explanations: http://www.positivemoney.org/how-banks-create-money/

        If a monetary reform were to happen and the system wasn’t rigged anymore, I might take a different mindset towards money.

        • http://personalexcellence.co Celes

          I understand what you are saying, but whatever monetary issues that private bankers create is their own issue. It doesn’t mean that we should hold a scarcity mindset towards money and justify ourselves into living with less or having less. And if anything, the supposed misappropriation of money/resources which you are highlighting should actually be incentive for us to be more financially abundant. If people who are supposedly holding the world’s wealth are not utilizing it in a meaningful manner, then that should be a reason for us to acquire wealth ourselves such that we can then put them to better use. Grieving about how they are misusing the money or creating money issues in the world (or even washing our hands from them) isn’t going to solve those problems; it’s only going to let the issues persist. Taking charge of the situation through action though, will help to elevate the issues, even if it’s one tiny step at a time.

          I thought the video in Steve Pavlina’s latest blog post as well as what he had to say about it was interesting: http://www.stevepavlina.com/blog/2013/03/data-has-no-power-over-you/

          • JadePenguin

            After pondering over this for a while, I think we disagree due to different backgrounds. You’re living in a wealthy society and have seen many success stories. I come from a working class background. My family has worked hard all their lives and they’re still struggling. Even here in the UK, which is supposedly a wealthy country, I see more and more homeless people. I know that changing mindsets would not help any of them and their situation is not their own fault (would you say it is?)

            On a brighter note, I’m optimistic about the future, just not within the current fear and scarcity-driven economic system. I think the people will force the system to change and thus create a more abundant future. It has already happened in Iceland where they overthrew a corrupt government, wrote off all debt and nationalised the banks :bow:

            I’d say this counts as taking charge of the situation? :)

            • http://personalexcellence.co Celes

              I come from a low-income family. My parents were/are blue-collar, working class adults and worked their butts off all their lives just to put my brother and I through school. I remember when I was really young, how they would wake up early just to distribute newspapers to the neighborhood flats to earn, I don’t know, a few ten dollars. I’ve been to many parts of South East Asia, as well as New York, San Francisco and India where I got first-hand encounters of many poor people and homeless people. I was never, by any means, at a famine-level of poverty, but I was definitely not born into a rich household. I know you didn’t make any assumptions about my family background and I appreciate that, but I don’t think it’s fair to assume that I have not seen my fair share of non-wealth just because I don’t hold a scarcity view to wealth. As you mentioned yourself, UK is considered a wealth society with levels of poverty. One shouldn’t think otherwise about Singapore; there are really poor people here too and I live in the heartland/neighborhood areas where I do see such people daily.

              I also think it’s disempowering to use one’s background to explain away the rationale behind one’s beliefs rather than assume 100% responsibility for how we think. While my parents may be poor and while I’ve been to extremely poor places and seen extremely poor people, I use those experiences as motivation for me to earn more and accomplish more rather than as a justification *not* to have more wealth. Their backgrounds, my background, nor others’ predicaments have no hold over how I choose to view wealth and abundance; if fact, they inspire me to do more, because now I know “how expensive it really is to be poor” (one of my favorite quotes since young).

              Similarly, “not being born in a wealthy society” (though you did recognize that UK is considered a wealthy society and I think so too having been there just two years ago) and “not seeing any success stories” isn’t an excuse or reason to hold or not to hold abundance beliefs. The internet already puts us in touch with things all around the world where we can access case studies and stories from both the great and the fallen. It’s not a matter of not being exposed to these things; rather it’s about whether we WANT to be exposed to those case studies and whether we WANT to buy into them or not. It’s all about our fundamental lens of reality.

              At the end of the day, our beliefs to wealth basically create our reality. Hold scarcity views to wealth and the only thing that perpetuates in our life is scarcity of wealth. Hold an abundance mindset to wealth and it will only support one in accomplishing abundance in life. A perfect example would be how lottery winners (of million-dollar jackpots) would return to their original states of wealth after 1, 2, 3, to 5 years of their victories. Likewise, there’s billionaires like Donald Trump who was declared bankrupt a couple of times (at least, if i’m not wrong) in his life but returned with more wealth after that.

              As for one’s situation perpetuating one’s poverty (or wealth), I think this story is a great example of how one can turn from rags to riches if one truly wants to:

              http://www.forbes.com/sites/crossingborders/2013/02/13/how-one-woman-went-from-homeless-to-millionaire-in-less-than-two-years/

              I think a good example of someone who created the bulk of his wealth would be Mark Zuckerberg. I don’t know his family background and I personally don’t care, but I think it is undisputable that he created a large part of Facebook’s success and as a result, his own success and his billion-dollar net worth (whether that sustains or not is a different thing altogether).

              What I like is that you are consciously evaluating different things happening around the world and slowly integrating them into living a better life. One watch out I have (for everyone including myself) is just to always examine our beliefs. What are your goals, and are your beliefs helping to support them? If not, then maybe it’s a good opportunity to re-evaluate them, drop the disempowering beliefs, and embrace the empowering ones instead. There are no right or wrong beliefs really (after all everyone’s reality is subjective), only disempowering or empowering beliefs.

              • JadePenguin

                I can’t agree with you but better not turn this into an argument :) Thank you for taking the time to reply!

                • Bob

                  Hey Celes and Jade,

                  I like both of your view points, I think that with education (both school and self taught) it can lead us to have a more enriched life because we realise that there are so many more choices available to us.

                  Money gives us the option to have experiences almost immediately which can be good or bad, but it also makes us aware of how we manage or mismanage our lives.

                • http://personalexcellence.co Celes

                  Sure! Disagreeing is your own choice to make as well, Jade. :D Just remember your beliefs make up your own reality. Thanks for your response and all the best to your pursuits!

  • http://www.CoachingWithChristina.com Christina

    Hi Celes!

    I really, really loved this post! I think it’s so easy to get caught up in the desire to follow passion even if it doesn’t lead to money without thinking there is a third option–more people need to be aware of that! I’m so glad that you stated that so clearly.

    I’m also really excited to hear about your new business!!!!

    ~Christina

    • http://personalexcellence.co Celes

      Thanks Christina! I appreciate your support. :D