Toolbox #3: Don't Follow Your Passion

Welcome to the third volume of the Tentmaker's Toolbox!

In this edition, we're talking about passion - not in the way you'd usually hear it. Sure, passion is important in life, but when it comes to starting an online business, it might not be the best guiding star.

Curious? Dive in to discover why we suggest swapping the phrase "follow your passion" for "follow the market."

So sit back, grab your coffee, and let's get started.


🧐 The Great Passion Misconception

Today, we're breaking the chains of conventional wisdom and addressing a cliché we’ve all heard: "Follow your passion."

It's a tantalizing call-to-arms. Toss aside the shackles of the 9-to-5 grind, plunge headfirst into what you love, and watch the money magically follow.

But let's pause and reflect, shall we?

Is the road to success really paved with our passions?

The answer is a nuanced one. Yes, passion is important - it can fuel your drive and dedication.

However, as anyone who has tried to monetize a love for vintage sock puppets knows, passions are often as unpredictable as a [insert your city] weather forecast.

What stirs your soul today may shift tomorrow. More importantly, passion doesn't always equal profitability.

When you're considering launching an online business (or any business for that matter), the most common advice may urge you to start with a product or service that you're passionate about, then seek an audience.

How about we flip the script? Instead of obsessing over a passion, identify a hole in the market - a service, a product, an in-demand skill - and become proficient in it.

A business grounded in market demand tends to be more resilient and profitable than one solely based on personal passions.

Our community of tentmakers, for example, is finding great success in lead generation for local businesses - a real need in the market today.

The magic happens when you uncover a problem you can solve. You might not wake up each morning with a burning passion for Facebook Ads or lead generation, but there's immense satisfaction to be found in creating an impact, serving others, and securing a sustainable income for your work. And who knows, over time, this work can indeed become a new passion!

So, how about we reframe the narrative? Follow the need and cultivate passion. 

When you establish a business that fills a gap in the market, you're not just building an income stream, you're also serving the community in a unique way.

And passion will follow.


Today’s action plan:

  1. Identify a Need: Start by looking around at your community, both online and offline. What are the common problems businesses or individuals are facing? Are there areas where they seem to be constantly struggling? This will give you a better understanding of where there's a need you might be able to fill.

  2. Learn an In-Demand Skill: Once you've identified a potential need in the market, align that with a skill you could learn. For example, many local businesses struggle with lead generation. Learning how to run effective Facebook ads to drive potential customers their way could be a game-changer. There are numerous online resources and courses - like our FB Ads Bootcamp - that can help you get up to speed.

  3. Validate Your Idea: Got a service in mind? Test it out! Offer it for free or at a discounted rate to a few potential customers in exchange for their feedback. It'll help you iron out the kinks before you go full throttle.

📚 What I’m Reading

Pitch Anything by Oren Klaff is required reading for our bootcamp students. It has helped me in ministry as much as in business and it’s one of the books I recommend most. Here are some key takeaways:

  1. Frame Control: the idea that in any social interaction, the person who controls the frame, or context, of the conversation is the one who has power. It's not about the content of the pitch, but how you present it.

  2. The "Big Idea": a successful pitch isn't about overwhelming an audience with information, but about conveying one single "big idea" that's provocative, intriguing, and engaging.

  3. Understanding the Brain: Klaff dives deep into how the human brain processes new information, emphasizing the importance of understanding how different parts of the brain influence decision-making.

📖 Scripture

Colossians 3:23-24 “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.” (NIV)

🚀 How I Can Help

That’s all for today!

Whenever you’re ready, here are 3 ways for us to work together:

  1. Join our Free FB Group: You don't have to go it alone. Tap into the wisdom of our community with over 2700 like-minded individuals navigating the same journey.

  2. Check out the FB Ads Bootcamp - our implementation coaching program that shows you how to manage Facebook Ads for clients, enabling you to build your own highly profitable 'tentmaking' business.

  3. Promote your business to 9500+ pastors and church leaders by sponsoring this newsletter. Contact me here.

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