day in the life: lunch money

I started my business with about $80 that I put on my personal credit card so that my husband wouldn’t see the bill.

That was what it cost for my first web hosting plan. I don’t think I spent another dime on the business for a few months. Nothing more substantial than a fiver here or a ten spot there, that’s for sure.

By necessity, I did everything myself. What I didn’t know how to do, I learned or ignored. It was about 5 months until I started to bring in more that a few dollars per week.

That was the summer I bought Scoutie Girl with a loan from our local credit union. The 2 block walk with the check from my house to Jan‘s was exhilarating. I felt like I walked there a wannabe and walked back a real business owner.

That very real exchange of money kick-started my drive to grow the business. This wasn’t about some cash on the side anymore. It was about profit. Passion-driven, profit-earning business building.

The very first month the site was under my management, I brought in more ad revenue than ever before. I also created a fall advertising package that earned more in a month than I had at my previous full-time job. I was making a profit!

Of course, that was the first time I felt uneasy about the money appearing in my PayPal account. It was the first time I really questioned whether it was okay for me to be pulling in a profit in a way that was just so much fun! I got really uneasy about “me” and my skills.

That initial exchange was also a dive into the deep end of collaborative business relationships. You see, my business is not an island. Nor is yours.

Over time, I came to understand that making a hefty profit isn’t about “me,” it’s really about the “we.”

My profit is part of the community’s profit. My growth is part of the community’s growth. My success is part of the community’s success.

There is no room in microbusiness for a business that is not part of the greater whole.

You’ve heard it said that “you gotta spend money to make money.” I would argue that the flip side is true as well:

You gotta spend money because you make money.

The more money I make, the more I can let flow back out to other businesses that support me: my assistant, my coaches, my technologies, my designers. The more I profit the more sustainable those other businesses are.

I increase my expenses as my profit increases because, each time I do, I gain freedom, security, and support. My business no longer relies upon my ability to get stuff done – now I have a team to fall back on, to trust.

Without profit, there is no team. Without the team, I can’t profit.

If I try to hoard my profits, I end up becoming overwhelmed & disillusioned. And I owe a ridiculous tax bill.

You can’t DIY yourself to sustainability. And you can’t DIY yourself to freedom.

The road between passion & profit can feel like a greedy one.

Who am I to earn money from something that comes so naturally?

Yet, earning a substantial living from your passion allows you to support others in their own passions. The cycle is generous and unending.

Profit isn’t only about “me” – profit works best when you consider the “we.”

This post is part of the Passion to Profit series hosted by Laura of Create as Folk. You can grab the entire series in a fab little ebook Laura put together. Click here to download immediately! (right-click & save as, if necessary)/em>

{image credit: emdot}