4 Brain Hacks For Mixing Business With Pleasure


Don’t mix business with pleasure. Who really believes in that nonsense? Truth is, dedicating your precious time to something when your heart’s not in it makes absolutely no sense. And since you don’t have to choose between your passion and paycheck – what’s holding you back from doing what you really love?

Fixed points of view can be problematic. Life seems to force-feed us others' opinions and judgments, and before we know it, the way we see things is the way they see things.

This only causes hesitation and a fear of being different and finding our true element.

In reality, we all have a huge treasure box of creativity that’s just waiting to be explored, yet so many of us choose to conform and play it safe. It’s about time we change that and start celebrating all the eclectic little details that make each of us unique. When we allow ourselves to be passionate and follow our dreams, without paying attention to the stifling judgment, the world becomes a more interesting and joyful place. And guess what? Money follows joy, rather than the other way around.

“But I Don’t Even Know What I Like to Do”

Sure you do. Take a deep breath and look for that one thing – or things – you’d never want to live without. Something in your life is probably so much fun that you never imagined you could make money from it. What if you actually can?

Here are a few suggestions on how you can start ripping that fear-box apart and let your creativity take you on a great joyride, along with your business.

Take Big Baby Steps

Change can happen overnight if you’re willing to receive it. If you make your passion a part of your daily life, you can build from there. The more you get involved, the more it will affect everything else you do – like your business. Are you ready to choose what’s fun for you instead of whining about it? Are you willing to commit to you and have your own back? Most people would say they desire more out of life, but not as many are willing to do what it takes. Are you in?

Forget Not Good Enough

Maybe you know very well what your true passion is, but you’re just scared of failing. That’s not unusual and people will always tell you what you should or shouldn’t do. But with creativity, there’s no such thing as a failure. Someone might hate what you do, but so what? Just thank them for their interesting point of view and continue choosing what’s true for you. If you dare to take that scary leap of faith of yourself, chances are good that someone will love it – and that feeling is simply unbeatable.

When You Peak, Be Unique

Ever seen those YouTube clips of incredible people doing amazing things? The weird things they do are of course spectacular, but beyond that, you get inspired from the fact that they just don’t seem to care what anyone else thinks. They do what they love to do in their own unique way and you get a sense that anything is possible. It’s when you’re willing to have it all and lose it all that you become free to succeed in creation. Sooner than later, you will be rewarded. This doesn’t mean you need to jump the Niagara Falls in a rabbit suit – simply explore and express more of what’s truly you.

Ask and You Will Out-Create

Once you get going creatively, don’t get too comfortable. Passion needs constant care and the best treatment you can give it is curiosity. Always ask what else you can create in life and business. Is there something you’d like to try that perhaps seems impossible? Go for it – impossible is only temporary. Even if it doesn’t turn out the way you expected, it could still lead to new creative ideas that help you monetize your passion.

3 Min Read

Five Essential Lessons to Keep in Mind When You're Starting Your Own Business

"How did you ever get into a business like that?" people ask me. They're confounded to hear that my product is industrial baler wire—a very unfeminine pursuit, especially in 1975 when I founded my company in the midst of a machismo man's world. It's a long story, but I'll try to shorten it.

I'd never been interested to enter the "man's" world of business, but when I discovered a lucrative opportunity to become my own boss, I couldn't pass it up—even if it involved a non-glamorous product. I'd been fired from my previous job working to become a ladies' clothing buyer and was told at my dismissal, "You just aren't management or corporate material." My primary goal then was to find a career in which nobody had the power to fire me and that provided a comfortable living for my two little girls and myself.

Over the years, I've learned quite a few tough lessons about how to successfully run a business. Below are five essential elements to keep in mind, as well as my story on how I learned them.

Find A Need And Fill It

I gradually became successful at selling various products, which unfortunately weren't profitable enough to get me off the ground, so I asked people what they needed that they couldn't seem to get. One man said, "Honey, I need baler wire. Even the farmers can't get it." I saw happy dollar signs as he talked on and dedicated myself to figuring out the baler wire industry.

I'd never been interested to enter the "man's" world of business, but when I discovered a lucrative opportunity to become my own boss, I couldn't pass it up.

Now forty-five years later, I'm proud to be the founder of Vulcan Wire, Inc., an industrial baler wire company with $10 million of annual sales.

Have Working Capital And Credit

There were many pitfalls along the way to my eventual success. My daughters and I were subsisting from my unemployment checks, erratic alimony and child-support payments, and food stamps. I had no money stashed up to start up a business.

I paid for the first wire with a check for which I had no funds, an illegal act, but I thought it wouldn't matter as long as I made a deposit to cover the deficit before the bank received the check. My expectation was that I'd receive payment immediately upon delivery, for which I used a rented truck.

Little did I know that this Fortune 500 company's modus operandi was to pay all bills thirty or more days after receipts. My customer initially refused to pay on the spot. I told him I would consequently have to return the wire, so he reluctantly decided to call corporate headquarters for this unusual request.

My stomach was in knots the whole time he was gone, because he said it was iffy that corporate would come through. Fifty minutes later, however, he emerged with a check in hand, resentful of the time away from his busy schedule. Stressed, he told me to never again expect another C.O.D. and that any future sale must be on credit. Luckily, I made it to the bank with a few minutes to spare.

Know Your Product Thoroughly

I received a disheartening phone call shortly thereafter: my wire was breaking. This horrible news fueled the fire of my fears. Would I have to reimburse my customer? Would my vendor refuse to reimburse me?

My customer told me to come over and take samples of his good wire to see if I might duplicate it. I did that and educated myself on the necessary qualities.

My primary goal then was to find a career in which nobody had the power to fire me and that provided a comfortable living for my two little girls and myself.

Voila! I found another wire supplier that had the right specifications. By then, I was savvy enough to act as though they would naturally give me thirty-day terms. They did!

More good news: My customer merely threw away all the bad wire I'd sold him, and the new wire worked perfectly; he then gave me leads and a good endorsement. I rapidly gained more wire customers.

Anticipate The Dangers Of Exponential Growth

I had made a depressing discovery. My working capital was inadequate. After I purchased the wire, I had to wait ten to thirty days for a fabricator to get it reconfigured, which became a looming problem. It meant that to maintain a good credit standing, I had to pay for the wire ten to thirty days before my customers paid me.

I was successful on paper but was incredibly cash deprived. In other words, my exponentially growing business was about to implode due to too many sales. Eventually, my increasing sales grew at a slower rate, solving my cash flow problem.

Delegate From The Bottom Up

I learned how to delegate and eventually delegated myself out of the top jobs of CEO, President, CFO, and Vice President of Finance. Now, at seventy-eight years old, I've sold all but a third of Vulcan's stock and am semi-retired with my only job currently serving as Vice President of Stock and Consultant.

In the interim, I survived many obstacles and learned many other lessons, but hopefully these five will get you started and help prevent some of you from having the same struggles that I did. And in the end, I figured it all out, just like you will.