Be Rich or Be Happy: Which Would You Choose?

Sorry, pet-preneurs: You’re not likely to achieve both. Here’s why.


The stereotype of an entrepreneur is a person who starts a business—any business—in order to get rich. In reality that is seldom the case: Most entrepreneurs start their small business to follow a passion, do what they love, and live a dream.

But what if you want to do what you love and get rich? Without the right approach, it’s often impossible to accomplish both goals.

The problem lies in scale.

Say you’ve always dreamed of having your own pet business, you take the plunge and you open a facility that can handle 50 daycare dogs and 20 boarding dogs. You get to do what you love, but in simple terms the prices you can charge and the number of dogs  you can serve naturally caps the financial returns possible.

You can be successful—but only to a point.

And you might be perfectly fine with that, as long as you view success as getting paid to do what you love. (Which is, of course, an awesome definition of success.)

Once you hit those inherent caps, the only way to generate more income is to expand: Add more capacity, add more services, add more locations, add employees, add to your investment… add more of everything.

And then you get to do less of what you love. More of your time will be spent working on your business, not working in it. Every business expert says to be successful, you must work on your business, not in it—but unless what you love is running a business, you won’t be as happy.

Certainly some owners make less, and some make a lot more, but absent a unique approach your income will probably fall somewhere within that range. (Achieving out-of-norm results in any field requires taking out-of-norm actions.)

Say you hit the top end of that estimate. $85,000 is a great income, but it’s also well short of let’s say a $300,000 target. Unless you’re in a densely populated area and have captured and dominant the marketshare, to reach your income goal you’ll need to establish multiple locations in multiple markets.

Either way, you’ll get to do a lot less working with the dogs and personally delivering a quality service than you originally hoped since your primary focus will need to be on growing and running the business—not on the day-to-day customer and dog interactions.

That leaves you with a choice: Do more of what you love and earn less than you hoped… or scale up and do less of what you love in order to make more money.

Only in rare cases do entrepreneurs get to have it both ways.

So take a step back and think about your goals.

If you will enjoy the satisfaction of doing what you love and will be satisfied with the income you can realistically expect to earn, then scale doesn’t matter. Live your dream and work in your business.

But if the income potential of doing what you love won’t be sufficient, create a plan that allows you to scale your business. Set your financial target and work on your business to build a company of sufficient scale to achieve that target.

If you fall into the second category, more income potential, contact Villa La Paws and we will help you build the plan and roadmap to achieve your financial target.

Either choice is great—as long as it’s the choice that works best for you.

Posted in: Corporate Blogs

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