Now in NETT magazine – monthly

I’m now writing a monthly column for NETT magazine. Here’s a preview of the first column – click through to read the whole piece:

What’s the secret to financial success for small businesses? It turns out that Dr Seuss could hold the key.

Everyone has an idea for their dream job. Mine is to be the Australian Stieg Larsson.

Am I doing my dream job? Not yet, but like many small business owners, I’m working towards it by channelling my passion for words and ideas into a more tangible commercial enterprise.

Follow your passion and the money will follow. Opinion is strongly divided on the truth of this aphorism. Is it a good idea commercially to follow your dream? Plenty of passionate people without the requisite business skills have gone broke following their passion. I think the reverse is true: if you don’t have that passion, you can almost guarantee mediocre results.

In his latest book Linchpin, marketing guru Seth Godin talks about emotional labour, some essential part of yourself that can’t be automated or outsourced. This emotional labour, he argues, spells the difference between ‘just a job’ and ‘work’.

Sonia Simone, writing for the Copyblogger blog, says: “When you’re starting out, it’s tempting to look for a paint-by-numbers solution. Something that works a lot like a franchise, with a three-ring binder that explains what buttons to push.

‘The problem with push-button systems is that you can train a robot, or an ultra low-wage worker offshore, to push that button for you.
“What happens when someone comes along who can push the button 104% more efficiently than you can? Or who can push it at 97% of your cost?”

Small business success, she writes, lies with the emotional labour you bring to the task at hand. “It’s about the part that wants your creativity, your strange ideas, your ADHD, your intersection of interests, your passion, your giving a damn, your hard thinking. Simply put, it’s the love that you put into it.”

Read the whole column here:

Ray Welling