Are you struggling to build your online business? Not making the money you want? Following strategies but not getting results? Do you find yourself wondering why other people are successful and able to “make it online” and you’re not?

You might think it has to do with traffic, marketing, sales conversion, even what you’re selling.  And it’s true – to build a solid business, you need all of the above; a product people want to buy, a market that spends money, a way to reach those customers and enough customers clicking the buying button to generate income.

But there are two ingredients that are more important than all of the above – and without them, you’ll be hard pressed to become a success at whatever business venture you attempt…

Passion and purpose.

Over the years I’ve worked with thousands of entrepreneurs. I’ve read hundreds and hundreds of entrepreneurial profiles, biographies and autobiographies. And the one common trait among people that are successful and happy in their business is that they love what they do.  At the heart of their business there was a passion and a purpose that determined what type of business they built.

In fact, I can’t think of one successful business owner who has ever said “I don’t care about what I sell, I don’t care about my customers, I’m not interested at all in my niche market, yet I’m wildly successful.”

Somewhere in the equation you call your business, you have to be passionate and have purpose about what you do. You may not like every aspect of  your business (in fact most people don’t), but there has to be some part of your business that gets you out of bed in the morning and finds you saying “Yes! I am excited to do this today!”

Because it’s this passion and purpose that leads to the other “p” that you need in business – and that’s persistence.

If you don’t love what you do (or at least like it a lot) you won’t have the motivation to persist.  With out persistence, the success rate is nil.

How about you? Do you love the business model you’re pursuing? Do you get up in the morning excited about what you’re going to sell or with new ideas of how you can serve your customers?

Or are you going through the motions, hoping that if you just take the right steps, you’ll make some money.

Now there’s nothing wrong with creating a short-term cash machine. Need money by next week?  Anyone can list something around the house on Craigslist or eBay and make a quick buck.

What I’m talking about here is a business that generates a part-time or full-time consistent income.  Something that you are invested in that is going to pay you back with income.

Unfortunately many people who are stuck or struggling with success online are pursuing the wrong business model.

There’s a big difference between discovering that you love the thrill of selling physical products online and wanting to learn how to be very good at it versus trying to start an eBay business or a website because you heard there’s big money in online sales and “anybody can do it.”

You may be enthralled with the idea of being a profitable blogger, but you hate to write or be in the public eye. Each post becomes a struggle, each day you have to gear yourself up to blog.

If this is the case, it’s not the right business model for you.

If you’re struggling with what to sell online – you’ve gone through niche after niche, product after product, and you just can’t hit on something that feels right for you – there is something inside of you that’s blocking your progress. (Note: This applies to people who have been looking for profitable items to sell for a few years. Not the person who has been looking for a week.) 😉

If you are trying to build a business without passion or purpose you won’t have the motivation to dig into your market and figure out what your customers want, what the new products are in the market, what books your customers are reading, what they are buying. etc.

If you’re out there searching and searching for a way to make money online, you first need to stop and take stock of who you are and what you like to do.

  • If you like to write, you’re probably good at it – or you like it enough to want to get better.  Blogging might be the perfect business model for you.
  • Love the process of ferreting out niches, putting up websites and driving traffic? Affiliate marketing might be your passion and purpose.
  • Have a skill, an expertise, an experience that you want to share with the world? Information marketing might be your perfect model.
  • Maybe you love to present in front of groups and enlighten and inspire? A business that revolves around teleseminars may be your path.
  • Are you an expert at getting people organized? How about marketing that business along with related products online?
  • Maybe you’re the ultimate connector, bringing like minds together wherever you go. The perfect business model for you could be a community portal – one that gets so much traffic as a result of your desire to connect that advertisers come to you and pay you to piggyback off your traffic.
  • Maybe you have a passion for antique cars and video and you travel the country taking videos at all the events. What about a membership site where fellow antique car lovers can connect?

You could be like my friend Dave. Video and audio editing was his job. And he’s good at it. But he loves cooking.  These days you’ll find him cooking up something tasty on a local TV cooking show in his hometown.  I have no doubt it’s just the beginning of his path to the Food Network. Speaking of which – did you know that Martha Stewart started her empire because she had a passion for cooking and entertaining. She started a catering company with a friend. Do you think she would have been as successful if she had decided to start a business selling plumbing supplies?  It’s doubtful.

Or my other friend Jeff who’s what I call a “Deal Scout” – he’ll find a way to sell anything.  No matter what it is, he figures – why not try and sell it? And he’s always looking. You’d be surprised at the stuff he’s sold on eBay. This is a guy who if he sees me with a bag ready to be donated to Goodwill, will ask to go through it first to see what’s in there that he can sell.  He loves the thrill of the hunt.

What about you? What makes you light up? If you could have any business at all, in the entire world with guaranteed success, what would you do? In that answer lies the clues to what you should be doing.

I hope this is gets you thinking… gets you in touch with your dreams, your passion and your purpose…

Because what I’m about to say next might shock you.

Profiting online with passion and purpose is not about “Do what you love and the money will follow.”

What you love to do must translate into a business model if you want to make money.

You may have a passion for goats, but are there enough products , services and information to sell related to goats in order to build a business? And are there enough people buying products, services and information about goats to generate the kind of income you need?

If the answer is “yes”, then congratulations, you can monetize your passion!  If the answer is no, then it’s time to look at what is it about the “goat business” that appeals to you.  Maybe you can’t build a business solely around goats, but you can build a business around farm animals (goats included).

When I got started selling online, I was also contemplating  homeschooling my son. I had a lot of friends who were homeschooling their kids. So I thought about selling homeschooling products online. Unfortunately there are many limitations by the manufacturers as to what homeschooling products you can sell online. Additionally, there is not a lot of profit in selling used homeschooling products. Because my potential market – homeschooling parents –  like to make their training materials budget stretch as far as  possible.

If I had stuck with the homeschooling niche, I wouldn’t have been able to make a go of it. Instead I went into the more lucrative kid’s higher-end product niche. A market I also knew and loved – and one that was profitable. In the end, I was happy – I was selling high-end products to parents who had the money to buy them, and in turn, I was making an income that fulfilled my needs. I had a passion and a purpose in my business, and at the time there was a huge market for what I was selling.

If there is no market for your passion or purpose, take a look inside and see what else fuels your spirit.

We all have more than one thing we love or are interested in. I started my online business with e-tail because I had experience in retail, I was good at it and I liked it enough to want to really want to get into it and immerse myself in the niche market. I reveled in reading about the latest kid’s products.  Got excited when I went to a trade show and looked at all the innovative new products that were coming into the marketplaces. Felt joy when I received an email from a customer telling me how beautiful her granddaughter looked in the seafoam green and pink flowered dress I had carefully sourced. I also sold books on Amazon – which I also loved.  I love to read . I love books. It was a product line I adored. I looked forward to sourcing books and watching them sell.

But there was additional  passion and purpose inside me which revealed itself 7 years ago… to help motivated entrepreneurs turn their passion and purpose into a profitable online business.

So how about you?

Are you building a business that plays to your skills, your talents, your passion and purpose? Or are you trying to follow a cookie cutter formula because you heard it works? Do you enjoy the core actions in your online business? Remember, you won’t like every aspect of it, but you’d better have an interest at the core.

Is there a market for your passion and purpose fueled business?

How much money do you want to make?

Maybe your passion is a facet of a larger scope.

The bottom line? If you’re not making the money you want online, before you buy another “traffic” ebook, or the latest get rich quick pitch, ask yourself “What exactly is it that I like to do? What am I good at? What energizes me?” Then see if it’s in alignment with what you’re doing now. Chances are it isn’t.

Want to revisit your business and help align it with your passion?

Share your thoughts below and let’s take a look at your next step.