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Business Basics 101

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by Ellen Rohr

There is a hip business book that raced up the best seller list: "Do What You Love and the Money Will Follow." Ha! Not true. It's a myth! Doing what you love for a living is wonderful, essential. But the money won't necessarily follow.

That's why there are "starving artists" and business owners who work 100 hours a week and make less than minimum wage.

In fact, doing what you love can fool you into thinking the money doesn't matter. Money does matter. You have mouths to feed, taxes to pay, employees who depend on you, charities to support, tithing to contribute É and it all takes money.

Money is handy. It's a nice, neutral medium for exchanging goods and services. And it beats trading for chickens.

So why do so many folks justify their poor financial performance?

"I take pride in my work. I'm not in it for the money."

It drives me nuts when someone says this! Every non-profitable businessperson will ultimately depend on me and our welfare system to support them. You can do what you love É just make money doing it.

"Put your heart and soul into your work and you're sure to be successful."

There is one way only one way to be successful in business: charge more for your products than it costs to create and deliver them. First-class customer service and flawless quality are not the keys to success. Take more money in than you send out.

Does this all seem self-evident? Then why do so many pussyfoot around this subject? Are you afraid that wanting money makes you a bad guy? Perhaps, if you are good enough and kind enough, money will just drop in your lap as a well-deserved reward.

Profits and integrity are not opposites. The barely-getting-by businessperson never has enough money to contribute to good causes. And the fellow who is pressed for money will compromise his principles much sooner than the fellow with some "cushion."

Do what you love, and the money may follow É if you confront and manage the financial aspects of your business. It is not enough to hope and pray. You must do the things that ensure your success.

Once upon a time there was a nice fellow named Louie. Louie was kind, hard-working and very religious. He worked hard but had little to show for all his years of service to his community. One day, he walked into a church, fell to his knees and cried out, "Dear God, I am a good man and I have led a good life. I have never asked you for anything. Please, grant me this one favor. Let me win the lottery. I will ask only for this as long as I live."

Twenty years passed Louie never won the lottery. Frustrated, Louie cried out to the heavens, "God, why would you not grant me my one and only wish?"

The sky opened, and the voice of God sounded É

"Louie, you gotta buy a ticket!"

Address the financial aspects of your business head-on. Read your financial statements at least once a month, or as often as once a day.

Do what you love É but mind the money.

(Ellen Rohr's mission is to help folks make a living doing what they love. Her new book is called "Where Did the Money Go? a Beginner's Guide to Basic Business Scorekeeping." To order the book or visit with Ellen, call 753-3998. Or e-mail maxrohr@earthlink.net)

INSET CAPTION:

Money does matter.

You have mouths to feed, taxes to pay, employees who depend on you, charities to support, tithing to contribute...and it all takes money.[[In-content Ad]]

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