Shoud we follow our passion and try and make money from it?
There are two books on my bedside table this week, which I flick through before I go to sleep. Root to Bloom by Mat Pember and Jocelyn Cross and The $100 start up by Chris Guillebrau.
Root to Bloom is a lovely book about plants. I have been fascinated by plants since I was a child and watching my mother and her parents dig up the garden each year and plant all types of seeds. I loved watching the transformation throughout the year, as a patch of dirt, changed to a sea of green foliage and vibrant fruits and vegetables. I remember how excited my grandmother would get on the occasions when I would visit and a plant had grown it’s first shoot, or it’s first flower which would slowly transform into the vegetable or fruit. I loved the joy on her face, as she would walk me along the line of pea , green or broad bean plants and find the first vegetable to appear and offer it to me, like it was a prize. Of course I would eat it, have you ever eaten a vegetable or fruit straight from the plant? You can’t get any fresher than that.
The book is like a factfile. Each page reports a different plant and explains its origin, facts about its growth, the parts you can eat from its root to bloom, and any healing qualities that the plant may have. This has been another passion of mine. I truly believe that plants can heal, which is why we have them on earth. It’s a bit of a tangent from my food business idea, but one worth talking about, as I feel inclined to add this to my mix. It’s a dream to have a huge vegetable patch and grow fresh products for my family and people to enjoy. Yes, I have an urban garden, and make the most of it by growing fresh herbs and the occasional spinach, tomatoes and bean plants. But I would love to have a larger area to support a business in healing plants. Or selling plants with messages of how they can heal or protect.
This leads me to my second book The $100 start up, and this message is a good reminder. ‘‘You must focus continually on how your project can help other people, and why they’ll care about what you’re offering in the first place’’. Lots of entrepreneurs often talk about what the problem is and how are you going to fix it. While the above passion is only one of my ideas, not the idea I am pursuing at the moment, it definitely is one, and one which I believe people care about. I think people’s attitudes to the environment are shifting. I have always been a girl that likes the land and nature, and need to remind myself that not everyone does enjoy being in nature. I am often reminded of this when I teach younger kids to plant seeds and nurture them to grow, so many children do not like getting their hands dirty and touching the soil. But, I believe people are starting to realise the benefits of nature and the necessity to strive and maintain ‘that balance of nature’ that is often talked about.
Not all my passions will work as a business for me. I don’t think I could sell my drawings and paintings. I’m not sure I could find a business where I read all day (or could I?). Could I take people out cold water swimming- maybe I could feed them hot chocolate and cake when they come out of the water and shiver from the cold? I know my passion is cooking and baking, but am I prepared to spend 5–10 hours a week doing administration around it? I think there’s only one way to find out. I’ve been talking about working for myself for the last 5 years now, and believe I just have to try. Who says this journey is about success? Maybe success is not setting up a successful business, maybe it’s just knowing I can set one up? Will people I don’t know eat my cakes? Come back next week to find out!