Are You Making These 5 Mistakes Trying to Turn Your Passion into a Business?

Turning your passion into a business is all the rage…

But there’s a problem. It’s not as simple as just “following your passion.”

Henri Junttila

Guest Author – Henri Junttila, Founder of Wake Up Cloud

If you’ve tried building a business around something you love, you will have discovered that there are pitfalls no one tells you about.

It took me around three years, and $10,000+ before I figured out what worked, and what didn’t.

And in this article, I want to share five things that didn’t work.

Let’s dive in.


1. The Intersection


When you think about following your passion, all you think about is you, you, and more you. If you want to build a thriving business, that’s a problem.

A successful business exists to serve customers. That means you have to turn the spotlight on the people you help.

Do Not Block Intersection

It’s not enough to uncover what you love, you also have to discover what people are willing to pay for.

In other words, you have to find the intersection between what you want to do, what you’re good at, and what people are willing to pay for.

You do this by looking at what’s already out there. What are people spending money on? What problems do they have that you can help solve? If you’re starting an online business, there’s no need to spend months researching.

The key lies in getting started, because that’s when you’ll see what truly works. You can spend all the time you want playing in your imagination, but nothing happens until you test your ideas in the real world.


2. You’re Afraid of Competition


It’s quite unlikely that you’ll stumble on a market that is completely untapped. You might, but don’t bet on it. Instead, reframe the way you view competition.

Sumo CompetitionCompetition isn’t bad. It’s a sign that there’s money to be made in the market you’re interested in. You don’t even need an original idea to start a lifestyle business, what you need is enough determination to start before you’re ready.

Use your competition to become competitive. Observe them. Write down both what they are doing right and wrong. Then write down what you have to offer. Just writing things down will start giving you ideas on how you can stand out.

And to be honest, you don’t necessarily have to stand out in the beginning, because when you start, you have to experiment, and you have to get started.

I certainly didn’t stand out when I started my blog, Wake Up Cloud, but I started anyway, because I couldn’t not start.

Wake Up Cloud - Henri Junttila

3. You’re Chasing Shiny Objects


Another pitfall I see people fall into is chasing one shiny opportunity after the other. I can relate, because I did this for those first few years. It seems we all need to go through an initial learning phase where we beat our head against the wall until we explode with frustration.

This is how I “wasted” $10,000+. I don’t regret it, because I learned what doesn’t work, and it eventually got me on the right track.Shiny Objects

But in order to turn your passion into a lifestyle business, you have to put on your blinders, and stay focused until you make one thing work.

If you want to write Kindle books on Amazon, then make that your priority. Forget everything else until you’re making $500 per month with your Kindle books.

This kind of relentless focus is what helped me build my first profitable website. I focused on one project. I put everything I had into it. I got a mentor. And I took massive action every day.

I still had dozens of exciting ideas, but I stayed focused, because I knew that if I wanted to make this work, I had to start with one thing.

So pick something that you are able to do, that you’re good at (or want to become good at), that people want, and make it work.


4. You Lack the Yoda Factor

Yoda and Luke Skywalker

Even Luke Skywalker needed a mentor. He needed someone to show him how to use the potential he had inside himself.

And so will you need a mentor, or a training program, where you can let go of worrying about whether or not you’re doing things right and just focus on taking action.

Before you can forge your own path, you have to master one that has been proven to work. Don’t take advice as gospel. There’s no right or wrong way to start your business. There are guidelines, sure, but not rules.

When you look for information online, you’ll bump into a lot of conflicting advice. That’s because different strategies work for different people.

Tap into the Yoda factor and get someone to help you on your path. It’ll shave years off your learning curve, and get you into profitability faster.


5. You’re a “Perfectionist”


Last, but not least, you have to be willing to start before you’re ready.

Lifestyle Entrepreneurs are not Perfectionists

You can wait for the perfect idea, or a new opportunity, but it won’t make much of a difference. Nothing will happen until you take action.

You don’t discover what works for you without doing anything. You don’t find your favorite flavor of ice cream by looking at the options and reading reviews online of what other people think. You discover which flavor you like by tasting them.

In business, there will be mistakes, and there will be failures. You will be uncomfortable, but that’s just a sign that you’re stepping outside your comfort zone and doing something new.

If there’s one thing you take away from this article, let it be this: take action before you feel ready.

Stop waiting, and just start. Start with what feels good, and doable for you. Forget about perfect ideas, opportunities, or shiny new training programs.


The Bottom Line


Turning your passion into a thriving business will probably be one of the hardest things you’ll do in life.

It will bring up your inner demons. It will make you shake in your boots. It will make you doubt yourself, and it will make you want to throw in the towel.

But it doesn’t matter, because if this is what you need to do, then you’ll do it. And the sooner you start, the happier you’ll be.

You’ll realize that all that thinking, analyzing, and trying to figure it out was all a smoke screen. What this comes down to is being willing to throw spaghetti at the wall and seeing what sticks.

So cook up some spaghetti, start throwing, and enjoy the ride, because this is what it’s all about.

About Henri Junttila

Henri Junttila is the founder of Wake Up Cloud, where he shows people how they can turn their passion into a thriving lifestyle business. Make sure you grab his free Lifestyle Business Guide. He is also the author of Find Your Passion: 25 Questions You Must Ask Yourself, which is out now.


  1. Hi Henri,
    this post really nailed it.

    I see entrepreneurs struggle especially with the focus all the time. It’s normal to have multiple ideas, I’m no exception. But when you don’t manage to focus on a single most important project, you won’t ever get done.
    I think that’s why most entrepreneurs complain about having not enough time or money. They are involved in too many projects. Instead they should base their decisions on one simple question:
    Will this action help me grow my business?

    If the answer is “no”, just don’t do it but focus on something else. I try to make recognizable progress everyday, to assure that my business grows. I mean not only reading or learning, but really taking action.

    Just wanted to point out the importance of focus, though the other statements are important as well 🙂

    All the best,

    • You’re right on, Jan.

      And sometimes being lost is the best thing that can happen to you, because if/when you get through, you will have gained a lot of valuable experience.

  2. Myke Macapinlac says

    Love this post Henri,

    It’s straight forward and to the point. You’re absolutely right when you said finding your passion is one of the hardest things you’ll ever do in your lifetime. It’ll take a lot of work and I find most people, myself included, get discouraged when they can’t convert their inspiration into action steps especially for someone who’s a first timer.

    Any tips on doing that would be great!

    • What I’ve noticed is that most people get discouraged when they can’t figure out what their future looks like. They try to figure out where life is going, when all you have to do is focus on the present moment and do what you can with what you have.

      Life won’t always turn out the way you expect, but that doesn’t have to be a bad thing. The people I see making progress are those that just take things one step at a time.

      Hope this helps!

  3. Carol Lin says

    Hi Henri,

    I just took my first step couple months ago embarking on the journey to become a Lifestyle Entrepreneur, chasing after my dreams to make it a reality.

    Thanks for your sharing, it’s very inspiring! Keep up the good work! ^^


  4. This was good shit Henri.

    Finding the intersection between what you love and what people will pay you for can be tough. As Chris Guillebeau said in the $100 Startup, you can be passionate about eating pizza but no one is going to pay you to do that all day.

    I love that you mentioned competition is a good thing. I get emails from people all the time asking how I ever found work with all the competition. The answer is simple: I just put my name out there until things came together. Every one has to have a starting point. Even it does take a few years and thousands of dollars, it’s all a learning process.

    You’re on point with everything man. Awesome post.

  5. Great advice Henri, focus, focus, focus. This is the #1 hardest thing to do for me as I have soooooo many interests. But you’re right, we have to get one thing working before we try another. Persistence is the key and you’re a shining example of that.

    • I’m in the same boat, and you can probably tell by all the plates I have spinning, but over the years, I’ve also learned to not push myself too hard. We all have our limits, so it’s good to have at least one main project/focus.

      And especially as you’re starting out, you need to focus on one thing almost exclusively before you do anything else. When those plates are spinning, you can get another one up there.

  6. Been taking the journey into entrepreneurship for almost a year now. Without a doubt it is one of the most challenging and most rewarding things I have done.

    • Hey Davin,

      I know you were starting from a heavy academic background with practically no business experience, but in the last few months I’ve had the pleasure of watching you become much more business savvy.

      Now that you’ve got your business live and are starting to understand the ways to drive traffic and sales it’s only a matter of time until you reach a new plateau.

      Keep it up and keep following the blog 🙂

  7. Awesome post, mate! #3 is a big one that I am just solving now – I was also just diagnosed with a severe form of ADHD. I say that not to make excuses, but it could explain why I loved the initial start up of a business and would move on to the next opportunity or idea that I had.

    I was vaguely aware that I’ve been doing this, but seeing you put it in an article really just cemented it in my head. Great post once again.


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