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The War on Enthusiasm

Bench Racing

by Ryan King

Strategically speaking, there is a distinct difference between a business and a hobby.

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I know that probably sounds obvious, but how and why they play out differently may not be.

At their most basic, the strategic differences are that one generates money while the other drains it.

First, and most importantly, there is nothing wrong with a hobby being a drain on money, however, if mis-managed, a hobby can have a very harsh impact on your life and come to a very unsatisfying end.

Strategy, of course, informs tactics and that is where we see the biggest difference. As an example, a building, or a piece of equipment, or a tool in a business has the potential to generate money if used correctly – in a hobby it will only ever be a drain. Every time a piece of equipment is purchased or repaired it only creates a larger draw – there is never any self-support or payback from its use, so the planning for the capital investment must inherently be different.

Ultimately a hobby is like the military in that one regard: In order to keep it functioning it requires appropriate budgeting, managing of the budget, and working within that budget, while achieving the goals of the enterprise.

Basically running a hobby is like running a war on your enthusiasm. Don't pick a fight with an opponent tougher than you can handle, play the chess game well, and you can succeed – choose to fight the wrong battle, and/or misuse your pieces, and watch your victory slip away.

Ryan

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