What matters most in business? Passion or profit?

Moore’s law states that the speed of computer processing doubles every 18 months. Applying the law to technology in general, it states that the rate of change in technology is always increasing.

Every new technology coming in the market proves this to be true. From NFTs, Metaverse, 5G technology and AI to Blockchain and Bitcoin – the list goes on.

With every new technology comes thousands of entrepreneurs who want to make a profit. The stories of individuals finding money in these new industries are both inspiring and inspiring.

Still, some people make money the old-fashioned way, according to a 1981 Smith Barneys commercial. “They earn it.” One such person is Jason Koons, founder and CEO of OTIA Sports, a top broker of high-end sports cards, agents and athletes for public and private autograph signings and appearances.

The story of the Koons answers two centuries-old questions:

  1. Is doing what you love the key to building a successful business?
  2. Or is it looking for something that is trending and profitable?

Koonse’s love for playing cards began in childhood. He remembers buying and selling sports memorabilia at various sports card shows. He grew his hobby into a profitable business until he left it at the age of 23. “I decided to sell everything and move my savings to real estate.”

Although many people have made their fortunes in real estate, this was not the case for Kaunas. He lost everything he had invested in the real estate crash of 2007-2008. This failure could have been catastrophic, but Kaunas saw it as a good reminder that “failure is a part of success, and failing is what makes you learn something new.”

The lesson that Koonsa learned was to return to what had been successful for him at best, OTIA Sports. Within several years, he grew his business into a multi-million dollar company.

Koonas attributes his success to three leadership principles.

Find what you are good at and stick to it

In a world where you can be and do anything, choose something you love – especially as an entrepreneur. Business isn’t always easy, but when you’re doing something you enjoy doing, it becomes easier to stay focused. Kaunas still experiences his fair share of failure, but his love for sports and sports memorabilia enables him to keep going even when he doesn’t succeed.

Don’t fall for the shiny object syndrome

Deciding to leave a business he knew and loved to pursue real estate profits didn’t work for Koons. Even despite the oft-quoted Carnegie quote that 90% of millionaires are real estate investors, this does not mean that real estate is for everyone. Many people, including Kaunas, have lost their entire savings to real estate.

In today’s world, we similarly see entrepreneurs chasing cryptocurrencies, stocks and other investment profits. However, sometimes, the way to make money is to “earn it”. Many people increase their wealth by selling short “shiny items” such as toilet paper, toothbrushes and tea.

business must grow

When Koonsey launched its first iteration of the business, the only way to sell cards was to buy shows or television commercials. “When I started, I was going to the post office every day after school, sending exact change in the mail for cards and hoping I didn’t get scammed.” Now, of course, most transactions are online. This has led them to build relationships to increase their social media presence and always tap into larger markets.

Is doing what you love the key to building a successful business? Or is it looking for something that is profitable? Jason Koons teaches us that the best thing to do is to build a business around something that is profitable and that you love.

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