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As I said a couple of days ago, I'm was San Diego working with The National Needlearts Association. I'm helping the association make some difficult strategic decisions, which are being met with some strong resistance from a small number of people. This is nothing unexpected. Change is hard for all of us.

One of the things I've noticed about the TNNA members is their passion for needlearts. Some focus on yarn, some on counted thread, some needlepoint, and some spinning & weaving. But ALL are incredibly passionate.

Unfortunately (and this might be hard for some of those reading this), being passionate about your chosen field does not equate to being a successful businessperson. And this flies in the face of that oft heard recommendation, "Be passionate about what you do and you can be successful in business." (I should point out I'm not picking on the TNNA members. There are many successful businesspeople there. I've thought about this many times and thinking about their passion this week just reminded me of this. I remember seeing people in the GAS TURBINE industry who were extremely passionate about their products, but not good business people!)

It's all well and good to be passionate about what you do. But, if you want to make a decent living, you'd better learn how to be a good businessperson, too. You need to know how to manage finances, maybe some employees, insurance, inventory, and other aspects. But most important, you need to be a good marketer. You need to know who your market is, how big your market is, how to communicate efficiently with, which media to use, and what message to share. Without good marketing, you're dead in the water.

So go ahead and be passionate. But be realistic, too. If your passion can't support your living, then maybe it's just a hobby. If you want to make it a business, then you MUST learn how to run a business.