The question of the importance of money seems to be cropping up quite a lot recently in various blogs and forums I read. There are plenty of very successful people out there who believe that money isn’t a significant motivational factor for them when it comes to online/business pursuits.
I think that the thing about money is that it’s a key indicator of success quite early on with a venture. For the luckier people, it seems to become much less of a factor – at least in a personal sense – further down the line.
When it comes to the web, a lot of people see making money as their ultimate goal, and often smaller successes – such as publishing a blog post, building links, creating logos and branding themselves and their website – get sidelined pretty quickly. They don’t count as achievements, they are simply things to tick off on a list.
I have to admit that I’m guilty of that. I’ve always viewed money as a measure of success and can’t really see that ever changing. I’m not obsessed with money, and I won’t compromise on my beliefs or what’s right, but it is a way to determine whether something is worth your time – and if so, how much of your time it’s worth. It’s not easy trying to juggle a million different things, and I’m sure we’re all guilty of not replying to that comment or private message or tweet that we probably should have. It’s hard to keep up.
As with everything else in life, it’s all about the balance. If money is your only motivation then you’re probably going to give up on some things before you should or never even attempt them in the first place. Blossom.nu has earned very little money over the years, but then that was never its purpose. As a teenager my blog was a place to talk about my day, my life, my experiences, and although many years later it’s split into web and personal stuff – with my professional portfolio on a completely different domain altogether – I’m still motivated to write here. Not every post makes it; currently there are about fourteen post drafts sitting in WordPress and only a couple of those will ever be published because the others just aren’t right.
One of the advantages of websites and online services is that there are so many different metrics to measure success – visits, comments, subscribers etc. etc. – who don’t need to buy anything. It doesn’t even matter so much what the numbers are, as long as they’re heading in the right direction and/or you’re happy with them. Sometimes just knowing that you have a small piece of your own world that others can get involved in is enough. And if it’s not, then just experiment until you find something that makes you happy and is important to you.
Are you motivated by money? If not, what’s your motivation for websites and projects?