So you want to breed ball pythons for a living, eh? You’d be surprised to know how many emails and phone calls we receive from people inquiring about how to get into the business of breeding ball pythons for a living. Some people are tired of working a 9-to-5 job and others just want to make a little income on the side or just enough so they can purchase some of the more expensive and rare ball python morphs for their collection. Others want a bit of job security and so seek a way to “work from home” doing a job they’d really love to do, work with and breed ball pythons as a business.
I’m not going to talk about how to breed ball pythons in this blog because I’ve written other blogs that discuss the topic in great detail. I am however going to discuss breeding ball pythons as a business for those who are thinking about leaving the security of their 9-to-5 jobs to start their own ball python breeding business. Breeding ball pythons is my business and I haven’t worked for a company as a 9-to-5 employee in many years so I’m more than qualified to speak first-hand about the business of breeding ball pythons.
If you’re anything like me then you’re very passionate about ball pythons and love looking at and interacting with them as much as you can. It’s often said by famous businesspeople – Donald Trump, Warren Buffett and Bill Gates just to name a few - that you should love your job with a passion. You should love it so much that you’d do the same job you’re doing even if you weren’t being paid for it. If you feel the same way about ball pythons then you’re on the right path.
It’s one thing to be on the path but do you have enough stamina and willpower to overcome the obstacles on that path and “stay the course”?
Owners and Employees
There are two types of people in the world of business, owners and employees. There is nothing wrong with being an owner nor is there anything wrong with being an employee. The economy would come to a screeching halt if everyone was an owner or if everyone was an employee. Imagine a world where everyone was an owner and had no employees or where everyone was an employee and there were no owners. Both owners and employees have very specific jobs they perform and are vital to a company as a whole. Unfortunately though, owners have a more senior position in a company and thus the ability to terminate an employee’s employment. But unlike an employee, they can’t simply resign and go to work at a new company. An owner must “stay the course” and deal with the burden of keeping a company managed, organized and operating effectively.
I mention this because when you step into the world of breeding ball pythons as a business, you step into the shoes of an owner. But don’t throw away those employee shoes just yet because you’ll have to slip them back on as well since you’ll more than likely assume dual roles of both owner AND employee of your ball python business for some time. Believe me when I tell you that it’s tough work and that everyone isn’t built for business ownership. You have to do some serious soul searching to see if you are truly cut out for being a business owner along with accepting the responsibilities that it entails.
Is Business Ownership Right for you?
Once you’ve done your soul searching, you need to look at your financial and family situation and answer yourself some serious questions. How are my finances and savings? Do I have enough money or access to liquidity in order to fund my ball python breeding business? How is my family situation, will my spouse be supportive of my decision to enter the world of breeding ball pythons?
Let me be blunt with you. Most people are not in a financial position to enter the world of breeding ball pythons as their sole source of income. I would strongly discourage the majority from even entertaining the thought of leaving the security of a 9-to-5 job to become a full-time ball python breeder because it will require an extremely large injection of capital to get started where you can actually live and survive solely off of producing and selling ball pythons. I would however suggest breeding ball pythons on a small scale while keeping a regular job. Build up your collection over time and grow your business slowly to the point where it can support itself and you and your family as well.
It’s not that this business requires an enormous amount of money to get into. Like any business, you really need a large capital base to grow the business to the point where it can support itself and your family. Ball python morphs are relatively inexpensive these days and it’s not much of a financial burden to own a few morphs but you have to ask yourself, “How many morphs do I need to own that will produce enough babies that can generate enough cash-flow that will support the business and my family?” You’ll need five, maybe six-figures to accumulate enough inventories to meet that goal. That’s why I say to start building your collection and grow your business over time but keep a regular job in the meantime.
Managing your Business
There are many excellent books on the topic of creating a business along with managing the nuances of book keeping, accountants, licenses, attorneys, etc. so I won’t go in depth on those subjects. A good book on starting a home-based business is probably a good investment for you to own because it will walk you through the do’s and don’ts for starting a home-based business. The ball python business is like any other business with respect to record keeping, tax issues, etc. so what you’ll learn can be applied to your business.
You’ll also learn how to do market analysis that you can apply to the ball python market along with ways to promote, grow your business and sell your products.
Is Breeding Ball Pythons Profitable?
I wouldn’t be in business for all these years if it weren’t profitable. I look at the ball python business as a manufacturing business because they’re very much alike. Ball pythons manufacture baby ball pythons each year just like a company that manufacturers candy bars for instance. Unlike stocks, real estate, commodities, etc., you can make more money breeding and selling ball pythons than you can in most other investment vehicles. You’d be extremely lucky to own a stock that doubles in value but doubling your profit by breeding ball pythons is usually the rule, not the exception.
Tripling your investment is a real possibility as well with ball pythons but like the manufacturing scenario I just outlined, you keep making money year after year after year as long as your ball pythons are producing babies for you. Real estate and commodities are no different than stocks with respect to what you can expect to earn from your investments in them. Investing in ball pythons can most certainly yield you greater returns than any of these “traditional investment vehicles” can produce, even on their best day. There are some tax benefits to certain "traditional investment vehicles" but in my opinion the benefits pale in comparison.
So, what should you do?
In conclusion, as I’ve mentioned before, start growing your collection while keeping your day or night job. Acquire more ball pythons into your collection and build it up to the point where it will support itself and your family. Once you’ve reached that point you can leave your 9-to-5 job and pursue it fulltime if you choose to. Keep your goal in mind and continue to grow your collection of ball pythons but most importantly, have fun and enjoy the experience as well as your ball pythons as your collection grows.
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