Passion fuels romance, relationships and family. But business is often considered cold, impersonal and unemotional.
“He’s so business-like,” is an epithet cast at someone who is coldly calculating in his decisions, judgment or interactions.
Yet passion plays a very important role in any entrepreneurial venture.
To put it another way, I haven’t met many successful entrepreneurs who were not intensely passionate about what they’re doing.
Before getting deeper into this, let me clear up a misconception. It isn’t always necessary that your choice of project, business or concept should be based around your passions.
No, that isn’t what I mean. In fact, thinking that way has led many to abandon great ideas – or pursue ones that don’t have a hope of success.
What I’m saying is that it’s important for an entrepreneur to be passionate about what she does.
And here’s a surprising (even shocking) thing that many entrepreneurs discover only after they get started along the path to achieving their dreams… most of the tasks you’ll deal with as an entrepreneur have little or nothing to do with your core premise or idea or plan!
Maybe you set out with a great idea for a product or service, or an ambitious, eager desire to transform the world through your business. But soon you’ll discover that putting plans into practice involves diverse skills and activities – many of which you never dreamed of tackling before.
You’ll deal with stuff like how to:
* draft a business plan
* find financing for your start up
* get legal issues sorted out
* outline share holding patterns
* envision a growth plan with targets and deadlines
* source raw materials, equipment and resources
* hire team members and employees
* design logos, letterheads and stationery
* work on your brand and USP (unique selling proposition)
* rent or lease office space
* create marketing material
* negotiate payment terms, rates and discounts
The list just goes on and on.
And you thought all you had to do was get on with your job – and even enjoy early success!
The preparatory phase can be a long and hard slog – unless your passion drives you ahead. Energizes you daily. Powers you through those endless, challenging early days. Makes you strong enough to shatter through barriers and carry on.
Say you love baking cakes and set up a bakery. The effort of creating your delicious masterpieces won’t be difficult. But how about the other bits and pieces that go into running a successful venture?
If you are passionate enough about the result you’re trying to achieve with your entrepreneurial venture, then you’ll coast past these hurdles and win.
So, what’s the lesson or message here?
Find Your Passion.
It will be unique and different for everyone. But there are some things common to all kinds of passion.
* Passion is energy. If you’ve been around a passionate person, you’ll see how it seems to set them on fire. What makes you glow, gets you charged up, excited?
* Passion shatters barriers. You won’t see a passionate person look for excuses or reasons to not achieve their goals. What are you determined to accomplish?
* Passion shakes you up. Leaves you restless. Takes you out of your comfort zone. What do you want to do so badly that you’ll never give up on it?
* Passion is motivational. You’ll feel empowered by it. It drives you towards your dreams. What’s your biggest, most ambitious goal?
* Passion has different flavors. It’s not always a roaring fire. It can also be a quietly simmering flame. Which type is yours?
* Passion is contagious. For an entrepreneur, that’s a good thing. Because others will feel it through you. Employees. Partners. Investors, too.
That’s the reason why so many successful entrepreneurs are passionate people. It’s their ‘secret sauce’ to power past any setbacks and sustain their interest and enthusiasm until success comes knocking.
Whenever I tell entrepreneurs to be passionate, a question that pops up frequently is this:
“So many entrepreneurs are involved in multiple projects. Surely they can’t all be passionate about each one?”
Maybe not. But there’s something bigger that they are passionate about.
The entrepreneurial process itself!
* They love the excitement of a challenge.
* They relish the problem they set out to solve.
* They thrive on the hurdles and obstacles that pop up along the way.
* They find thrills in planning, creating and growing a business
* They enjoy how this helps them explore limits of their own power and ability
To a regular non-entrepreneur this might sound silly, or even stupid. I mean, why would any sensible person give up the comfort and reliability of a job with a regular salary, just to indulge in a whim or try out a new idea?
And it doesn’t make sense – except to an entrepreneur!
One with a passionate desire to make a difference. A dream to see a world that’s better in some little (or big) way because of what she is doing. A future that only he can see today – but he wants for other people tomorrow.
It isn’t an easy path. Or a comfortable one. There isn’t any security, or guarantee, or promise that you’ll succeed.
In fact, to be an entrepreneur, you have to embrace the harsh truth that most ventures will fail – and yet be ready to give it all that you’ve got… in an attempt to succeed.
Without passion, that will be impossible. With passion, it becomes child’s play.
Isn’t ‘Wanting to Make a Lot of Money’ Enough?
It is – if you don’t mind torture as the price to pay for it!
What I mean is, if all you want out of an entrepreneurial venture is to make a few (or many) extra bucks, you’ll find the daily grind of activities frustrating and difficult.
Because, let’s face it – there isn’t an entrepreneur who has made it big out there who will suggest that it’s a quick, easy ride to the top.
You’re going to slave over your venture in a way you’ve rarely done at anything else. And you’ll take on a lot of risk, hassle and stress to get your business or project up and running.
All along the way, you’ll face criticism, condemnation and even ridicule from people who know you well.
It’s tough to hang on. It’s tough to bounce back from the inevitable setbacks. It’s tough to find the courage, determination and persistence that it takes to be an entrepreneur.
Unless you have passion.
Then, it becomes really easy!
About the author:
Dr.Mani is a writer, heart surgeon and social entrepreneur. You can learn more about his work at www.DrMani.com, follow his blog Money.Power.Wisdom at http://www.MoneyPowerWisdom.com, or connect on Twitter @drmani