“I am a great believer that you need passion and energy to create a truly successful business. Remember many new businesses do not make it and running a business will be a tough experience, involving long hours and many hard decisions – it helps to have that passion to keep you going” - Richard Branson
As a business owner, you’ll have days of big successes to large let downs. If you're not fueled by passion at every step along the way, your job becomes that much harder.
Passion is simply defined as having an extraordinarily strong interest in something and liking it (or loving it) very much.
Passion is what drives you to succeed because you, as an owner, are sold-out to make your business work despite the obstacles. I worked with a business where one member of the ownership group did not have an enthusiasm for the business, or a desire to see it thrive. Instead, they were more enamoured with the idea of success without possessing the passion for it. This is a key difference. This owner fittingly gave up within the first two years of operation.
Another reason you need passion is that if you don’t have it your customers, employees and partners will surely notice. They know if you’re the real deal or are just going through the motions. I recall assisting a start-up company where the owner had an absolute passion for the business. They lived, breathed, ate, and drank the company. Each day they sprang out of bed at 3:30 am eager to propel the business forward. As a consultant, I recall how motivating it was to work with an owner who was excited and engaged in every element of their business. It was contagious and translated into attracting investors and key industry connections. Eventually this owner’s passion helped them gain notoriety as an expert in the industry.
On the flip side, I had a client who exhibited almost no passion for their business whatsoever. They spent more energy looking for an exit strategy than on ways to help their business grow. Each day was a struggle for them. Their lack of passion was equally as contagious and impacted their staff and family in a negative manner. Thankfully, this owner took a step back from their business, reassessed, and made a decision to do something they loved instead.
Now, I’m realistic enough to know not every day in business is as exciting as a roller-coaster, but when you're genuinely interested in what you’re doing, you will have the inner drive and fortitude to push forward. If you don't enjoy your business and cannot muster up the desire for its success, it might be time to do some soul-searching and find something you are truly passionate about. When you can harness your passion into your business, work doesn’t feel like work at all.