We’ve already debunked the myth that passion is all you need to be successful in business – it’s not. But this isn’t to say that passion doesn’t have a place in your business – because it does, and understanding it’s role is absolutely crucial. Most people think you’ve got to be incredibly passionate about the product or service you’re selling – that the idea of has to “light you up” for it to ever work. Instead, we need to understand the idea of being passionate about the work.
This is to say, the time and effort you put toward working in and working on your business must be passionate hours. While you don’t have to revel in the idea of building out financial projections, or measuring your marketing dollars, you need to be passionate about the idea of seeing the results of your business in hard numbers, and you need to be passionate about wanting to see your business grow.
The passion we’re talking about is the one that drives you to work long hours and dive back into your work long after your kids have gone to bed, because you know their college fund rides on your business continuing to grow. You don’t have to be “passionately in love” with your business, but you must love what you’re getting out of it; and what you’re getting out of it needs to be revenue, growth, and new challenges.
Revenue is what makes a business – and it needs to be your primary focus as a business owner at pretty much every stage of your enterprise. Without revenue, without money coming in your business will die; it doesn’t matter how deeply you care about your non-profit hot yoga studio for cats, if it doesn’t bring in revenue, it will die. If as a business owner you can understand that your work, your passion, your drive, need to be focused on generating revenue for your business, you’re well on your way. The quest for this revenue should consume your passion – it should light you up in the morning and put you to sleep each night.
Growth is the second driver – if your business is standing still, you’re already falling behind. The push for more is a driving factor in almost every successful entrepreneur. Knowing there is more out there for your business, and working as hard as you can to get yourself there is absolutely crucial. The hunger for more, for growth, for expansion, should fuel your passion – the desire to see your business continue to grow should push you when you’re tired and worn down. This yearning for what is possible is crucial when we talk about passion for the work.
New Challenges drive every entrepreneur forward, and ignite the passion we must have to be successful. Anticipating the next trend in your industry and putting yourself ahead of the curve, finding new features offered by a competitor, or opening a new market segment are the type of challenges that keep small businesses growing, thriving, and successful. The need to look ahead, drive the business toward new goals, and always seek something MORE is a trait shared by many entrepreneurs; and these are the ones that uncover the root of their passion for their work. This need for new challenges, new struggles, and new goals drives the passion for the work that sees so many small businesses succeed, grow, and thrive, even in challenging economic times.
While “passion” as it is normally discussed won’t save your business, every successful entrepreneur will manifest their passion in other ways. You’ll see their drive, energy, and effort points them towards the new challenges, along with the growth, and the revenue that comes along with their burning desire to see the business succeed.
I’m sure many of you can relate to these feelings of passion, or drive, or desire, or however you characterize it personally. These goals and benchmarks should serve as a guide as you move along your entrepreneurial journey. The crucial piece to this puzzle comes next – once you understand your passion for the work, it’s time to make sure you have the proper roadmaps, and signposts along the way to reach your final destination. Passion without direction could land you almost anywhere, including the unemployment office, so you need the right systems to guide you.