Passion: Friend or Foe?


We all want to be passionate about what we do for a living, right?  After all, with the amount of time we spend working, we’re a lot better off if we feel passionate about our work, right?  And if we’re thinking of actually starting our own business, well, heck, we better really feel passionate about the business… right?!


Well… maybe.


If being passionate about the business is being passionate about the product, we’ve got a problem.  A client of mine, Chris, told me that he wanted to be passionate about the business he got into.  And although he had never held a sales position in his life (he was, in fact, a Chiropractor who had tired of the hassles of medical insurance companies and the increasing cost of malpractice insurance), he insisted that he could sell any product or service that he was passionate about.  But he discovered a problem.  Although he was passionate about health and wellness, he was not at all excited about getting up in the morning and going out and “selling” his new franchise’s gym memberships – and very quickly got out of the business.


The school teacher who looks into Kumon, the IT professional who looks into “Geeks on Call”, and the hairstylist who looks into Great Clips are all making the same mistake.  They are mistaking the business itself with the role they will have in that business.


So what happened to that old saying “focus on what you’re passionate about and do what you enjoy and success will follow.”  Well, there’s the catch.  The product or service itself has very little to do with what the owner’s role in that business will be.

A Passion…for What?

With all that said…passion IS important.  But be careful what we are talking about being passionate about!  I want you to be passionate about what you do!!  I’m passionate about what I do… and I think that if you are going to invest money in a business that you are going to work in, it’s great if you can be as excited and passionate about it as I am about mine!  But the difference is…you want to be passionate about what you get to go DO…not about the product or service.  And you want to be passionate about what the business will do FOR you.


I can promise you if the business doesn’t make money, it won’t be long before you will no longer passionate about it – so making money is important!


I can also promise you that if you’re working more hours than you want to be working (after some time learning the business) that you aren’t going to be happy either – lifestyle IS important. So look at whether the hours required are going to fit!


There are a whole host of other elements that are probably important to you as well such as the kind (white or blue-collar?) and number of employees you have; whether you have business or individual customers, etc.  This is where “building your Entrepreneurial Profile” becomes so important – so that you really know what you are looking for before you start picking franchises wildly off the internet, and you can assess them by pre-determined criteria.


Passion is more about what you are being (a business owner) than it is about what you are doing (selling gym memberships).

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