Are You Waiting for Passion to Strike?
Most folks want to feel passion in their work, and don’t want to necessarily own or run a big business with thousands of employee headaches, board meetings, earnings calls and compliance requirements. They don’t want the endless hiring, the gut wrenching firing, the page after page HR compliance paperwork, or the “How the hell am I going to pay for this” financial obligations from borrowing outside capital from debtors just to hopefully scale and cash out.
The average small business owner wants cash in her pocket every day. She wants a simple, effective business that works for her, rather than her working for it. She wants the freedom from having to wake up early to open the shop, or stay up late to serve the last order. She wants endless upward growth opportunity, not fixed success. The web today enables her to build a business cheaply, test ideas on the fly, eliminate the crap that doesn’t work, and focus on the ones that make real dollars every day. There’s less hand holding with the Internet as consumers today are savvy, and want simple tools to make the buying decision themselves.
If someone asked me if I am day in and day out passionate about the product or service I am selling, I’d say no — let me explain. I am passionate about ensuring that customers get great value from their orders. I am passionate about helping my customers make the best decision possible, so that I can get out of their way, and they can get on with their lives and focus on more important things after buying from me.
Will you always be passionate about the product you are selling? It may come in waves — one day you feel totally connected to the brand, and other days, you question the entire project. That’s normal!
Find passion in the entrepreneurial journey
For me, I love the entrepreneurial journey, and I love growing any business I am involved with, which fills me with excitement every day to do something better, faster, easier than the day before. I don’t view my work as work; I view it as a fun, creative challenge.
A lot of people I talk to have clever business ideas, but they are waiting to be 100% impassioned to start a business. They are trying to create the perfect business that makes them feel 100% satisfied every night when they go to bed, and then somehow wake up with millions of dollars in their bank account from that one good idea. They are waiting for that perfect idea, that perfect opportunity, that perfect time to start the business. I don’t know about you, but there is no perfect in life. There is only right now. There is only the very next second.
Do you need to “find your passion” before you launch your startup? Contrary to what most business gurus tell you, no, that’s BS.
It’s helpful to find an area that you understand better than most and that you enjoy, sure. For those folks that do find passion, I applaud you, as that will surely help get you through the growing pains you will face in your startup journey. But lack of 100% passion should never keep you from trying something out. Who knows? You may just find out that you love actually owning a business that works well and pays you handsomely? One caveat — unique insights and knowledge in a space, over passion, however, will save you time and money figuring out how it works, and how to win in that space.
I think there is a difference between being passionate about something (derived from emotions), making money (derived from your business model), and starting a business (derived from knowledge).
Ask yourself, are you the kind of person that has to be 100% passionate about a product to sell it? Are you the kind of founder who has to have everything perfect before you jump, or can you accept that somedays you will feel it and others you may not, and acknowledge that nothing is ever perfect? If you’re the latter, then you’re ready to take the leap of entrepreneurial faith, because let me tell you, after having multiple startups, I found more passion in the overall (imperfect) journey than the actual day-to-day tasking. If you’re waiting for passion and perfection, I’m sorry to say, but you need to sit this startup game the f*ck out.
Here’s where we might all agree passion really should belong.
Have passion for creating a better tomorrow for yourself and somebody else. Have passion for making something out of nothing. Have passion for leaving your old life behind, proving to yourself that you can become the best possible version of yourself. Have passion for proving to the naysayers that they’re f*cking wrong. Have passion for leaving a legacy that someone can look up to, one day. That’s passion I can believe in. Not the Virtual Reality industry, not a Bitcoin movement, not a scooter with a mobile app. These are products and spaces — these are not emotional pillars that never fade with time. Products, services and spaces are fleeting — they ebb, change, evolve and flow into something new. If you were passionate about the cassette tape industry, you would be quickly unimpassioned when the CD arrived. If you were passionate about using Uber®, you’d be unimpassioned when a self-driving car picks you up in a few years thereafter.
What if, instead of passion striking at the beginning, it grew over time?
Would this change your outlook on everything? For me, that’s how it works.