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Where do you score on the passion stakes?

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Where do you score on the passion stakes?

Regardless of how large or small a company is today – its inception was the result of someone’s passion. Running your own business when there might initially be a team of one – YOU – will require a lot of effort on your part. You will multi-task like never before. You’ll face challenges that perhaps when you were employed were shielded from you. You’ll need to learn how to take control of all aspects of your business, from the planning, finance, marketing, to the sales, promotion and customer care.

Successful entrepreneurs live, breathe and eat their business.

Do you have the Passion Factor?

  • Passion in what you do?
  • Passion in why you are doing it?
  • Passion for being the best and willing to continually learn?
  • Passion for working hard? (yet knowing when to kick back and recharge?)
  • Passion for business and making money?
  • Passion for people? (essential in customer service/client-facing industries!)
  • Passion for service and customer care?
  • Passion for moving on if something doesn’t work out rather than giving up?

Why is genuine passion such an important aspect of a successful business?

As business owners, we need to love the product or service we offer our customers. If we’re a bit flaky on the passion and our authenticity our customers will pick up on this and won’t emotionally or physically buy into what we are offering. If your goal for your entrepreneurial venture is simply to make money and you are not really caring how you do it, you will portray this in everything you do and quite simply, it will not work.

Nowadays, Customers are seeking “added value” before they make a purchase decision and by having an honest passion in what you do will increase your chances of securing a sale and getting repeat business. They will want to “buy” some of your passion by buying from you. Your genuine Passion Factor is what will help differentiate you and your business.

Why Passion for Learning?

You may well have a passion for your particular niche in the marketplace but this doesn’t immediately translate into being a successful Entrepreneur. There will be many essential areas which will require effort to learn and grasp. For example, you may not naturally be a Financier but don’t have a ‘head in the sand’ approach and rely on others to do this for you. Take time to learn – understand how to read monthly financial reports, understand your running costs and know where you are spending your money and above all, determine your own pricing structure – know your costs and your profit requirements. Also, learn about Marketing, you don’t need to know how to create a website, nor do you need to be able to design – but you do need to get into the minds of your customers and know what they want, what motivates them to purchase and understand what makes them tick. Use this information to brief the experts – but be knowledgeable yourself. Limit what you leave to chance.

Why Passion for Working Hard (yet knowing when to kick back)?

Quite simply, working for yourself will be totally time-consuming – not only in physical hours but in mental hours too. As soon as you are responsible for paying yourself you will realise that the buck stops with you. Suddenly everything matters. If you have passion of course, working hard will not be a hardship because you know that every effort you put in should and will reap rewards – from which you will benefit. Be prepared to work into the evenings and weekends – particularly initially when you are still learning the basics and you are still researching your market and refining your offering. If you think that you will begrudge this effort, you need to question and consider why you want to work for yourself. Hard work with balance is key. You will need your family’s support so involve them and don’t let them become resentful. Let them see what this business means to you so they can support you. Kick back time will recharge you and avoid burnout.

Why Passion for Success?

Regardless of why many of us start our own businesses, all of us have our interpretation of success and what that means to us. Success is not ‘one size fits all’. At the very start of considering running your own business, you need to be very clear on your reasons for taking this big step. You should write down all of your expectations and what success means to you (not what it means to your family/friends). Add a timescale against each of these expectations and of course, be realistic. You will need to refer to these “Success Criteria” throughout your journey – when the going gets tough, which it inevitably will. You will need a reminder of WHY you started this in the first place! Sometimes the criteria may change/evolve over time but it is these success criteria that will drive your passion – they are your real motivation for working for yourself.

Emma Wimhurst - The High-Energy Business Mentor, Successful Entrepreneur, Business Owner, Writer, Motivational Speaker, Business Mentor, Business Turnaround Expert

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  • Good post Emma. Passion is genuinely what keep the flame going regardless of the challenges that a business go through. I would always encourage people to have their passion written down so when it’s crunch time, there’s never confusion about why are you making an extraordinary effort…

  • Hi Emma, Great post! I think sometimes that the spark for many entrepreneurs is what starts as a frustration with a particular problem ignites a passion in them to fix/solve which ultimately becomes their business. I would go so far as to say that if you don’t have “the passion factor” perhaps you shouldn’t be in biz to begin. Thanks for sharing, Niall

  • Smiley

    Passion is something I struggle with at times, particularly when something lets me down. I really like this post, it puts a lot of things into perspective for me, and you’re right. I do need a reminder occasionally as to why I started my own business!!!

    When I remember – it does put it all into place for me, and gives me that extra boost to re-inspire that occasionally lacking passion.

    Thanks for this Emma, wonderful read.

  • Anonymous

    I think you are completely right, but I do wonder if anyone reading this gets an uncomfortable feeling of ‘oh dear, I don’t really have that kind of passion for my work. If I’m honest about it, all I really really want to do is get home, eat and sleep’, then they are probably not doing themselves a favour by staying where they are in their career. Surely, all of these passion factors are a given, and not things you have to think about or try to manifest, if you are really doing what is best for you. Yes? Maybe that sounds a bit unkind, and I don’t suppose most people would think that it’s a practical option to change, so maybe the answer to really finding that passion lies somewhere else inside, so people can ride above the boredom, stress etc in other ways. Any thoughts on that?

  • Smiley

    I think that’s an interesting point, but in my opinion, sometimes I get dragged down by life in general, and sometimes lose my focus and passion.

    Once I remind myself of my core reasons for doing what I do – the passion is re-invigorated.

    So yes I think if you’re not passionate – you’re in the wrong career. But if that passion has just slipped away momentarily… a gentle nudge/reminder can put you back on the right path!

  • Nice job! My passion tweets for sales pros from earlier this week:

    Are you passionate?
    Are you passionate about your work?
    Are you passionate about your products and services?
    Are you passionate about your clients and prospects, who they are, and their passions?
    Are you passionate about the results your clients and prospect will receive from your offerings?
    Unless your passionate about your work, offerings, clients, & promised results, your only selling price.

  • Spot on Barney! Man… I guarantee you that 99% of the people that read this posts feels guilty abaut not taking proper holiday.
    I like the alternative of small breaks. It sounds more real for those that can definitely not take a week or two in a row…
    In my case, I’m getting married this year and will forcedly have to take three weeks… That will be a challenge!

  • Thanks for the feedback Fred. The small break thing works really well – this is what I do at the moment. Having said that, a three week “forced” vacation doesn’t sound that bad 🙂

  • Anonymous

    Good Topic Barney. 4 weeks into 2010 and I’d say most people are dreaming about the summer already.

    Are holidays not cheating? 🙂

    Never been one for holidays as I can’t relax period. Don’t know if this is because for the most part I have always worked for myself or it’s just my make up. Personally I like shorter breaks than big long ones – bit like in America. I work extremely hard but having said this I rarely work after 12 on a Friday. I always feel charged but then again this could be because I am enjoying what I am doing.

    I guess the important message is take a break – whatever form. W/L Balance is important.

    How many people truly switch off on holidays anyway? Be they 2 hours/2 days/2 weeks/2 months. Technology makes it very difficult. Micky O’Leary will have to introduce a EUR1000k charge on mobiles and technology to help people.


  • Hi Paul. Holidays – cheating – absolutely not! And switching off on holidays – they should – technology is an excuse (appreciating the fact that some people have to be contactable…), maybe Mick should bring in that charge :).

    You make a very valid point – the break is the key, what you do with it and how long is very much up to the individual. It depends very much on the industry you are in as well as to whether the few days away or the big block of hols is the option for you.

    Thanks for the comments.

  • Fred, congratulations! I keep quiet on the “forcedly” if I was you, you never know who might be reading :)Barney, Great reminder to us all. Downtime is critical as you point out, one commitment that I have made to myself this year is that I will take a least one full day per week off. I say this because last year, I fell into the trap on working Saturdays and sometimes Sundays. As a result, I started to feel a drain on my energy reserves in turn limiting my overall effectiveness.

  • You’re right man… will touch base with the missus to explain the real meaning 🙂

  • hi Niall. Thanks for the feedback. No days off a week is not a good thing dude – you need to chillax once in a while 🙂

  • Great post Barney.
    personally I enjoy the long breaks – really a chance to unwind (which takes over a week anyway) and get out of the zone – this can boost creativity and reduce burn-out. Disadvantage is we can get too far out of the zone, making it harder to get back into the saddle when we get back.
    Most businesses have a “lull” during the year, and a “high” in other months – I always plan my holidays around my “lulls” – works really well and I am minimising missing out on opportunities.

    Fred, Congratulations – I had a forced long holiday last summer – best thing ever (besides the wedding itself)

    Breaks are important, especially for a family unit. Problem is we can take the netbooks or smart phones with us now, which makes it even more difficult to really switch off even if we wanted to – *sigh*

  • Anonymous

    We just booked our flights! Anyone fancy joining us?

    Love the video, by the way!


  • Yes please – somewhere hot and tropical!

  • Thanks for the feedback Elaine. Great idea – take the holidays in the “lull” to minimise risk of losing opportunities – nice one.

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