Starting and growing a new business is not to be undertaken lightly, nor is it for everyone. It requires a huge amount of passion and internal motivation. The importance of being passionate about what you do cannot be overstated. Whether you are starting a new business or working for someone else as a career, you must be passionate about what you do.
The Importance of Passion
If you want to be successful in any venture, you must be passionate about it. Anything you undertake—a business, a career, charitable work, or a run for office—will eventually falter if it’s not constantly fueled by passion. The late CEO of Apple, Steve Jobs, once said that passion is by far the most important element of success. He suggested that one can be happy at a job others consider menial if one enjoys it. In addition, Daniel Pink emphasized passion in a Technology, Entertainment, and Design (TED) conference when he stated that internal motivation matters far more than pay when it comes to doing one’s best.
Steve Jobs and Daniel Pink are echoed in recent research on zookeepers that finds they are more satisfied with their jobs than the average worker. They enjoy taking care of animals so much that they are willing to take a really low salary ($10,000+ less than a public school teacher) so they can have the privilege of taking care of animals all day (Source: Thompson, Marriott School of Management, 2010). Those who are passionate about what they do will help grow your business. People who are not passionate and who you must constantly motivate won’t; they will drain you dry.
If you are trying to find passion within yourself, get ready for a long journey. It takes a lot of experimenting to find what truly motivates you. Simply being passionate about accumulating money is not enough. You need to be passionate about what you do to accumulate it. When you find a role that keeps you constantly excited and engaged, you have found your passion. Your passion may lead you to becoming an entrepreneur.
As an entrepreneur starting your own business, keep in mind that your business can only succeed if you get the right people on your team. They need to be just as passionate as you are about what you do. They will probably lack your entrepreneurial drive (which is good; otherwise they would start competing businesses), but they cannot lack passion for what your business does. Make certain each person on your team firmly believes in your product or service and your goals for success.
Running your own business is a full-time ordeal that will always include elements you are not passionate about. Maintain your focus on the elements that will drive the business and don’t let tasks that seem unpleasant slow you down. Your passion will keep you striving to perform at a high level no matter the task. For example, the domain market requires both a passion for sales and a passion for intense market research. DomainMarket.com is successful only because its employees are passionate about both. You must be passionate about each critical aspect of your business to be successful.
Look ahead to see what skill sets in your business require passion. You can find people who are passionate about accounting, human resources, and technical support. If they share some degree of your passion for your overall product or service, they will be excellent additions to your team. By depending on your team to maintain their passion for their respective responsibilities, you can more easily maintain your passion about the overall vision of your business.
Fighting with Passion
Your secret weapon against your competitors is your passion. Unless you are venturing into completely uncharted market space, you will already have competitors (and if you open new market space, competitors will arise quickly). Most industries are already “over-saturated”, due to the laws of supply and demand. If you want to compete, you must crush your competitors and/or increase the demand. You can achieve both through maintaining a high degree of passion. Your passion will motivate you to work harder and smarter than your competitors. If your passion is contagious, you will also make your customers passionate about your product.
Because of social media, the most important advertisements of your product or service are your customers. If a consumer hears about your product or service, their first reaction is to go to someone else for information about it. They are unlikely to trust anything you say until more than one of your customers tells them that you are great. Then they will come to you, listen to how your product or service will fit their needs, and try it out. Upon discovering that it’s the greatest thing since sliced bread, they will share it with their friends and grow your market share.
Make the cultivation and careful use of passion your goal. No other element will ensure your success like passion will. What do you do at present to maintain your passion, cultivate passion in your employees, and inspire that passion in your target audience?