The Passion of an Entrepreneur: Is It Enough?


Passion worked for me in my first business venture as a young man.  However the passion was not enough.  I needed help and found it. 

What do you think about entrepreneurial passion?  What has worked for you?  Where were weak?  Are you willing to pay through sweat equity or investing in an experienced professional for where your efforts need help? Should you?

Nate Kennedy outlines some of his thoughts on the subject. 

People might point to passion as the one thing that helped them launch a multimillion dollar empire, muster the courage to walk off a dead-end job, or overcome insurmountable challenges along the path of entrepreneurship. But this oversimplifies the process.  

 1. Expertise to deliver value 

You may be passion drunk, but your first priority in business is to establish an area of expertise or core competency that will enable you to distinguish yourself from your peers and let your reputation permeate the marketplace. To do so, amass and leverage your knowledge, skills and experience to attract clients and help them to effectively solve problems.

Without sufficient expertise, it’s difficult if not impossible to deliver value. In a world where substance and the final sum measure success, passion is no substitute for competence.

 2. Grit to continue the pursuit 

When times get tough in your business, will you dig deeper and manage the crisis or surrender to circumstances and claim defeat?

While passion may have initially ignited the fire in your belly, true grit is what will keep the fire burning. Angela Lee Duckworth, assistant professor of psychology at the University of Pennsylvania, considers true grit a highly relevant performance metric, just as critical as IQ. She has written that grit is “the tendency to sustain interest in and effort toward very long-term goals.”

At some point, performing at higher, less comfortable levels for sustained periods will be essential for your long-term success. Will your performance pass muster?

 3. Resilience to recover from hardship 

Every business encounters some turbulence at one time or another. Without resilience, however, it’s tough to survive the uncertainty and the downturns of the business cycle.

You may not be able to control what happens in the marketplace or how events affect your business, but you can control your responses.

By recognizing that change is inevitable and that a resilient mindset (not passion) is critical to successfully navigating hardship, you can emerge from tough times stronger and even more capable.

 4. Resourcefulness to manage assets 

In a competitive marketplace, you need creative ways to achieve results even without having lots of means at your disposal. That’s where being resourceful is critical.

Bootstrapping your business, for example, can let you to grow a company without taking investors with strings attached. Your ability to strategically assemble needed resources will help determine your success.

 5. Urgency to make forward progress  

Without an internal push to inspire you to take the next, timely step, your company could languish in obscurity. Change expert John P. Kotter referred to having urgency instead of complacency, noting that, “With an attitude of true urgency, you try to accomplish something important every day.”

Having a passion without a true sense of urgency might result in your refraining from taking vital action needed to advance your goals.

 6. Courage to prompt action   

Many business owners experienced fear. But your success is determined by taking action in spite of it. That’s courage. The late management consultant Peter F. Drucker said, “Whenever you see a successful business, [you know that] someone once made a courage decision.”

Every business owner tries to reach certain milestones, and without courage, most would be unattainable. When confronted by fear, your passion may subside. Your purpose may even become muddled. But courage can help you to embrace your purpose again.

Are you passionate about your business and the value you bring to the marketplace? Let’s hope so. Passion is useful and plays an important role in creating feelings of enthusiasm and excitement. But passion alone is insufficient. You need an arsenal of fundamental skills to succeed in business. Go ahead. Create your arsenal and watch your success take flight.

Express your successes and conquests.  Put your fear aside and let others know where your passion did not take you where you wanted to go by itself. 

 Work hard. Learn hard.  Success is in your path.

 “Nothing—absolutely nothing—in this life gives you more satisfaction than knowing you’re on the road to success and achievement. And nothing stands as a bigger challenge than making the most of yourself.” 

David J. Schwartz, The Magic of Thinking Big



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Steve works with small to midsize companies who have the desire to learn and the passion to succeed.  Contact Steve for a FREE 40 consult where he will find 2-3 marketing ideas that can propel your business.

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