Alaska Small Business Development Center

Passion, The Key to Successful Entrepreneurship

October 22, 2016

The morning starts like any other.

You woke up late, got a ticket on the way to work, and your favorite parking spot was taken by that one coworker you can’t stand.  You arrive at work only to find there’s no coffee, and that customer that cussed you out yesterday is back for another round.  coffee-art-sailing-ship-jpg-653x0_q80_crop-smart

Sound familiar?  This is the same story many people tell everyday.  Our world is fast paced.  Many find themselves constantly running 10 minutes behind, and $50 short and then somehow have to “put on a happy face.” for their work, or their community events.  How can you face these situations day after day after day?  The answer is passion.

But what is passion?

Webster’s defines passion as, “A strong feeling of enthusiasm or excitement for something or about doing something.”  How can you possibly be passionate about the above situation? That’s a hard question to answer.  What may make it easier is to understand a little about human nature.  We frequently focus on the short term, much like the example above.  “THIS situation is annoying”, or “THIS conversation is going the wrong direction” as opposed to focussing on the larger relationship that you are creating.  You have to be passionate about what you do.  If you are passionate about your work, whether in your own business, corporate, retail or government, you will find these situations become less of a burden, and more of an opportunity to grow the relationship.

You may be saying, “Wait, I’m great at my job, but I’m not passionate about it!” Ok, ask yourself what about it you can be passionate about.  Maybe you hate confrontations but you love the aspect of serving.  Perhaps you don’t like washing dishes, but you love to cook and develop new recipes.  The key is finding something that you are passionate about, and tap into that passion when things get tough.

So how does this relate to entrepreneurship?

Well, if you are looking at starting a business you better be passionate about your product or service.  Many times people leave a career they have been successful in to start a business in the same field.  This can be a great recipe for success if you love your work.  If you have no love for your work, you can do it for a while, but eventually it will consume you.  Aptitude and passion do not always line up in the same activities.  Sometimes you may have to choose between your passions and your skills.  Traditional wisdom will favor skills, but successful people follow their passions.  Passion will give you the strength to smile at the customer who is mad at you.  Passion will drive you through the otherwise monotonous aspects of modern life, to get you closer to what you love.

lamp-white-background-wallpaper-desktop-pc-299462Do you disagree?  Look at some of the most successful people.  Do you think Sir Richard Branson is passionate about space travel?  Was Steve Jobs passionate about computers and communication?  Was Thomas Edison passionate about developing a light bulb?  The fruit is on the tree.  Again and again it is easy to see that success follows passion.

When you are passionate about what you do, it doesn’t make the bad things go away, but it does make them much more palatable, and easy to overcome.  Find your passion, apply it to your work, and don’t give up.

Written by Allan Carraway, Anchorage Business Advisor

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