Is it possible to build a successful business if you are not exactly in love with what you are doing? Can you push through even if you are not burning with passion about either the idea or the industry? I know a lot of people may argue with me on this one, but the answer is, yes.
A Successful Business Starts with… Work
A while back, Mark Cuban wrote up an interesting little post on his blog that ended up getting a lot of attention, particularly because it went against the entrepreneurial grain. Whether you love him or hate him, this quote is a gem:
“When you work hard at something you become good at it… When you become good at doing something, you will enjoy it more… When you enjoy doing something, there is a very good chance you will become passionate or more passionate about it… When you are good at something, passionate and work even harder to excel and be the best at it, good things happen…Don’t follow your passions, follow your effort. It will lead you to your passions and to success, however you define it.”
The point is, you don’t necessarily have to be burning with passion about your business idea as a prerequisite for success. You do, however, have to be motivated to put in the work and to get the help, answers, and other support needed to turn your idea into a successful operation.
Where is the Fire in Your Gut?
Will having some level of passion about the business itself right at the beginning help you to grow your business? For sure! If you love what you are doing, it will be easier to put more effort into it, especially when you are trying to get through those first difficult stages of growth.
The problem with passion alone, is that it can quickly fizzle out as time goes on and obstacles stand in your way. To push through, you really need to be motivated by other factors such as wanting to be successful, wanting to be in control of your own income, or wanting to positively impact the world. These are all motivations that are not directly connected to your business, yet they can help you stay focused during the down times. It is more about the “why” behind starting a business, and less about the “what.”
This is such an important idea, yet many, many would-be entrepreneurs miss it.
It’s a fact that we tend to be more successful at the things that we care about. But the biggest and most effective way to get yourself to consistently care about something is to simply invest yourself in it. This can be an investment of time, effort, and money. Once you do so, you will have a vested interest in carrying on and getting good at what you do, and that can ultimately make you feel more passionate about it.
So, the bottom line is if you are very clear about why you want to start a business, and you are motivated to carry through, don’t worry about the passion part at the beginning. If you put in the work and you have the right attitude, you can really build a successful business and the passion will come later on.