While passion is no doubt the fuel that sustains entrepreneurs, you will find that even serial entrepreneurs and avid risk takers understand the importance of being grounded. That is balancing or harnessing passion within the framework of good reasoning and quality decision making.
When passion and entrepreneurship come together however, it isn’t always magic as there could be a conflict of interest. As highlighted, you don’t have to discard one for the other. Instead you can use the passion as a flame that allows you to acutely identify and relentlessly pursue excellent business opportunities. Here are four guidelines to help you achieve this:
Be honest with yourself
You need to decide what is more important, pure passion (on an idea that might not be lucrative), or redirecting your enthusiasm and energy into a researched idea that presents a greater chance of being rewarding. By rewarding, we mean not only in the ‘feel good’ sense, but importantly, in the financial sense of the word. When your heart solely influences all business decisions, it’s time to sit down and have an honest conversation with yourself about whether you are heading in the right direction for yourself and your business.
Employ other people to run the business
They do not have their heart invested in the business as much as you, and so, are more likely to make less emotional decisions that could see the growth of the business. A sound team of two or three people can be put in charge of different aspects of the business, and they can each consult with you when major decisions have to be made. This also allows you to spread your wings as the company visionary and forerunner.
Get a business coach
These are qualified and trained individuals who specialise in helping businessmen and women achieve their full potential. Furthermore, by talking to your business coach, you will gain a much clearer understanding of what your priorities are. This will equip you to better harness the untamed passion for your product, service or your industry in general, in order to go after and achieve specific entrepreneurial and related business goals.
Know when to walk away from a deal
It can be hard to know when to walk away from a deal or business venture. The burning passion to succeed in business, pursue an ideal or chase a dream – while being immensely positive – can also be the number one culprit for not realising when to quit. This is NOT giving up, but refers to an objective assessment where all the variables, circumstances and signs are saying, ‘Proceed no further.’ Think of it this way: you may be in business, but discover that there is a severe flaw in your strategy, there is no market for the product, you’re in a completely wrong location etc. One first has to stop what they are doing, re-evaluate and then proceed. And yes, proceeding may include a completely new plan, a new business or a new way of tackling the original venture.
Passion is an important part of running any business, but it can overshadow practical business decisions if one is not careful. In order to find the right balance between what you love, and the acumen required to succeed in a competitive world, you will need to be honest with yourself when making business decisions. Consider the above guidelines as a starting point to effectively achieving this harmony.
Proudly brought to you by the National Small Business Chamber (NSBC).