Where Passions Fit In Entrepreneurship

Jean-Baptiste Say via  Wikimedia  

Jean-Baptiste Say via Wikimedia 

These days more and more people are looking to start off on their own and create something worthwhile. And for good reason. With the ease of information transfer, how can we not? We know about more than ever and we have unprecedented access to learn even greater things.

One of my favorite quotes about entrepreneurs is from the French economist Jean-Baptiste Say, the person who is often credited with coining the term "entrepreneur". He defined an entrepreneur as someone who "shifts economic resources out of an area of lower and into an area of higher productivity and greater yield." This is one of the oldest definition, and it touches on the heart of what entrepreneurship is about: making something society values.

However, it doesn't really talk about the path to becoming a successful entrepreneur. Anyone can say they started something or that they worked to bring more productivity to the world. But what about being a successful (however you define that) entrepreneur?

They have to believe passionately in themselves and in what they are providing. It could be a product or a service, but if an entrepreneur doesn't believe, how are others supposed to believe in it? It's no accident that most of the recent examples of success are filled with stories of people who are passionate about an idea, taking it to the next level and beyond. 

Passion isn't the only characteristic of successful entrepreneurs, there are countless others. 

Moving economic resources means moving money, which means convincing others to part with theirs. One of the hardest things to do is to get people to part with their hard-earned money. Often there are trials and tribulations, there are times of doubt and frustration, and there are points when convictions will be tested. There are numerous other ideas being pursued, some of which may be nearly identical; some of which may even be better.

Then there is timing, opportunity, and just plain luck.

In the end, it comes down to whether or not an entrepreneur believes in what they are doing enough to withstand all of this.

Passion is what will allow an entrepreneur to spend countless hours working on the same problem. Passion is what keeps entrepreneurs going after there first dozen ideas have failed. Sleepless nights and crowded days will drive anyone insane, but those who are passionate about what they are doing will take it in stride.

If you are thinking about starting your own business, as many of us are, I would think very carefully about how that business might align with what you are passionate about. And if you're not sure what you are passionate about, I would really figure that out first.

Passion is not the only thing needed in creating a new business. But without it, there is next to no chance of success.

How have your passions interacted with your entrepreneurship goals?

- Ryan