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Is passion a necessity?

Discussion in 'Small Business' started by Vultures, 16th Oct, 2015.

  1. Vultures

    Vultures Well-Known Member

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    This has been bugging me of late. Contemplating starting a business as I have finally figured out I'm just not very employable - like my autonomy a little too much to get along conflict free in any kind of "cog in the machine" environment.

    Google tells me you must have passion to succeed in business. Apparently making a living out of it should not be your first priority, rather a desire to help people with some problem you have identified, and then the cash will follow.

    I don't know if I agree with that, I find it hard to believe anybody could be "passionate" about porta-loos for example.

    Now, I have several areas of interest, wouldn't call any of them a passion though. Thoughts? Is this an impediment? Hasn't anyone started a business solely as an alternative to wage servitude?
     
  2. Scott No Mates

    Scott No Mates Well-Known Member

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    Have a look for the Simon Sinek "how great leaders inspire action" on TED Talks.

    He poses the question of organizations "what, how & why".

    What does the business do?;
    How does it do it?; & most importantly
    Why do you do it?
     
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  3. The Y-man

    The Y-man Moderator Staff Member

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    @Vultures

    Had to think about this one a bit......

    I guess people don't have to be passionate about what they do (in the biz), but IMHO you need to be passionate then about what you are going to do with the $ you make (as opposed to being passionate about making money).

    Otherwise, I think your motivation will fall.

    On the autonomy front, just be aware that "business" can be just as (or more) demanding of your time (ie where you need to be by when) - especially if you are dealing with customers.

    The Y-man
     
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  4. Steven Ryan

    Steven Ryan Mortgage Broker Business Plus Member

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    @The Y-man nailed it. If you're not passionate about either the business or a result it produces, good luck.

    Lots of people are in business primarily to make money. Most of them don't do as well as those with a true passion for what they're doing. Working 80+ hours a week, dealing with dramas, caring deeply and going the extra mile etc is a very different game with passion removed.

    I suggest the approach I took.

    Make it a mission to find your passion.

    Then find a way to make it feed you.

    There is always a way.
     
  5. Ace in the Hole

    Ace in the Hole Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    It definitely helps, a lot !
    It's not always about the product either.
    Business is about people.
     
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  6. charttv

    charttv Well-Known Member

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    Many moons ago I had a goal to generate $X in passive income. My business partner at the time and I opted on buying into a franchise operation as the vehicle to achieve that goal. As we were fixated on the numbers and final outcome, we mistakenly believed that the vehicle didn't matter as long as the numbers stacked up.

    Having never worked in the food business I spent several weeks as a trainee manager in their store and learnt a valuable lesson - i couldn't give a toss about the business. In fact, I hated it. What's more is that I realised that if I didn't care about the business there was no hope in hell I was going to be able to motivate employees to care about my business.....when the going got tough, I just shrugged and gave up. I passed on this opportunity. Had I gone ahead, I have no doubt it would've been a disaster and probably bankrupted me. Since then, I have not taken on and committed to anything in life that I am not passionate about because when the going gets tough it's your passion for the undertaking that will see you through.
     
    Last edited: 16th Oct, 2015
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  7. Peter_Tersteeg

    Peter_Tersteeg Finance broker and strategist Business Member

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    The movie "Kenny" comes to mind...

    The passion is necessary in small business because it's what gets you through the tough times and what defines the rewards when you're successful. It doesn't need to be that butterfly excitement you get when going on a first date, it can simply be a genuine interest and something you enjoy.

    @Vultures I know for a fact there's a few things that you are passionate about. You just need to turn one of these into a viable business.
     
    Last edited: 16th Oct, 2015
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  8. Ace in the Hole

    Ace in the Hole Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    I don't see how it's possible, long term.

    You would never see a professional sportsperson or entertainer who's not passionate about what they do.
    As soon as the passion dies, so do they.
     
  9. Simon Hampel

    Simon Hampel Founder Staff Member

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    If you are no longer passionate about what you do, your business becomes a weight on your shoulders, pushing you down and clouding every thought and decision you make.

    You either need to change what you are doing to rekindle the passion, or get out and find something new to work on.

    That being said - you need to assess your goals for going into business. There are plenty of stories of "micro businesses" (aka one employee - yourself) where they simply aim to earn enough to pay the bills rather than build a massive business empire - but instead gain flexibility and freedom that they otherwise would not have had. Have a look at the Flying Solo website if that's the type of business you are thinking about.
     
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  10. Perthguy

    Perthguy Well-Known Member

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    My investment partner runs a very successful window cleaning business. He hates window cleaning though. His passion is people, dealing with people and sales. He can pick up new customers very easily because he is fantastic at selling. That is his real passion. He also takes pride in his work and providing a very high level of service.

    I can't imagine anyone being "passionate" about porta-loos either. But they could be passionate about providing a service, making sure people get what they need at the right time, all equipment in working order, taking pride in their work? Maybe watch the movie about dunny guy and see if it gives you some hints.

    But I agree, if you have no passion for your business, you won't get much enjoyment out of it. For example, I hate window cleaning, dealing with people and selling. I didn't do well when I worked in the window cleaning business. No passion.
     
  11. Simon Hampel

    Simon Hampel Founder Staff Member

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    Someone like this could succeed in any type of business selling anything. A widget is just a widget. Your relationship with your customers and helping them solve their problems (which just happens to be that they need or want a widget) is where your business actually is.

    That being said - not all businesses need you to be a gun sales person - there are plenty of services business based around technical expertise where people do well purely because they deliver what they promise and develop a reputation for excellence. You do need to have some people skills because your clients are people too - but you don't necessarily have to be able to sell ice to the indigenous peoples living near the Arctic circle!
     
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  12. Perthguy

    Perthguy Well-Known Member

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    Spot on. He is from a sales background working for a major retailer. He worked his way up to 2ic very quickly. I don't think he cares what he is selling, as long as he believes in it.
     
  13. Vultures

    Vultures Well-Known Member

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    True, but ultimately everything I'd be doing would be for me, not somebody else. That alone makes the time demanded of me tolerable.

    Yes, I agree, but does that mean that without passion it is impossible? I was never "passionate" about geology but it didn't stop me doing a good job.

    Now this I really struggle to agree with. If you have found your passion, fantastic - I'm envious! But I don't think everyone is wired that way. I think it's possible not to have a passion for any particular thing - lots of interests, but not consumed by any in particular. Perhaps it's in the definition, maybe I'm defining passion too narrowly. I think if something is a good fit, that *should* be enough.

    This article encapsulates some of my thoughts on this http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/238223

    But isn't there a middle ground? I wouldn't try and get into business doing something I don't at least believe in. The product is something I would absolutely care about and stand behind, I don't know if I can call it passion though.

    I think this is where my idea of "good fit" comes in. It has to be something that suits my personality. I'd never work with children or animals for example, it's just not me!

    haha this is actually something different again :) I'm a bit of a gold fish, short attention span. Or is it memory? ;)

    Yes, no doubt passion makes it easier to ride the inevitable lows. Does it mean that without it, you're doomed? What if you are self aware enough and committed to doing quality work, persevering through the rough patches and not letting them derail you?

    I like the idea of passion as being something you end up with as a result of a lot of work and perseverance, when you end up with something tangible that you've built through your own efforts (ie a successful business).

    Like this http://www.fastcompany.com/3026272/...o-career-contentment-dont-follow-your-passion

    Yes, thank you, have been stalking them already ;)

    This. I have pride in my work no matter what it is, so I can definitely relate.

    Thanks all. I'm off to ruminate on this.

    As a follow up question - has anyone here done a business plan? Would you have done one if the banks didn't require it? Have you found it useful?
     
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  14. MGF

    MGF Well-Known Member

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    No passion, not much hope.

    Think of it like filters -- are you good? That's a million people. Are you clever? That cuts it down again? Are you living in the right location? Are you the right age? Can you handle the bad days? And so on. Eventually you'll get down to a thousand people and then divide them by passionate and not.

    Those passionate people have everything you do on every level PLUS they have passion. You can't beat that. Passion makes you do what the other guy won't.
     
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  15. D.T.

    D.T. Adelaide Property Manager Business Member

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    I think passion is a necessity. I took a leap of faith quitting my full time job to start a new business from scratch. Wouldn't have been able to do that if I didnt have 1) Spouse who was on-board and understood my plans 2) Passion 3) Passive income from rentals

    Businesses need clients to succeed, and they dont know about (or care about) 1 and 3, but they cant detect presence or absence of 2.
     
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  16. Samten

    Samten Well-Known Member

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    Some awesome stuff here all very good advice. @MGF puts it very well most people call it passion but you seem to be struggling with that term. My old mate Jim Rohn said you need to have reasons...reasons to get up in the morning when you don't want to, reasons to make the calls, reasons to handle the rejection, reasons to handle the failures. Cos when you are in your own business you will face all of the above. Money of itself is never enough, but what money does can be i.e keep a roof over your head, feed your family, a holiday lying on a beach sipping whatever is your fancy etc. Money is not the main motivator why anyone works in fact it comes down the list from things like satisfaction, making a difference etc. In my opinion to be successful in almost any business you have to like people, be they your employees, customers or clients. Humans know when you are genuine and we also know when you are fake we are hardwired to read people in spite of the words that come out of their mouth. We intrinsically know when someone likes us and when they don't. If you want to be successful in any sort of business ask intelligent questions and then actively listen. Not only will you learn, the person you are with will gradually open up to you. In one of my former business ventures I was selling intangibles and I was dealing with high net worth individuals who were generally business owners. My best question was " So tell me how did you get into this business?" I would then sit back and listen to some of the most interesting stories and in the process make a friend because you know what? no one had ever asked them that before.
    Always go for the win win never I win you lose, if you both can't win then don't do it.
    Hope you find something that makes you excited because that is the only way a successful business works.
     
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  17. Mombius Hibachi

    Mombius Hibachi Well-Known Member

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    This is me. I enjoy the work that I do in my business, but it's not my passion. After I started my business, I found that what I enjoy most is talking to my clients. Which is really weird, because I try to avoid human contact as much as I possibly can. But I could talk about my field (finance) all day. So it works. I'm also lucky in that my clients are really great people that I actually like being around (my business is B2B, not B2C).

    My passions are: reading, going to see bands and being alone. The way my business is structured allows me to pursue them. I'm at the point now where I'm making enough to get by and intend to build it up a bit more, in order to invest and build additional income streams, but I have no desire to build it into something huge. It actually took me some time to get comfortable with that idea, as my thought process told me I was 'supposed' to want to get big.
     
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  18. Samten

    Samten Well-Known Member

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    Sometimes the best way to succeed is to have no fall back position. I have started and run 4 businesses and each time I HAD to be successful as I had nothing to fall back on and I had people depending on me.....my wife and 4 children. Only one income, mine. It is a serious motivator! It means you can never be half hearted about or take a "i'll see if this works" attitude, failure is not an option. Maybe it was the fear of failure that drove me, whatever it was when you can't fail it sure is powerful!
     
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  19. Vacant

    Vacant Well-Known Member

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    You can start a business without passion but if you don't have the desire or drive for it then you better be bloody stubborn. The last thing you want to do is buy a job that you're not interested in.
     
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  20. The Y-man

    The Y-man Moderator Staff Member

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    My first "venture" (if you could call it that) was share trading, so no borrowed money other than home loans and margin loans - so no plan.

    The venture I am currently involved in will require some decent $ - so yes, full blown financials and valuation estimates etc.

    The Y-man
     
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