You’ll Need More Than Passion to Start a Business

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Passion is an overused term in business. You keep hearing “do what you love.” But you need to be thinking about whether your passion is truly sufficient enough to start a successful business.

To create a business you must provide a product or service people are willing to pay for. Maybe you love knitting baby booties, and want to make millions doing so. I’m sad to tell you: unless you employ about 10,000 other baby bootie knitters, you will likely never reach that financial goal.

It’s important that you assess whether your passion has a profit center before you start that business. By making sure you can actually make money, you’ll ensure that your business will be able to weather an economic crisis and other bumps in the road. You also need to be able to scale that profit center beyond what your own two hands can create.



Assess Your Passions

Start by looking at what you’re passionate about. Your list will likely include things you can quickly mark off your “possible business” list, like “watching WWE fights or The Food Network.” You simply aren’t going to be able to build a business around that!

Maybe you’re an avid bike rider who’s passionate about taking kids on long cross-country bike treks. Or you love animals and have a knack for training them. Maybe you are good at helping friend pull together a killer look or update their wardrobe. These are passions you can build a business around.

But go beyond those obvious passions, like what you enjoy doing in your spare time, and look at the abstract. You might enjoy working with small teams, or planning events. You might love closing a sale, or have an eye for home design. Some of these passions may be worth considering starting a business around, while others may simply be useful as you develop your business.

Consider Your Goals

Going back to that baby bootie example. If you’re content knitting 25 hours a week and making enough cash to take a vacation, leaving you ample time to spend with your kids, this could be a sustainable business model. You have to look at your resources (at this point, that’s just you, the knitter) and determine whether you can accomplish what you want with them.

Maybe you’ve got money squirreled away, and could hire your knitting club to triple your production of booties. Now you’re talking! You could create a virtual network of knitters (say that 5 times fast) and grow your business from there.

Passion is a great place to start in becoming your own boss, but it’s not the only factor to consider. You also need to be able to make enough money to hit your goal, while maintaining the type of lifestyle you desire. Profit is how we keep score in business, so just make sure you are honest with yourself about whether or not your business concept can actual make money.

Heart Photo via Shutterstock

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Melinda Emerson


Melinda Emerson Melinda Emerson, known to many as "SmallBizLady," is a Veteran Entrepreneur, Small Business Coach and Social Media Strategist who hosts #Smallbizchat for emerging entrepreneurs on Twitter. She is also the author of, Become Your Own Boss in 12 Months.

9 Reactions

  1. Completely agree, it does take more than passion to start a business! It is the passion that keeps it growing but it is you as a business person that nurtures it! Although passion plays a huge part in a business, it is not the only attribute you have to possess!

  2. My experience is that execution of a solid plan is the hardest part about business. Many people have great ideas and can put together the plan. Execution requires consistent effort and without passion many people quit or burn out. Passion is what keeps you going when things get tough, so it’s indeed critical.

  3. Great post, Melinda. Completely agree that passion isn’t the only thing you need, but it is one of the imperative parts of starting a business. Without it, when the challenges and hurdles arise, and they will, it’s hard to move forward. Ensuring you have a market to sell what you’re passion about is absolutely critical. So many small biz owners dive in with only their passion, only to realize there is no market! So, indeed, if you don’t want to worry about the business, go work for someone else!

  4. Aira Bongco

    I agree. But you’ll never be happy in a business if you’re not passionate about it. I am not just talking about the products. You also need to be passionate about the actual task that you are doing. That will push you to keep on moving forward even when times get tough.

  5. It is known fact that passion helps in a bigger manner to start off any business. But it is true that financial part also needs to be properly taken care off along with planning to bear fruitful results in days to come.

  6. You’ll Need More Than Passion to Start a Business
    I completely agree
    Mawufemor Biekro
    Jay Biekro

  7. Hi Melinda,

    Passion is a great thing, but it will only take you so far. And not very far if your passion is not profitable.

    Before you start thinking about your passions, I would start with your weaknesses and strengths

    Naomi

  8. I don’t think passion is the right word, in fact, I am sick of the word! It’s overused. What is needed is a strong work ethic. I have interests, not passions. (Passion is a volume of or intensity of emotion. You can passionately HATE something, too!) What I need is a stratightforward, strategic, executable plan for operating a business. For me, once I know what I am doing, I can do it. I don’t need passion to run a business. I am a grown-up.

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