“Follow your bliss and the universe will open doors where there were only walls.” ~Joseph Campbell
I feel that passion is so vital both in life and in business. Far too often we see business owners who either lack or have lost their passion. Without passion, you become complacent, and complacency is a death sentence for any business.
It is so easy to get off track. Without passion, work becomes a job rather than an exciting new adventure to tackle each day. When complacency sets in, an entrepreneur loses the desire to make necessary improvements. When a business stops improving and growing, failure is not far behind.
I was working with a very successful entrepreneur who came in to our meeting saying, “I feel so good that everything is going well, and I do not want to change anything with my business.” Upon hearing this statement, I wanted to jump out of my chair and force him to see just how complacent he had become. Though he thought that everything was great, the reality was that his complacency was taking his business the wrong way.
This entrepreneur heeded my warning – “Jerry’s kick in the butt” as he calls it – and turned his business around. It is now growing like weeds. Our talk might have been the catalyst that led to this great change, but it was his acknowledgment that his attitude was holding his company back that made the real difference. Rediscovering his passion made him a new man and reinvigorated his business.
In another case, an entrepreneur’s complacency and lack of passion combined with the current state of the economy put his business in danger of closing its doors. I have talked to this entrepreneur tirelessly over the years, but I have been unable to resurrect his passion. Now, rather than running and managing a business, he just goes to work.
These are both very interesting cases, but the truly intriguing part is how differently the two turned out. In the first case, the entrepreneur listened and acknowledged that his lack of passion was having a negative effect on his business. Though the second entrepreneur also listened, he just had nothing left – no drive to run his business. I finally had to recommend that he sell it. If you have no passion for your business, you either need to figure out how to get it back or get out.
Here are some questions to help you evaluate if your passion is where it should be. First, ask yourself if you could start over, would you still choose the same industry and business. Secondly, do you get up every morning excited about going to work? Finally, are you so excited about your business that you want to tell the world how great it is? If you answered “No” to any of these questions, your passion might be waning.
Colleagues and other entrepreneurs are another great resource. Ask them if they think you are getting complacent. Also, let your workforce be your mirror. They will frequently reflect the passion they see in the owner or manager.
Now go out and make sure that you have the passion necessary to be successful.
You can do this!