A passion for business
There are a ton of books advising you that the key to business success lies in connecting with your passion.
They tell you that once you connect with your true calling in life, nothing will stop you from turning that passion into a wildly successful business.
Every morning, you will spring out of bed and dive head first into your day, making money at a million miles an hour as people are swept up in your unbridled enthusiasm for what truly motivates you in life.
In my opinion, it’s all just romantic fantasy!
Creating a start-up in an area that you know and understand can be helpful, though it’s not essential. Being passionate about your business and determined to succeed is essential. But connecting with some higher purpose is unnecessary.
First, it gives people permission to procrastinate. Rather than getting out there and giving something a go, they spend endless time (sometimes years) on some mystical search for the one thing that ignites their passion.
Most will never find it. The few that do will rarely act on it.
Second, it links business to some kind of journey of personal enlightenment. There is no doubt that you mature as a person running your own business, but if your true objective is personal growth, do a course or read a book.
Personal growth is a by-product of running a business, not the objective. A start-up is so all-consuming, so high stakes, that any motivation other than to make it a screaming success is doomed to let you down when the going inevitably gets tough.
The bottom line as I see it is that you go into business because you think you can make something a success. You might be passionate about the area, it might make you feel good, but they are all nice-to-haves. The key question is whether you can make money out of it.
A person I know has built a massive electrical contracting business from scratch with a partner. Were they necessarily passionate about electrical contracting? Not a chance. What they knew is that they wanted to start a business and they saw an opportunity they thought they could exploit.
They have worked hard over about a decade to now be running a multi-million dollar business. Luckily for them, they didn’t spend that decade searching for their higher commercial calling. They got out there as nothing more than hard-nosed businessmen.