Was on another message forum the other day, and in this one thread about entrepreneurship, someone who’s spent nine years in a corporate job asked something like “how do you get that passion for something that you start a business with it?”
I thought about it for a bit, because I’ve been in business three different times (2 ended up failing). One was advertising (direct mail, to be exact), one was IT services, and now writing (which actually started as programming, but that’s another story).
So, am I really passionate about all that stuff? Enough that the passion drove me to business?
To be honest, I’m not. Don’t get me wrong – I like what I do (and have done)… I really like it, actually. If I were a millionaire (and sadly, I am not), I’d likely still write (or do advertising, or IT stuff) in some form.
But would I write press releases, brochures, and web copy for clients on a deadline? Probably not. Just being honest.
It’s not like I always had this passion to write web copy. I love to write, and I’m really good at a particular kind (direct, clear business and sales writing). But if I had all the money I ever needed, I’d probably do more consulting (just so I could keep my brain buzzing) and less writing – I’d write in support of me only. Writing is cool and all, but it also hurts after awhile. Really.
Anyway, here’s generally what I wrote to the guy as a reply:
That passion isn’t something you find… it’s just there, but not in the way you think. For most people, the passion is entrepreneurship itself.
I’ve been an entrepreneur in spirit all my life, and three different times I “quit” (or got fired… same thing) and started a biz – with three different businesses. One was advertising/direct mail (failed), one was IT (failed) and one was writing (copywriting – success… still at it more than a decade later.) I even wrote a book about entrepreneurship and working at home for yourself, detailing both the failures and successes, and another book about web copy.
But even though I always liked to write, the way I do it in business now is not the passion. It’s hard to be “passionate” about writing a press release for some new product (boil reduction cream!) I like doing it – don’t get me wrong. It beats working in a coal mine or such. But if I could do anything I wanted, writing a press release is about one millionth on the list.
I know a successful guy who sells special ethernet cables. But it’s not like ethernet cables are his first love. I know another who does data entry. She doesn’t have any passion for data entry (at all), but she does have a passion for being home with her kids. Your passion/hobbies/etc may lead you to business, but trust me, it’s not enough.
Forget trying to identify a strong passion – owning a business is just something entrepreneurs do. I have found most entrepreneurs are like that – they don’t wait for the perfect storm – owning the business is the passion.
Sorry not to be more useful than that (this probably isn’t what you wanted to hear), but that’s how I feel about it.
I’m passionate about my wife, my home, our lives, etc. Work is a way to make the life I want possible.