Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Does a successful business start with passion or a great idea?

Posted By Cheryl D. Gracie

Leslie looked over the latest bank statements for her business. Although she had managed to pay expenses, she had done so by exhausting the last of her savings. People just weren’t buying. Yes, it was great to be in business doing something she loved. But it would be nice to pay the bills and have something left over to live on. Yes, she loved her work. But, her passion wasn’t making any money for her business.

People buy goods and services to satisfy their own needs. They could care less about the passion a small business owner may have for their work. Leslie may feel her art is the best thing to hit the market, but it won’t sell unless customers find it useful to them. In fact, that need may not have anything to do with art. They may simply be looking for something to hide a hole in a living room wall. Unless there are sales, a business is doomed. So, while passion might motivate the small business owner to put in long hours and work for free, it is wasted time and effort unless people buy what the small business is selling.

Success as an entrepreneur depends on recognizing opportunity and having the knowledge and skill to start and grow a business that capitalizes on that opportunity. Many people, especially in today’s economy, start a business out of a desire to make a living. People have been laid off. Jobs are scarce or, in some areas, non-existent. And, some people just don’t like working for someone else. These people are motivated to start and grow a business as a means of financial survival. It has nothing to do with passion. And, these people often succeed without having passion for their work. They had knowledge and experience to recognize a great idea and the skill to start and grow of business based on that idea.

Yes, passion is nice to have. But, it isn’t necessary. A successful business starts with a great idea that is then developed and implemented using the talent and experience of its owners.
What do you think? What role does passion play in helping an entrepreneur become successful? Is being passionate about growing a business enough or do you have to also be passionate about the idea your business is being built on?

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