This guest post is by Jim Beach, Author of McGraw-Hill’s School for Startups, which contends that entrepreneurship is not about risk, creativity or passion.
If you ask 100 people on the street, I think that 99 of them will say that entrepreneurship involves risk, creativity, and passion. I think this connotation is the reason that many people fail to act upon their startup dreams. I believe that none of these should be part of the definition of entrepreneurship, but today I want to deal with only passion.
I am passionate about a lot of things in my life. I have a beautiful wife and three fantastic children that make me happy almost every day. I have a wonderful dog named Sunny, who is sitting at my feet, I have wonderful family and friends, and I enjoy many things about life. My main hobby, though I don’t get to do it very much, is woodworking. One of my goals in life is to have all of the furniture in my house hand built by me. I do have a passion for woodworking. However, I know that I am not very good at it, and that even if I was I great at it, I could not make a good enough living to support the standard of living that my family and I are accustomed to. Deep down, I know that pursuing my passion would be a big mistake.
Let me tell you about the things that I am not passionate about. I am not passionate about summer camp, online education, leather jackets, furniture, medical websites, restaurants, or credit card technology. These are the some of the businesses, the products and services, that I have sold in the last 20 years. I am not passionate about these things. I am not passionate about work. I am not passionate about any product or service. I think people that are passionate about things are scary. Passionate about a thing? Passionate about work? Passionate about being away from family?
I am passionate about not work, which is also known as play or free time. I am passionate about having the ability to go to my son’s soccer game at two o’clock in the afternoon on a work day if I want to. I enjoy being my own boss so that when my daughter has ballet, I can go whenever I want without worrying what anyone will think. I am passionate about controlling my own destiny and not worrying what some corporate boss 2000 miles away might do to my job today. I am passionate about taking as much vacation time as I want. I am passionate about implementing my own ideas and the process of what we call entrepreneurship. But entrepreneurship is still work, and I refuse to be passionate about work. I will be passionate about the process and the quality of life that it allows. And, I believe that being an entrepreneur allows for a much higher quality of life.
My conclusion then is that when someone says you have to be passionate to be an entrepreneur, or that you have to be passionate to work 80 hours a week, I just don’t get it. I may work 80 hours a week, but I try to have as many of them as possible after my children are asleep, which allows me to go to lots of soccer games and ballet recitals. When looking for a business to start, do not limit yourself to things that you are passionate about. Maybe being passionate about the process and passionate about the benefits of the process is enough. Maybe the improved lifestyle is what will return the passion to your marriage! And remember Valentine’s Day is coming very soon!
Those that enjoyed this article may also enjoy:
- If you thought that was crazy, let’s talk risk
- How Important Is Creativity In Starting A New Business?
What are your thoughts about entrepreneurship? Do you agree with Jim’s points or do you feel differently? Why not comment and share your thoughts with the world?
Posted by: Mike Clough