As a self-made entrepreneur myself (born or not, I don’t know) I always smile a bit when I hear so called “business experts” give advice to other people considering the entrepreneurial life: “you just need to start your own company doing something you like, and you’ll never have to work another day in your life!”
Yeah, right! well, I have news for you my friends… the market doesn’t care whether you love music, or painting, or boating, or biking, or fashion, or any of the other hobbies or things that you love to do that you also think can become the foundation for your new company. It just doesn’t work that way.
There’s a reason why nine out of ten small businesses fail within the first three years. Too many passions pursued without a solid market demand for them. Like Reid Hoffman (founder of LinkedIn) writes in The Start Up of You, “what if you are passionate but relatively incompetent compared to others?”
But notice that I’m not saying that *becoming* passionate is necessarily bad for your business. On the contrary, becoming passionate will be the “key” for your business success. And now I have you all confused… “wait a minute, you just said that pursuing your passions doesn’t work!” That’s right! There’s a huge difference between *being* passionate and *becoming* passionate. Being passionate, does NOT guarantee you anything. Becoming passionate will however lead you down the right path to succeed more often than not.
Let me share with you this great Mark Cuban (billionaire entrepreneur) quote on the subject:
“When you work hard at something you become good at it.
When you become good at doing something, you will enjoy it more.
When you enjoy doing something, there is a very good chance you will become passionate or more passionate about it.
When you are good at something, passionate and work even harder to excel and be the best at it, good things happen.
Don’t follow your passions, follow your effort. It will lead you to your passions and to success, however you define it.”
So here’s my advice to all people who want to become entrepreneurs. Keep your existing passions and enjoy them as much as you can. Don’t try to make a business out of them. Instead, find out what the market needs, or what the market (not you) is passionate about. Work very hard at it until you’re insanely good at it. By then, you will have created yourself a NEW passion that will very likely become a solid business venture for you in the future.
Wishing you all the success you can achieve.
Until next time, this is Manuel Gil del Real (MGR)