Oct 04, 2011

No Excuses Part 3 — Is Passion Part of Entrepreneurship?

Note: This is part 3 of a 4-part series defining entrepreneurship from author and serial entrepreneur, Jim Beach. We’re honored to have him on our blog. Make sure to check out his first book, “School for Startups.”

Read Part 1: Is Creativity Part of Entrepreneurship?
Read part 2: Is Risk Part of Entrepreneurship?
Read part 4: Why Entrepreneurship is About Execution

Part 3 – Is Passion Part of Entrepreneurship?

Business Passion

Remember this guy? Nobody had more passion than him. Resit in peace, Stever Irwin.

In part 1 and part 2, we eliminated the need for creativity and the need to avoid risk as reasons for you not to start a business.

Creativity is not essential -– simply copy someone else’s idea and do it better. Risk can be reduced, but if it cannot be mitigated to a comfortable level, do not proceed.

So if creativity and risk are not necessarily part of entrepreneurship, passion surely is, you might argue. We hear all the time about the passionate entrepreneur: The guy that pursues his crazy dream against all odds because of his love for some crazy thing, and then makes $2.67 billion.

Passion CAN BE part of it

No Excuses Part 3 -- Is Passion Part of Entrepreneurship?

Jeff Galloway

So can we define entrepreneurship as necessarily involving passion?

It certainly can be, and it always makes a great story when it is.

Jeff Galloway was an Olympic runner in a time before Nike endorsements. Running was weird, not exercise that saved your life. But he loved to run and went on three jogs a day. He started a chain of running stores, was one of the first to sell Nike, has written almost 30 books on running, and has a company that organizes road races around the world. All because he has a passion for running.

So, after you decide to abandon waiting for a creativity lightning bolt and are looking for ideas on where to get your great ideas, look at your own passions and consider whether any of them would translate into viable businesses. For Jeff Galloway, one was.

Passion IS NOT part of it

No Excuses Part 3 -- Is Passion Part of Entrepreneurship?I love wood working and would love to make a living making furniture, but I know I could not support myself very well doing that.

But our friend Randy Brown (from parts 1 and 2, the guy with the legal service outsourcing business), on the other hand, has no particular love of legal services or lawyers. He started his business because he saw a niche, even though it’s not a niche in an area about which he is really all that passionate. It’s just a profitable niche. And there is nothing wrong with that. Randy’s passion comes from providing great service and earning the respect of the lawyers he works for -– and that is enough.

You may have heard the expression, “You can work 40 hours a week for the man or 80 hours a week for yourself.”

It is true. Business owners work longer days, weekends and nights. It means more to them, and passion helps in that regard because it keeps them going -– it is far easier to work 80 hours a week doing something you are passionate about. But it’s not required.

So just like creativity and risk, passion can be part of entrepreneurship, but it is not vital or fundamental to it. So, it begs the question, what then is?

About Jim Beach

No Excuses Part 3 -- Is Passion Part of Entrepreneurship?

Jim Beach

Jim is a serial entrepreneur who has started and operated businesses around the world. He’s the author of “School for Startups: The Breakthrough Course for Guaranteeing Success in 90 Days or Less.” He was a member of the faculty of the Institute of International Business at Georgia State University.

He has spoken on entrepreneurship in colleges across the country, and has presented to several Fortune 500 companies. Jim founded TheEntrepreneurSchool.com, and InternationalEntrepreneurship.com to help other entrepreneurs worldwide. Follow him on Twitter at @entrepreneurjim .

It takes a little cash to change the world.

So what are you waiting for?

About the author


  1. Hi Dan

    I like the example of Jeff Galloway – I Think Passion is gem it hold the seed’s of success, Passion can translate in a number of ways, you may just love what your doing, you may love the money or the service you provide, it may be all of the above, but passion or drive is golden – Thanks for the food

    Be Great

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