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.”
Part 3 – Is Passion Part of Entrepreneurship?
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 itSo 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
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
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 .