First published on the ABN Her Business Blog
You should be. Yes, you read correctly. Passion has a lot to answer for in business. Everyone says you need to love what you do, be passionate about it and success will happen. Yes, it can, but, it can also kill a great business with too much kindness.
Don’t get me wrong, I love passion; I’m very passionate about what I do. What’s been frustrating me lately is why some business owners don’t “see” what is happening right in front of them, they’re pretty much blind to it. Why can’t they see that their results are not improving, that their business model is not working, that they’re wasting money on things that are not going to give them a return on investment (and no they’re not a “necessary” expense of the business). So just like I’ve seen many business owners bankrupt a business by living the high life personally when their business cannot afford it, I am also seeing a trend where passion is killing the business.
These business owners are so passionate about their community, their cause, helping others etc. that this passion is blinding them to the business reality. Even though the reality can be there in black and white, the passion they have is so intense that it’s flawing their logical business judgment. So, what can you do to make sure that your passion is not skewing your decision making capabilities?
Learn to be dispassionate about your business. Regardless of whom you surround yourself with to assist and guide you in your business, unless you are open to being dispassionate about your business you will not listen to anyone. Make sure your support group can show you where passion is getting in your way. They still need to support your vision, but are removed enough that they can show you when something’s not working.
Develop your own passion barometer and use it for decision making. Give a decision a score out of 10 as to how it’s related to your core passion. If it’s above a 5, you need to then look at the business barometer; is it a logical decision from a business standpoint? (i.e. will it make you a profit; remember that’s what business is about) If it doesn’t stack up on the business barometer I would refer to your support group for advice. Let them help you decide. This is not a scientific formula, just an idea to make you stop and think about where this decision is coming from and whether it really is a great business decision.
Passion can get in the way for all of us, but for those that can be dispassionate you will grow your business with kindness rather than potentially kill it.
Are you too passionate about your business?