Multimillion dollar acquisitions, high-profile interviews, mansions, supercars, influence and thousands of followers. The entrepreneur lifestyle sure seems promising.
But the reality is far from this rosy picture. Entrepreneurs face huge challenges: Building the courage to run with an idea. Communicating their vision with clarity. Getting the right people on board. Raising money. Generating interest. Growing and reaching a sustainable business, and much much more.
So why don’t entrepreneurs see these problems as significant and challenging as they really are?!
Because they are blinded by passion.
A core and essential quality to bring ideas to life, grow companies, and disrupt long-standing industries, passion is the thing that a successful entrepreneur is made of. But is there such a thing as “too much passion.”
The answer is yes. And unfortunately, it is the single biggest threat to an entrepreneur’s chance of ever making it big.
Why is too much passion bad for you:
1. It blinds you to the problems at the idea stage.
If you are too passionate, you will not be open to feedback, and the possibility that your idea needs more work, might out of date, or simply a bad idea. It is very hard to fix idea stage problems later in the process, and you may risk losing everything you have done until that point.
2. It drives people away.
People that are excessively passionate, see others as less passionate. You will end up building a team of raving fans for your idea, and lose the deep thinking, calculating, pragmatists that are essential for any business to grow and succeed.
3. It drives smart money away.
Smart money includes the funds, brains, connections and support of investors, which are much more valuable than the funds alone. Smart investors want passionate people who will not stop until they get their idea off the ground. But, they will not want to invest in people who are not coachable, willing to take feedback seriously or embrace that there might be other ways. You may raise money, but not smart money.
4. It craves perfection.
Building the "perfect" product or service will delay production, will drive the team crazy, and will cost more money than a startup can afford. Yes, passion for great quality is a key to success, but there must be a point when good enough is good enough. Too much passion doesn’t ship.
5. It drives customers away.
It is hard to accept that customers may be in front of the best idea in the world, and not give it a single thought before writing it off. Too much passion will be perceived as pushiness and arrogance.
Having team members who are raving fans will drive customers away. The trick is to get customers to be passionate about the product or service and for them to become raving fans. That requires full engagement, listening, and being open to feedback, which is very hard when fully blinded by too much passion.
So no customers, a team of raving fans, money without brains, and a not so good business idea! I guess we can safely assume that there won’t be any growth or the hint of a sustainable business anytime soon.
Passion is the entrepreneur’s armour and shield while fighting the uphill battle to build and grow a business from a simple idea. Be careful that it doesn’t get too heavy, wear you out, or run you down. Keep it light, and keep moving up.
Would love to hear from you, your ideas, feedback, experience, and questions on this topic and this article.
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