Most entrepreneurs usually confuse passion with their overly optimistic expectations. As an entrepreneur, you shouldn’t let such pitfalls ruin the potential of your startup. You obviously have no doubt that passion is essential to building a successful company. It’s a strong motivator, providing enthusiasm, energy and drive to enable you turn away from your comfort zones. It gives you the ability to risk much while in pursuit of your dream. However, intensive research has proved that too much passion often destroys businesses.
The enthusiasm required in taking the risk and launching a company may cloud your judgment to a point where you’ll delude yourself into thinking you can be successful, even during the times you’re faced with insurmountable odds. A large percentage of entrepreneurs who’ve been advised to reconsider their startup plans due to various problems with commercial viability still continue pursuing their original course. Some conclude that the solution to the criticism is to throw more funding into their idea or push harder in their marketing efforts.
Passion functions as a double-edged sword. It is worth noting that the very thing it takes in starting a business can also be responsible for ruining it. Too much passion can even destroy the seemingly most promising startups. It blinds entrepreneurs, often leading to bad decision-making and overconfidence. Here is how your passion can destroy a startup as an entrepreneur seeking success.
1. The nature of a certain market may not favor your passion. If you’re passionate about a specific area, you are less likely to determine whether a large consumer base for your venture exists.
2. Passion can blind you into thinking that you already possess the required full skill set to build your business, even though you might need more time to prepare. Most entrepreneurs usually end up realizing they don’t have the resources or connections necessary in finding partners, investors and/or employees to turn their concept into reality.
3. You’re less likely to consider your personal circumstances when starting a venture that you’re passionate about. Many entrepreneurs tend to discount the toll a particular startup will take on their family. You are even more likely to sugar-coat various scenarios to your spouse, to get their support. This establishes a set of expectations that could contribute to disaster if you aren’t able to meet them.
4. Having blind-sighted optimism and being over-zealous will often make you impatient in moving forward with your new idea. You end up losing perspective on how potential clients and investors will view your product.
5. Too much passion can lead to the fall of your startup in the growth phase. You’ll most probably fail to see the essential need to step aside for an executive who’s better suited to running a firm that has grown substantially and moving into the next phase.
Most business owners tend to think that abundant passion can make up for the lack of relevant experience. A group of 100 Harvard Business-School graduates founded companies and the most common skills they lacked during the launch of their startups were sales, technical and management experience. It is very easy to find entrepreneurs founding companies despite the lack of such skills.
Entrepreneurs tend to lie to themselves, and this contributes a lot to the fall and demise of their startups. Avoiding the overly optimistic predictions doesn’t imply that you shouldn’t take risks. You should have a highly optimistic perception of risk, but also be a rational decision maker who embraces opportunities to pivot and change course when the occasion arises.
Yes, passion and optimism are great, especially when building a business. However, you should always find effective ways to temper your passion with a hefty dose of pragmatism. Steve Jobs said it best, “Follow your heart, but always check with your head.” We couldn’t agree more!
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