Wednesday, 24 December 2014

What is passion? How important is it to business success?

Author: Dr. Cheryl Cottle

Passion is the fire that ignites us and inspires us to achieve our goals, is my belief. It is what causes us to create and to be productive. It is an emotion when ignited absorbs us and causes us to lead from the perspective of belief and love. Love, enthusiasm, commitment, and dedication are the energies that manifest the emotion of passion within us. You believe in it and therefore you can do it. Passion is what gives us the confidence to transcend all obstacles and gain triumph and success in what ever venture we undertake. 

Passion is an emotion that encompasses every venture a person takes on and it is evident in every facet of our lives. I have experienced passion  in the academe, in my pursuit of a hobby, in art, in my love for reading; and other things that I like. Passion is also associated to other activities that a person pursues including, boating, fishing, medicine, mountain climbing, cycling, fashion designer, real estate, writing, journaling, gardening, walking, entrepreneurship, philanthropy, or any interest that you may have and is dedicated and committed to. Dedication and commitment are two values that drive us to see a project to completion or to keep it alive.

While passion is an integral force behind our success in whatever endeavor we take on, the focus of this paper is how passion facilitates entrepreneurship. Passion is commonly linked to entrepreneurship. It is generally linked to the individual who works for himself or herself. It is generally applied to what makes an individual a successful entrepreneur. For example the solo entrepreneur who is the entrepreneur, manager and creator of the product or services; the individual who holds three hats, is generally asked how do you do it? Or how have you done it? It is a question that one asks a person who performs a great feathow did you do it? What is the thread that binds him or her to work steadfastly in spite of challenges that confronts your path? Passion is often tied into such an individual, but passion can also be associated to organizations. Do large organizations encourage their employees to be passionate? Are employees expected to be passionate? Does an employee with passion for the organization provide added-value to the company? Is he or she more productive?

Organizations will find that if their employees have a passion for the organization’s philosophy and goals, their growth potential will increase. How employees are perceived by management is important to the organization’s productivity and bottom line at the end of the year. It is important to the overall management and operation of the organization. How employees feel when they belong to an organization is of paramount importance to the success of a company.

Organizations should take a look at their organization’s culture. They should examine the type of organization’s culture that is fostered by the management style and the structure of the organization. Organization’s strategies to facilitate growth and development must not only focus on productivity and operations, but also on the human factor – the employees. How employees’ feel about the workplace helps to facilitate passion within an employee. Workplace strategies that therefore facilitate employee feeling of belongings, and employee’s commitment will foster employee’s passion to belong. (Cottle, 2003). 

How much of what you do is driven by passion? How important is passion in the success of women businesses? How do these two questions apply to you and the growth and success of your business? Passion is what is needed to stay competitive in the market place. It is the ingredient that enables you to stand out from the other businesses in your business sector, and what creates your business success. Passion is the human element that binds the small business owner with his or her employees and invites the customers to engage in a transaction that is of benefit to all. 

As a business person, the overall burden of the management generally rest upon you, the owner. You are several things to the company; the entrepreneur, mangers, and the creative force behind the business. It is easy to become burn-out just weeks after embarking upon a new business venture and the business can collapse. Having deep passion for your business idea is what keeps you going when things get difficult. It is what makes a difference in you closing your business prematurely or keeping your doors open.

Passion also impacts how your customers respond to your product or service. If people perceive that you are passionate about what you do, they too will become passionate about it. You must love what you do, so that others will trust you. They will also appreciate and value what you do. According to a business woman that I spoke with about how important is passion to the success of her business, said that passion makes you unstoppable. She added that loving what you do, makes it effortless. 

Passion therefore gives you the determination to work at what you set out to do in an easy enjoyable way. It also gives you the drive to overcome all things that may look insurmountable. Success is therefore the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. Passion enables you to build your customer base. When you speak with passion about your product or services, you convince and capture your target audience. You can make them believe in what you do and so gain their support for your business. Passion enables you to sell your brand. If you did not believe in it, you cannot sell it. Belief facilitates conviction, and that leads to credibility, authenticity and trust – thus leading to greater client-base.

Passion drives belief and gets rid of self-doubt: Generally women entrepreneurs work alone due to diverse reason; either she does not have the resources to employ others and in some cases if she has employees, she is also the manager of her business and therefore has to provide leadership to her team of employees. To do it alone or working with others, requires that an owner/manager must have passion in order to grow her business. As a sole business person, you are the engine required to facilitate the overall operation of your company. You are the sole intellectual resource available to drive your company. 

Passion is very important when you do not have a team of experts within your company to carry out the many processes and operations, but you are the all encompassing intellectual wheel to manage and grow your company. Having passion goes a long way in time of doubts and during challenging moments like slow times, strategic planning, problem solving, and overall decision making. These are the times when a sole entrepreneur needs to have something greater than entrepreneurial skills, management skills and creativity. Passion is the seed that binds them all and facilitates success in business. It is what makes you “unstoppable." Passion also powers ones efficiency and effectiveness. It also engenders perfection and completeness. With passion an individual is able to achieve maximum performance regardless of the area. Passion generally fuels creativity and achievements.

One business women with whom I spoke to regarding having passion in business, said that, "I think it’s incredibly important that women are passionate about what they do. The world notices someone on fire for a cause, regardless of whatever the cause might be."Another business woman, with whom I spoke too on the topic of passion and its significance to entrepreneurship, has confirmed that passion is the core ingredient to success as an entrepreneur and in the pursuit of whatever venture. She noted that someone who is passionate about what they do (as an entrepreneur), not only furthers their business, but also encourages anyone who joins their team to be the same. She also added that "passion motivates us to move forward, to share our thoughts hopes and dreams with everyone around us, no matter whom we are or where we are from. Passion breeds excitement and joy which turns into zeal; and we all know what a zealous person can do". She adds that “we must learn to bridle the passion so as to keep us focused on the result and not overwhelm those around us: We want them to grasp the concept of our business and experience it for themselves.” 

Passion also has the ability to transcend you and ignite others in your environment. It is energy that is osmotic, and infuses others; not deliberately but through gradual absorption. Another business woman says that “when you are passionate about what you do, the people with whom you speak to about what you do, also feel it.” "They can identify with what you are saying. The connection that you create is what enables your business success." While another adds, “having passion is what enables your love for your work. It is what makes you the best worker in the world. When you love what you do, you will do all your best to succeed and move forward. I believe that when a business person can say; with passion, I can be successful in any business; and I am passionate in what I can offer my clients. I love what I do. That is powerful.” 

I will therefore end with these two quotations by Ralph Waldo Emerson: 
One of the biggest challenges in life is not to let yourself or anyone stand in your way of what matters, and bring passion to your life.
Enthusiasm is one of the most powerful engines of success. When you do a thing, do it with all your might. Put your whole soul into it. Stamp it with your own personality. Be active, be energetic and faithful, and you will accomplish your object. Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm. 

I will like to end with this question to my readers? How much of what you do is driven by passion? How important is passion in the success of your business? How do these two questions apply to you and the growth and success of your business? 

This article was first written on Tuesday, April 13, 2010 Was modified on: Thursday, December-18-14 

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