Only Passions, great passions, can elevate the soul to great things.
Many attributes help you succeed in business. Being a hard worker is a good start. Perseverance is very important. Decisiveness is a must. And theres one thing that is pretty much universal among successful business owners: passion.
Sure, there are some business owners that inherited their businesses and are in it more for the money than for the love of what theyre doing. Then there are big corporations that have their hands in a little bit of everything and are solely interested in the bottom line. However, when an entrepreneur starts a business from scratch or chooses an existing one to take over, passion is a key ingredient. If you dont believe in what youre doing, chances are you wont get very far.
When you start a business that youre passionate about, it makes it easier to do what it takes to get it off the ground. Youre willing to put in extra hours. You find creative ways to raise the capital you need. You pour your heart and soul into it, because its more than just a means of putting food on the table. Its something you look forward to when you wake up in the morning and think about during your last waking hours at night.
Once youve gotten your business going strong, that initial fervor may wane a bit. The newness wears off, and you get into a routine. Its kind of like a marriage. Once the honeymoon is over the bride and groom dont stop loving each other, but life together eventually becomes a little less thrilling. The same could be said for some entrepreneurs and their businesses.
If you can effortlessly maintain that sense of excitement about your business, youre one of the lucky ones. Most business owners find themselves experiencing a slump every now and then. Maybe revenues drop, or new regulations necessitate changes in the way they do business, or they just get bored.
Whatever the reason, you may find yourself wondering if you should continue. You may question whether you got into the right type of business, or if you are even cut out to be an entrepreneur in the first place. You probably still care about your businesses and likes what you do, but it just doesnt hold the allure it once did.
In order to keep moving forward, keeping your passion alive is crucial. Sometimes thats easier said than done. If youre not feeling it, you cant force yourself to feel it, right?
Thats true to a point. However, there are things you can do to rekindle your passion. If youre doing something that you truly love deep down inside, a gentle reminder can bring that back to the surface and steer you back onto the right track.
Take a Break
During the startup phase of your business, you probably worked very hard. You had to come up with the money needed to get going, set up your office/retail space/website, get all of your paperwork in order, and much more. Then you had to market your business effectively to start bringing customers in. Perhaps you put in insane amounts of overtime to get things going. It may have paid off, but it probably also left you feeling exhausted.
This phenomenon is known as burnout. It can happen at any time, not just following startup, and its a real passion zapper. So what do you do about it? Take a breather!
Immersing yourself in your business is not a bad thing. It can help you become profitable faster. Weve all heard this saying: All work and no play makes Johnny a dull, dull boy. It also makes him cranky, which can have an adverse effect on the business. Taking a week off and having some non-work related fun could help him regain focus and remember why he chose the profession hes in.
When getting started in business, sometimes we have to wear many hats. Limited funds might prohibit hiring employees to take care of the administrative tasks, marketing and other things that are necessary to get things going. When youre going into business to do something you love, you dont mind doing those things for a while. After a while, it starts to get old.
When youre juggling all sorts of tasks, its easy to lose sight of the reasons you wanted to do what youre doing for a living. You get bogged down with paperwork and other tasks that are essential yet not the focus of your business. Thats one reason why its so important to outsource these things.
If you can outsource from the beginning, thats great. In many cases, business owners start out doing these things for themselves. If youre still doing everything on your own out of necessity, try setting a sales goal. When you reach that goal, reward yourself by hiring out some of the work you dont care for to a contractor. Youll have the opportunity to hand it off to someone who is a professional, and youll free up your time to concentrate on more enjoyable (and profitable) activities.
Talk to Someone Who Understands
Very few people in business havent experienced a decrease in interest at some point. Most of them get through it and move on. So if youre having the same problem, talking to a seasoned professional might help.
Perhaps you already have a mentor. If so, sitting down and discussing the obstacles youre facing could be quite beneficial. Just having someone whos been there and done that to talk to can help. And you might walk away with some sage advice that will help you get back in the swing of things.
If you dont have a mentor, now would be a good time to get one. Mentors can be infinitely helpful to anyone who is new (or even not-so-new) to the business world. If you dont know someone personally who can help you along, check with the Service Corps of Retired Executives (SCORE.org). They can set you up with a mentor in your area, or with someone you can connect with online.
Maintaining Your Enthusiasm
Once youve renewed your passion for your business, its important to keep the fires burning. Going back to your old habits could leave you feeling restless again before you know it.
When you find something that works, be sure to stick with it. Keep some contractors on retainer for your future outsourcing needs. Schedule some time off or rearrange your workweek so that you can participate in activities that you enjoy. Talk to your mentor on a regular basis. Do whatever it takes to ward off those doldrums.
Keeping your passion alive isnt always as easy as it sounds. However, if you have a genuine and intense interest in what you do, you can recover from those slumps quickly and get back to building your business.