Recently my lovely wife trapped me into watching a romantic comedy on the TV. Towards the end my ears pricked up at a quote by one of the characters that said ‘You know Ancient Greeks didn’t write obituaries, they just asked whether the person had passion’.
It occurred to me that this was equally appropriate for entrepreneurs of today when assessing their likelihood of success and their ultimate business performance.
During my work I come across many would-be entrepreneurs with all sorts of ideas. Obviously the business plan is important in assessing potential viability of the business. (Although I have long since rejected the idea of the written business plan for one that the person can articulate, because not having been to a business school has never been a good reason to reject a business!)
But once it has been established that the business is potentially viable then I look for the passion. This can come in a number of forms but it has a few key characteristics.
Passion can be demonstrated through forceful argument or with a firm commitment to go through with the idea because of real belief in success. The person that has to ask me if the idea will work is one that is unsure, wants reassurance and lacks true passion.
Henry Ford once said ‘ whether you think you can or you think you cant you are probably right”. So yes, you may well need to have or can obtain a number of skills in order to run a successful business, but without passion these are irrelevant.
I believe that in today’s entrepreneurial world, like the Ancient Greeks, the difference between success and failure is not the business school qualification, but whether the entrepreneur has real passion.