There are many reasons that can lead somebody to start a business. You might have a great idea that you want to see through. You might see a need in the consumer and decide to bridge that gap. Some people become their own businesses because they feel uncomfortable in traditional corporate settings. But some people start a business out of sheer passion.
This passion can be a talent or skill that you have and have been nurturing your whole life, like an artist. But this passion could be something that fascinates your, or an issue that is really close to your heart and you wanna fight for.
Whatever the source of your passion is, if this is spark that fires up your entrepreneurial journey, your approach to business will most likely be very different than the one of someone who starts that journey for practical reasons. Passion Entrepreneurs do things differently. Sometimes to their benefit, and sometimes…well, not so much.
My origin story.
I have always been in somewhat of an intersection between creativity and hard facts. I have always loved to draw, paint, and create things with my hands. However, I also have always been fascinated by science, history and technology.
I studied fashion design, and did a Masters Degree in Coolhunting – which is a buzzword for trend research. To my surprise, this masters went very deep into the social and cultural mechanisms that generate trends, and how to detect understand and analyse those trends.
I started working as a designer but I quickly moved towards buying because I wanted to make decisions and have visibility of the full product lifecycle. From a buyers perspective I was involved in building collections and selecting trends but I also got to analyze business figures and coordinate with manufacturers, logistics, and stores. This meant as well becoming a bridge between the more creative profiles. On one side I had the creatives in design, marketing, and VM. On the other, I had the “numbers people” – the merchandisers, accountants, logistic agents etc. I realized how differently both of them think and how different their priorities and efforts were built.
With my teams, I always tried to help them navigate the parts of the business that they were not that keen of or comfortable with, but I quickly realize that these parts of the business exercise that creative and passionate people are not very comfortable with are actually quite critical to building a successful business. This is why now, when I work with creative and passion-driven entrepreneurs, I try to build that bridge as well. I try to help you feel comfortable in the role of a business owner, while also listening to your instincts.
You have probably heard that you can´t succeed without passion for your job.
This is not true. You can´t succeed without motivation, but some people don’t find that motivation in the passion they have for their jobs, but rather on the passion they have for the lifestyle their job allows them to have. For certain people this might mean having an easy, “boring” job that allows them to spend lots of time with their family – for other it might be a very stressful but well paid job that allows them to have nice things.
But certain people, like myself, and probably you if you are watching this, need to have an emotional connection with what they are doing. We need to feel involved in a deeper level, we need what we do to be a part of ourselves. This has its advantages, but it also has its disadvantages.
You are a Passion Entrepreneur when you …
1. HAVE AN EXTREME DEVOTION TO THEIR BUSINESS
You probably heard that when you do what you love, you will not have to work a day in your life. This is another lie. In fact, if you choose to pursue a career out of your passion, you will most likely work every day of your life. Because a job rooted in passion is much like having a child : is a 24/7 job.
It will always be on the back of your head, even when you are not taking care of it in that particular moment.
The Pro of this, is that you are so motivated that you don’t mind giving this project all your time and energy.
The Con is that without proper guidance, you will most likely give it a 100% from day one, leaving you no room to grow and leading you to burn out really quickly.
2. HAVE A STRONG EMOTIONAL CONNECTION WITH THE PROJECT
As we were saying, Passion Entrepreneurs pour much more than just their time into their business. They give it they mind, body and soul. They feel their business and the products they create as an extension of themselves.
The bright side of this is that you will feel real and pure joy working on this project and making it grow. Every success will feel deeply personal and every step you take will feel amazing.
On the flip side, this will also mean that you will struggle in distancing yourself from the business and it will make it very difficult to be objective. Is like asking a parent to tell you the flaws of their children. You will as well take a much harder toll when things don’t go as expected, and you tend to be more resistant to pivoting.
3) THE PRODUCT IS DIRECTLY RELATED TO YOUR NATURAL TALENTS AND EXPERIENCE
Passion business start from a very strong spark on the founder. This is, in part, what makes them start with a lot of strength but makes it harder to escalate.
The great part about this is that since the main ingredient is in you, you have access to the main resource and you have control on how to use it.
The issue is that it also makes it harder for you to focus on the other side of the business – the managing, figures-driven, cold-thinking part of the business. And this kind of mindset is critical for a business to flourish. It will also make it harder for you to delegate, since it will be hard to believe that anyone will care for your business as much as you do.
4) YOU HAVE AN INSTINCTIVE CLARITY ON THE VALUE OF YOUR PRODUCT
When what you are doing comes from your “heart” you already see the value of it, you understand what you are trying to do what and what you are trying to say – but sometimes you do it in a level so instinctive that its hard to put it into words.
The pro of this is that you will be so passionate when describing it that that passion is likely to spill over to the recipient, it might help them build a relationship with the brand.
The con of this is that many times it makes it harder for you to understand how to explain this concept that you see and feel so clearly to somebody that has never been in contact with it before. Passion entrepreneurs, for example, tend to be very hyperbolic when describing their products – use a lot of adjectives and focus on the effect or the experience of acquiring your product while not giving enough information about the product per se.
5) YOU ARE NOT DRIVEN BY MONEY.
One of the things that is most common when a person starts turning a passion into a business, is that you feel “weird” being paid to do something that you like. Because of this, for many passion entrepreneurs money is not the main driver – they actually rather want to share their vision and their talent and feel thankful for being able to make a living out of it.
The bright side here is clear – all businesses struggle at the beginning, but when being able to work doing something that you love already feels like a compensation, the financial struggles that are to expect at the beginning tend to be less harsh emotionally on passion entrepreneurs.
On the other side, most of them tend to consistently underprice their products. They tend to struggle to defend their prices and demand fair compensation for their time and effort. They tend to feel almost a sense of “shame” in asking money for the products and services they are providing because it feels like you are selling a part of yourself.
So, are you a Passion Entrepreneur?
If you recognize yourself in any of these points – you should know that you are not alone. You should also know that there are ways that you can maximize the potential of the skills and talents that you naturally while navigating those struggles that you might find in the way.
However, when making the transition from a passion to a business, there will be some sticky bits. You need to adjust your mindset, learn new skills, and visualize yourself in a whole other way. If you are thinking about starting this journey, I strongly recommend you take a look at my book The Passion Entrepreneur. On it, I lay down step by step some of the most important mindset and strategic branding exercises I follow for my clients and for my brands. I guide you through the same techniques I have used to build brands and collections that sold out across 9 countries.
And of course, if you still need a bit of extra help…that´s what I´m here for! Click the button you see on the right side of the menu to book a FREE 20min virtual coffee date with me or send me a message using the form here bellow.