Passion in business won’t take you to the next level

Back in the day when Shopify and Woocommerce were not as easy as it is today, I use to work with mom-and-pops with their e-commerce. I would upgrade their brand image, advice on product description and images, work on their copywriting, design and build their website. Working with small business owners at the start of their journey has taught me to question their motivation when they tell me “this is my passion.”

entrepreneurship in a nutshell
entrepreneurship in a nutshell.
Source: some guy on Twitter I forgot his name

Based on my experience, the people who tell me they are passionate about their business are gone in two or three years. I now have a sea of domain names that redirects back to Namecheap. Unfortunate. I know.

Now when I meet entrepreneurs who want help with their e-commerce, I always ask them “are you willing to put in the work?” Because it will be a difficult journey and not many people will succeed in the long-run. And when they tell me, “yes because I am passionate about my business.” In my mind, I would tell myself, “Oh boy, I’ve watched this movie too many times.” 

Being an entrepreneur is not easy. And when people associate passion with entrepreneurship, their mind would think that this is something that comes easy and naturally. 

When you are passionate about tennis, you watch a lot of games and follow the players. You might even learn the sport and practice every day. You play with your friends. This is the common way of how people associate something to passion. It is easy! But now, if you want to be like Rafael Nadal or Roger Federer, that is a different story. You now have to put 10x more effort. You have to hire the best coaches, physical therapists, nutritionists and have to go to many grueling tournaments around the world. You will go through various injuries. You will lose many matches. 

There are probably hundreds of thousands or maybe millions of “passionate” tennis players around the world. But people only care about the top 100 or the top 50. Those are the players that make money. The rest never make enough money to survive.

Passion in entrepreneurship will take you to amateur level. If you really want to succeed in business, you will need to put in insane amount of effort and sacrifice. It will suck. People will disappoint you. A pandemic will drive your sales close to zero. Employees will steal money. The suppliers will increase their prices by 30% without any warning. Supply chain mishaps would mean you have no product to sell. Things will go wrong. Once you go through all the pain and suffering, and you still put in 100% effort on the daily, then you will succeed. Congratulations.