I'd like to know how many articles directed at small business owners in the last ten tears have concerned themselves with "passion."  They must number in the thousands and they analyze, calculate, conclude all manner of things but key among them, that an entrepreneur must be passionate about his or her job.

Shouldn't they?

Well, not really. 

They should certainly be driven by a passion to create.  Passion to document.  Passion to scale and grow.

And a passion to sell the whole shebang when the time is right.

I can already hear the masses, "What?  Sell your life's dream!  Gerber, how can you be passionate about something and then turn around and sell it?"

One simple reason expressed to me years ago by a client who was a plumber, "New ideas get old, Gerber."

A Dream cannot be your Vision, or your Purpose, or your Mission.  It is simply there  - the Dream is fueled by passion - to create, to share, to educate, to elucidate, to whatever.

But, the passion that drives that Dream is not about checking boxes on a form, or a marketing plan, or any one of hundreds of other tasks that must be associated and designed when our Dreamer becomes the Entrepreneur to build his or her own Great, Growing Company. 

Passion is the inspiration, but ultimately, it has little place in the product or service.  In fact, while the entrepreneur may feel passionately about the solution they are providing, if they are to truly design something worthy of success, they have to be completely impersonal about the product ... that is to say, the entrepreneur who is creating this brave solution cannot let this creation be about the creator - it must be about the people that this product or service will serve.

There were no masses crying out for the invention of the automobile.

No one needed a fax machine.  Or email.  Or a smart phone.

The individuals who created these, though, understood that by the creation of such a tool, that lives would be changed and entire new industries spawned.

Steve Jobs didn't set Apple on the path to the iPhone because he wanted a smart phone.

Was he passionate?  Almost to a fault!  At the same time, though, he was also impersonal to what the successful IOS platform and technology needed to look like to capture the attention of customers worldwide.

Today, YOU need to capture and harness that same type of passion - the passion to provide what your customer needs, even if they don't know it yet.  That is what will drive your new company - NewCo - forward and allow you to move that passion from the product.  In other words, your passion needs to be focused on the customer and how your solution serves them.

Published on: May 20, 2018