Why passion is not enough

Many of the small businesses that I mentor as a business mentor started as a passion for something.

Carlo Albertoli loves gorgeous Italian food, so it was natural for him to open a deli selling some of the best food in Brighton/Hove.


Nigel Berman believes in the importance of cutting carbon emissions, which led to the hugely successful Nigel’s Eco Store. So passion is important, but it’s not enough.

To get everyone to eat Albertoli’s food or putting their packed lunch in reusable sandwich wraps instead of plastic bags, you need marketing skills.

And if you want to sell wonderful artichokes or radiator boosters, you need to be able to sell enough to pay other people to help you, and to pay yourself too.

Even if you make the best thing ever

Even if you have the most fantastic product/service ever, you need to be sure that other people share your enthusiasm.

Are there enough people who want a game for a mobile phone featuring the speeches of Abraham Lincoln?

Or do too many people share your enthusiasm, such as all the mums who sell baby clothes with cheeky printed logos?

Please don’t do this, by the way; there’s no money in it, because too many people have had a passion for this business idea.

The passion runs out

Like a marriage, your original passion will run out after a while. I guarantee you, after a couple of years, the initial fire in your belly will no longer be there. But a good relationship can run forever, and so can your business.


Learning exciting things and growing both as a business and as an individual will help the passion in your business stay alive.

If you are making enough money to make yourself comfortable (which is what I call your target income), you’ll have a very different sort of enthusiasm for the business.

Instead of passion

Develop a love for being extremely good at running your business.

Learn everything you can about marketing, customer service, finance, how to manage staff and increase employee engagement. And all the other areas that go to make up a successful business owner.

Having spent years developing my skills in this area, I can safely say that there is never an end to what you can learn here. My passion for business rages on, long after my love affair with any particular business ends.

Want to increase your passion for business?

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Photo credits to Glen Carrie, Vitchakorn Koonyosying and William Rouse on Unsplash