Passion alone does not guarantee entrepreneurial success

Discounting factors such as planning and setting measurable goals for a business can impede progress

Taking enough time to research, draft a business plan and forecast your earnings and expenses is crucial. Getty Images
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There have been endless debates on following one’s passion for entrepreneurial success.

Some argue that being passionate about your business will guarantee success, while others insist that passion should be tied with goals and financial plans to yield the desired results.

Since the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic two years ago, thousands have quit their jobs to pursue their passion. And why not? I am one of those people who managed to turn something I am passionate about into a business a decade ago.

Pursuing your passion provides you with an opportunity to work on something you truly enjoy. It could lead to your happiness and overall sense of satisfaction.

Even though I believe that pursuing your passion is key to success, being solely passionate doesn’t necessarily lead to it. Thinking that passion automatically leads to success may imply that the path is easy and doesn’t require much preparation or hard work. In fact, a paper in the journal Psychological Science, written by researchers from Stanford University, states that this advice may make people less successful.

To best illustrate, let me give you the example of my friend Sara. Sara, who has great fashion sense, also has an extensive knowledge of the fashion world, and has always been a trendsetter. She decided to pursue fashion designing as a full-time career, registered her business and invested in her branding. Months later, she was overwhelmed because her business was not yielding the income she had in mind.

She faced multiple challenges with her suppliers and didn’t know where to start when it came to marketing her business. She also discovered that it was a tough and highly competitive industry and, if you didn’t plan things well, your business could end up becoming a money pit.

In short, Sara, as passionate as she was about fashion, wasn’t fully prepared to lead a business. She understood fashion, but didn’t know how to manage it as a full-fledged business that required attention in a number of areas.

Taking enough time to research, draft a business plan and forecast your earnings and expenses is crucial. Before you register your business, you need to ensure that you have the necessary skills to turn your passion into a business that you can manage. If you don’t, then make sure to develop your skills.

But it doesn’t stop there. The next step is to tie your passion to measurable goals. I’ve seen this time and again, with entrepreneurs thinking that passion is enough to guide them to endless flows of income. You need to have goals to strive towards and a financial blueprint in place.

As you pursue your passion, don’t let it keep you from other opportunities that could lead to your success. The great thing about passion is that it’s not set in stone. Passion is fluid. Pay attention to the opportunities that could yield more profits.

Exploration is key. Take classes, join events, talk to different people and do something new every day. You may also notice that something else you could do may generate a bigger income for you. An event planner relative of mine generates most of her revenue from renting furniture and party props compared to her main line of business: planning events.

Passion is a necessary ingredient in the formula of success, but discounting other factors such as planning and setting goals could prove a hindrance to being successful.

Manar Al Hinai is an award-winning Emirati writer and communications consultant based in Abu Dhabi

Updated: May 09, 2022, 4:00 AM

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