Forget Passion!

Everything you read about in the startup stratosphere these days, has to do with that “P-word”. Repeat after me.

Passion. Passion. Passion.

Right ? WRONG!

That word is a double edged sword.

After being in the Startup journey for more than a decade now, having my share of wins and loses, I have started to form a kind of a rule-list to “success”.

You do that almost unconsciously. Otherwise you do not learn from your mistakes and you are doomed to live in a loop of doing the same shit again and again.

In your early 20s there are two things you have in high quantity and two things you lack of.

You are super passionate and energised but you have no experience (by default) and patience.

Passion is awesome. It’s not enough though. With passion comes urgency and with that, mistakes. Mistakes you could have avoided if you had the patience to look into the things twice.

And here comes the P-word i was talking about.

Patience.

I didn’t used to have enough and I’m sure i could use some more these days. But that’s a real key to getting you to the right business path. You can have all the passion of the world about (e.g) basketball, but you won’t get to be a Micheal Jordan without hard work and patience. Great things take time.

Too many people rush into labelling themselves experts into a field (or a business position) just because they feel passionate about it. But most of the times, they just can’t be (experts) if you take in account their age.

You can’t be an expert in business if you are 20 years old. You just can’t. But if you feel like you are, you are doomed to fail and not learn.

Also, building a business takes enormous durability to receiving hits. You will get hit like a lot. You need a stomach made of steal.

Elon Musk once said “A friend of mine said running a start-up is like chewing glass and staring into the abyss. After a while, you stop staring, but the glass chewing never ends”.

And if you’ve been there, you just know that. You will never get used to chewing that glass. But you need to have the patience to chew it nice and slow. There is no alternative.

So, do you have to suffer to build a business?

Well, there is an alternative, but you probably are not going to like it. It’s “not building a business”. After all, entrepreneurship is not for everyone. It’s only for the few that can handle failing again and again. Those who just can not imagine doing something different. You already know who you are.

So, having a stomach that can receive like a thousand punches per second is one thing. But strength won’t get you far. Cause strength without patience won’t work. Patience will keep your mind clear, so you know the right time to punch back. Will help you to develop persistence.

Running your own business, puts you at a place where you will need to take big and hard decisions every day. Talking the right decisions (at that time at least) requires being able to disconnect from yourself and take the time to evaluate the circumstances. You need a clear look at things. And passion does the exact opposite. Passion will not let you “sleep on it” when appropriate.

Patience controls passion. Lets it flow in the right amounts into your blood, just to give you that right attitude. That kick. The eye of the tiger that can wait and wait until that deer gets tired of running away.

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