Insights and Opinions

Do You Want Your Startup Bad Enough?

Dan Bliss, co-founder of Los Angeles-based Perfect Business, a site focused on entrepreneurship and startups, recently posted this on the firm's blog, and gave us permission to reprint it here.

Whether you want to start a new business or buy an existing business, you need to be passionate about it. This is my mantra. Passion is the core from which everything builds.

If you “kinda” believe in your idea, or just “like” your business, it will come across in everything you do. Even if you get the business up and running, your lack of passion will be noticeable by your customers.

With passion, you will be relentless, hard-working, detail-oriented, diligent, enthusiastic and strong enough to weather any storm. Without passion, you will give up after just a hint of rain.

Every business must overcome hurdles, pessimism and outright rejection. You should know this from the onset and keep driving onward. According to Thomas Edison, “Many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.”

There are two common moments when most people give up on their startups:

The first is before you even get started. Here’s how it happens: You have a great idea that fulfills a consumer need and perfectly matches your skill set and business contacts. You decide to share the idea with friends over a beer. Then one friend says, “I don’t think it will work.” The idea dies right then and there.

The second common scenario is after you’ve put in the time to get the ball rolling. You may have even written a business plan or found talented people to get on board, or both. You then run into a big stumbling block. Maybe it’s funding. Perhaps you can’t seem to convince a particular client to get on board. It might even be as simple as a handful of phone rejections or calls not returned. This becomes one of those moments where most people quit.

What you may not realize is that this is a test. It’s entrepreneurial Darwinism at its finest. Only the strongest entrepreneurs survive.

Here’s the fascinating thing... The entrepreneurs that survive these challenges don’t always have the best businesses! Many of the best business ideas die, because the entrepreneurs don’t have the persistence or passion to see them through. This is also why there are so many successful entrepreneurs that seem to lack the educational credentials of their employees.

Some call it persistence or sticktoitiveness. Others have been known to call it stupidity. Regardless of what you call it, the passion to follow through with your business goals is the one differentiating factor that separates the excuse-makers from the business-makers.

Dan Bliss is the co-founder of PerfectBusiness and creator of The Perfect Pitch Conference. He has launched or turned around numerous businesses, including restaurants, bars, concert clubs, music festivals, magazines, internet companies and others. Starting with no money, Dan built 10 businesses by the time he was 30. He received brief notoriety as "the guy who bought and sold the world-famous Hollywood sign." Dan is passionate about helping entrepreneurs discover new financing sources or game-changing revenue streams.