Monthly Archives: October 2014

Pursue Your Passion. But Succeed with the Passion for Business.

Passion for Keith Academy and City Jail

Keith Academy was the Catholic College Prep High School I attended. The building was a former City Jail. Down in the basement of this granite building were cells, and we would sometimes sneak downstairs to see them. Kinda creepy. On the right side of the building were the classes I attended for studying French and calculus and served as my Senior Class President. Room 6 on the bottom floor was where the restrooms were. The school closed in 1971, the second year after my graduation. Forty five years later I still have very fond memories.

The Need for Passion
Want to develop a business around a great idea or skill you’re passionate about? How exciting! Especially when you envision the idea as marketable, profitable, and able to provide you the success in life you desire. But passion for that idea or skill, as the sole driving force, can end up in disaster. You could be “thrown out” of the business game. So what kind of passion is most needed? A passion to run our enterprise on proven business systems.

Yes! Passion is VERY valuable. Passion, that compelling emotion, can be transformed into the energy you need to make that idea work through all phases of the business. You need drive, energy, and tenacity to move that idea through research, the concept stage, on to planning, into development, to market, then sales and support. Your passion will be needed to drive you through the problems, obstacles, impediments, road-blocks and the various business curve balls you will encounter. There is a LOT of WORK needed to launch a successful business.

Caught Off Base – “You’re Out!”
During my teenage years in the 1960s, I attended the college preparatory private school Keith Academy in Lowell Mass (see photo). There were just over 100 students in my senior class. While preparing to pursue enrollment into the university of our dreams, I had two really wrong, “off base” and misconceived ideas. First, since this was a university preparatory school, missing from the curriculum were the trades and the arts. There was another school in the city, Lowell Trade, where one could acquire these trade skills. Young ones who failed to pass the entrance examination of our private school could go to the local trade school or public high school. Somehow, I felt that being privileged with the opportunity of higher education meant I would by nature succeed. The second area I seriously misjudged was that students in our school who chose the sciences, technology, engineering, or the space age majors were the bright individuals, and that those who were going to move on to the business colleges lacked the “brains” we scientists, astronauts, doctors, and engineers had. WOW. Both of these thoughts were “way off base and leaning the wrong way” – and in baseball, when you are “way off base and leaning the wrong way,” you can easily be thrown out and sent “back to the dugout”. How immature in my thinking – totally ill-conceived, and really quite foolish actually. The truth I learned through that experience is – when they have passion for business, the business minds have the “brains”.

Passion for Business Systems
During my professional life as a computer technologist, application developer, and now a process engineer, I developed a number of businesses around concepts I had great passion for. Each of these needed specific skills. But far along the way I came to a realization: To be successful in the business, one needs more than a passion for the idea or skill. There needs to be a greater passion for running the business. This passion for business success can create the energy needed to run the business flawlessly around success systems.

With these business success systems in place, one could choose any area of business and succeed. We have all met very successful business people who have operated companies in various industries around products and services one needs little passion for. And there are many very smart (wo)men who have acquired a business with a product or service they knew little about. But because they had the passion to prevail at the business, they could hire the right skilled people, make the tough decisions for the business to work, succeed, and even “turn it around”. For us too, it is more important that we run our business with a passion to succeed AT the business, IN the business, and ON the business. Loving WHAT we do and WHY we do it can be the “gravy”, the “frosting”.

Ford, Barb and Juliet Kyes were a huge help toward me understanding these facts when I hired ActionCoach Tampa Bay.  ActionCoach guided me through the exit strategy of a past business to resurface again with a great respect for serious business systems and planning.

Thought Leadership – The Championship Game
It’s a wonderful idea to pursue our passions, the things we simply love to do. This focus and drive can help us acquire the expertise needed to refine our idea, our skill, develop it, and bring it to market. There is a strong message here for the passionate Thought Leader too.  And, if we want to make a business out of being Subject Matter Experts, it is far more important to operate with a passion for proven business practices than it is to excel in what we do.  Otherwise, we may just find ourselves sitting in the dugout, failing to be part of the championship business baseball game we so passionately wanted to play in.

Study Social Marketing Principle 1 and Principle 7