Yesterday I had an email which really upset me. It upset me because it accused me of negativity towards people and their dreams. Given that my whole raison d’etre is to help people achieve their dreams and goals this email really got me where it hurt but it got me thinking.
Having a passion for what you do can be what will keep you going when times are hard. It is my passion for what I do that will help me bounce back from what has been a very trying week. It is why I take criticism to heart and use it to think what can I do better? But it is not what puts money in the bank.
A successful business is built on having a workable, affordable solution for a problem that your target customer has. That problem has to be big enough and important enough for them to want to spend enough money on the solution you provide and to buy that solution often enough and at enough money for you to make a reasonable profit. Your customer does not buy your passion although it may help them to choose you over your competitor.
As a business adviser I am going to challenge my clients to establish that there is sufficient demand for their products or services at a price that allows them to make a viable profit. I will ask questions. I will challenge statements. I will play devil’s advocate. I will not say ‘that is a great idea’ just because it is my client’s passion. If that seems negative I’m sorry. The business world is tough and not getting any easier. I want my clients to succeed. If I challenge them to make better decisions, to re-think or revise their ideas then I have done my job. If you think I am wrong prove it.
No I haven’t thrown my toys out of the pram. I mean it. I will not always be right (the Dragons aren’t either!). My criticisms are intended to be constructive. Use them to go out and get the data, to test your product or service with potential customers, to sell what you do. Prove that your business idea is viable. I’ll be the first to join the celebrations and, with your permission, I will use you as an example here, in training sessions and in meetings with clients.
I really hope that you can align a good business proposition with your passion and I genuinely wish you every success. What’s more I’d love to hear how you’ve done it, so why not share your story here?