As an entrepreneur, it’s essential to keep your fire burning. By that, I mean keep hold of the passion that made you start your business. Feed your flames and your desires, keep your ideas coming, and stay fresh and interested.
Innovators don’t like maintenance.
Entrepreneurism is about continuous growth and development.
We are entrepreneurs and business owners because we have ideas and make things happen. The early stages of setting up business are exciting and energizing – and the time and energy we put in only stokes the fire of our passion. But sustaining this when our business is established is another matter altogether.
Innovators don’t like maintenance. New ideas are more exciting than ‘business as usual’. We hate boredom and seek adventure. When we lose the spark, we become stagnant and a degree of dis-ease and unfulfillment can occur.
This is the fate of many serial entrepreneurs – excited by the new, frustrated or even bored by the mundane. Some people are just not completer-finishers – but moving on to new ventures is expensive, risky and is not always practical or feasible. So, how do you keep the passion alive?
How do you keep the fire burning?
There have been a few occasions within my business career, when I had become disinterested and dissatisfied with what I was doing. This also affected other areas of my life – since being an entrepreneur was a big part of who I was, at an identity level. When I lost an element of that, I felt that I’d lost a little of myself. It wasn’t even that the company was failing – it was ticking along well – even profitable. As a business, we were hitting our financial targets – but still, there was a level of dissatisfaction in what I was doing.
The original enthusiasm and love I had for the business had started to wane.
What was wrong? What had happened?
There was something missing, After a few months, I realized that I had disconnected myself from one of my passions – which was personal development. I used to read about business leaders and experts in their field, eager to learn their secrets and apply them to my own life. Yet, more recently, I had been so engrossed in work, I had stopped reading, and ultimately, I had stopped growing. I needed to reconnect with this passion – and redirect it into my business and my working life.
Embracing personal development
It had been easy to tell myself that I didn’t have time for personal development any more – that I needed to focus on my business and prioritize this. Maybe I had developed enough? But ironically, neglecting my own reading and work on myself – my personal growth and development – had unfortunate knock-on effects on my attitude towards my business affairs. It took the edge off my success. My interest wasn’t fed, and my creativity and passion were dulled. I had to reinvigorate myself – and get back in touch with what gave me excitement and fed the flames of the fire in my belly.
By engaging with personal development and committing to reading literature from many of the leading business experts and gurus in the world, I immersed myself in a cauldron of new ideas, strategies and life philosophies – which instantly reinvigorated my passion for the business. My reading wasn’t self-indulgent, or a hobby – it’s what gave me food for thought and action. Ideas I could put into practice to take my business further, and to sustain me and my staff, driving us to greater success and job satisfaction. This is why I encourage my staff and managers to engage in learning – not only about the job that they do – but about themselves, how they operate, and how they can develop themselves further.
“Don’t join an easy crowd; join one that will make you grow and that will challenge you.”
You become the people you surround yourself with. And this goes for your reading and how you stimulate your mind with new ideas and thinking from experts and business leaders. Indeed, from anyone who succeeds through their commitment and mindset – so this goes for elite sports champions and musicians. All those who achieve excellence.
It’s essential for any business owner to keep their fire burning. By regularly staying connected with the greats in their field, you stay secure in a continuous wave of new ideas, concepts and ways of doing business. This keeps you passionate.
Keep learning, and keep growing – and every day will be stimulating – with never a dull moment.
Recognize for yourself what it is that reignites your passion and helps keep you engaged and excited about what you do. For me, personal development IS professional development IS business development. It’s a part of me that doesn’t define me or constrain me. It sets me alight.