Having a passion for your business is critical because there’s nothing less fun when you don’t. I’ve been there where you own a business and there’s just no passion there anymore; you’re just exhausted, you’re not interested, it’s no fun going to work, and this can happen for a variety of different reasons. I’m going to go through my story and the situations that I found myself in that really ruined my passion for my companies so that maybe we can help you re-ignite your passion for your business.
What Were You Excited About to Begin With?
The first thing you need to kind of ask yourself is what excited you about this particular business in the first place? When you started it, what excited you about it? And where is the disconnect?
Now, it’s kind of like looking at your expectations and what really happened. When you started this business, you thought A, B and C. Now you’ve had the business for say, five years, where in fact is the disconnect there?
What Excited You About Entrepreneurship?
What excited you about owning your own business in the first place? What made you do it in the first place? We may need to go back to those original reasons. What excited you about starting this particular business? What excited you about being an entrepreneur in the first place? We need to kind of review these again because we need to re-ignite your passion. It’s kind of like if you get marriage counseling. They’re going to ask you, “hey, what did you love about this person, what attracted to you guys in the beginning?” That’s a common question.
What is keeping you from being passionate about this business?
I typically find that there are four things which will kill your passion:
Do you have a bad cash flow?
When you’re broke. It affects everything. Cash flow affects everything. Is the cash flow really bad in your business? Is that the number one thing that affects you? If that’s it, let’s put a checkmark next to it. There are ways you can fix cash flow. Maybe you need to get a line of credit to handle payroll because that’s a stressor, or maybe there’s a two-week delay. Maybe you need to change your invoicing system, pay upon completion. Maybe you need to create more margin. Maybe you need to increase your pricing. Cash flow is something you can fix.
Lines of credit can fix it, specifically for payroll. Do you need to redo your agreements so you get paid faster? Tighten up the terms of payment. Do you need to increase your margins? Increase your pricing. Do you need to create reserves? These are the four ways that I find that you can solve some cash flow issues.
Do you have a bad team?
I would say a big vision with a bad team is a nightmare.
This is the problem with a bad team. A bad team means there’s just not enough talent there. They’re irresponsible and there’s no talent. You just don’t have superstars. It’s hard to win a Super Bowl with a bad team because it makes fulfilling your responsibilities impossible and then it makes you, the owner, responsible for everything because you don’t have anybody you trust.
Do you have a bad team? If you do, you gotta change the staffing. That starts with hiring one person that you can count on to help run operations or one person you can count on to change the cash flow situation. Maybe it’s somebody to take over sales, a superstar at sales can change everything. Maybe somebody who can streamline manufacturing and create better margins for you. They’re good at operations. That can be a game-changer. Something that will absolutely destroy your excitement about your business is a bad team.
Do you have a bad culture?
How do you know when you have a bad culture? You don’t even like going to work. There’s just no energy. You have no momentum.
I had this happened like five years ago. I was on vacation with my family. I had a bad team and bad culture, and typically they tend to go together, but I got over 60 texts over a three-day period. They would start at like 7:00 am in the morning, and there was always a problem.
It made me responsible for everything. You know you have a bad team when there are constant problems: customers who aren’t happy with what you’re doing or you’re behind on deadlines. You know you have a button have a bad culture when it’s communicated to you every two hours, there’s just. People like dwelling on the negatives. It’s almost like your team is reeling, they’re enjoying your pain. The culture has gotten so toxic and that will suck the life out of you.
When I had this, I remember going in the parking lot with one of my business partners and I said, give me 90 days because I’m getting ready to clean house. I gutted the company like a fish.
We had a bad culture and a bad team. And they tend to go hand-in-hand.
Do you have bad clients?
What ends up happening is sometimes your client composition gets flipped where you have a few clients generating all your income and you’re indentured to them.
You’re like an indentured servant. That’s awful when a client knows they’ve got you by your you know what, and they beat you into oblivion. They just keep asking more. One thing you need to guard is your client composition because when a client provides a dangerous percentage such as more than 20% of your income and they walk away, it crushes you, and don’t think they don’t know it.
So what will really destroy your passion for what you’re doing is that you’re held hostage by clients, and second is you have customers that are just taking advantage of you.
Why do they take advantage of you? It goes back to these other things I talk about. You have a bad team and your team can’t provide what customers are expecting. You’re hiring people that are maybe too young and inexperienced, or you don’t have somebody looking over their work. There’s a disconnect somewhere in your team to where customers are not having their needs met or their expectations met, and when you have clients start nipping at your heels every day, which will absolutely suck the life out of you, you can’t satisfy customers with a bad team. Let me just tell you that right now, you can have a couple of little gaps. The person that opened the door doesn’t necessarily need to be a superstar. Not every position is fielded by a superstar, but you at least gotta have them managed by a superstar, because there’s got to be a superstar in the building.
View Passion a Little Differently
I am not necessarily passionate about any of the industries that I own businesses in. I’m passionate about business in general. I love the startup phase. I love taking a little idea, this little breathing little baby, and turning it into a full-blown adult. That’s what I’m passionate about. I’m passionate about recruiting a team. I’m passionate about creating a business that becomes completely passive where I don’t have to be submerged in it. I’m passionate about marketing and creating a brand. You gotta find something that you’re passionate about within business that you can focus on.
Get Your Business to Pay for Things You’re Passionate About
Get some hobbies, take some trips, become philanthropic, do something with the money, and that might change your view of this.