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The Passion That Drives Us

Many (many) years ago when I was about 10 or so, my friends and I had a space ship.  We built it from scaffolding poles, planks of wood, space hoppers and an old typewriter of my grandfathers that would probably be worth something nowadays on eBay.

We would spend hours messing about with different scenarios, play-gaming and problem solving.  Other times, we had market stalls, our own Olympics and ghostly adventures in the military waste-grounds around the back.  (Pst!  Don’t tell my parents  – I’m sure they don’t know that to this day!)

Fact is, we are excited, we were creating and when dinner time was called it was only hunger and the threat of grounding that brought us back to the table.  We ate quickly so that we could get back to whatever our latest passion was.

That excitement is what really makes a difference in getting something done or not.  Each moment of excitement adds to the momentum of getting to the next stage of delivery.  When we are so excited … it takes little to encourage us to work at it, overcome that next hurdle and reach the next level.  More often it is others that make us stop and come to the table for food.

It is little wonder that when business advisors say “do what you love’” they say it because they know that it’s passion that drives us far beyond our usual capacity. 

However, having started our business, how do we create an environment that ensures passion continues to pop up all over the place?  Wouldn’t it be brilliant if we had a continuous flow of that brilliant energy striking up in our business day in and day out?

1.  Find the Fun

Most of our best brains have found solutions to the problems they were trying to solve outside of the ‘classroom’. Einstein was sat resting under a tree when the apple fell and the law of gravity became more than a theory.  If we frame the problem we are trying to solve, then go Ten Pin bowling – we just may find the solution after the Strike on the Sixth Frame.

2.  Celebrate Quick Wins

Quick wins are not always the best or most competitive answers to our business problems but they do provide a boost of positive energy.  When we celebrate the quick wins we add momentum to finding bigger and better wins.

3.  Beware of Systems and Processes

… and other bureaucratic set backs.  As your business grows, fun may be thought of as childish.  Resist that!  Whilst you will introduce systems and processes to maintain some control and order; be aware that they may stymie creativity.  As well as those systems and processes, choose to keep some inventive freedom in your workplace.  You might want to introduce some creative challenges.  It’s amazing what the brain can come up with when it’s faced with a hurdle.

Charles Handy identified five e-factors in his motivational theory, they are: energy, effort, enthusiasm, emotion and exertion (that is the cost in achieving the desired results).


All of these contribute to the passion in and for your business.  The key is to maximise the first four and minimise the last.  It is passion that drives us even during those dark days when nothing seems to be going right.  Without passion inertia sets in and that … is deadly.

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