Passion definitely is good but what needs to be questioned is it’s direction.

I was watching today Shark Tank show season 5 episode 18 when something hit me. For those unfamiliar with the show there are participants that present their business models to investors well known like Mark Cuban in what is called a pitch in return for some financial investment in their business ideas, products or company.

Now in this episode most of the participants that were refused shared something in common: Passion! This hit me because most people are the same or so we try to be in what we do day to day life. Each of us has passion in something we do and that passion is the fuel that keeps us going on even when faced with outstanding difficulties. Because of that is normal to want the best outcome. So the following question arises : what was wrong with these guys?

In the above case the participants have what we could refer as absolute faith or belief into their product be it an online service, product, work or company. Yet their business ideas and proposals were almost all declined not because of the passion itself but as a result of the direction the passion was centered on. Let me explain what i mean by direction or at least what today’s lesson was.

First of all one of the shocking things was the stubbornness of one of the participants who had gone to the point of selling all her savings, giving up her job as an architect for Christian Dior and selling all her valuable wardrobe in order to support her business while generating 50 thousands dollars revenues in three years with no money for herself left and still believing in her business. What?!

As Robert Herjavec put it to her:

…the definition of insanity is doing the same thing for three years with no results.

Then one wonders why? Well let me explain why or at least what i got from observing today’s show.

But this seems to be a common factor in business, innovation, religion, politics etc. For sure everything we do needs passion and absolute belief or commitment yet the thing we need to be aware of is that the love that we have for our business ideas, products, services, work are nothing if it doesn’t contribute and benefit to the people that we make if for.

The fact that the business is not doing well is a problem that can be solved but keeping it for three years with the same result well that is a good sign when one’s passion or idea becomes more important or obsession than the contribution or benefit to others that should be the number one concern. That also shows another flaw not taking into consideration people’s interests and just the egocentric desire of wanting others to buy the product almost by force.

The problem with the participants was that they had this absolute belief about their idea or product to the point of not even taking into consideration the advises of five well know investors in the show. That is astonishing to anyone. Then one ends up wondering what is wrong with people? Well the problem seems old and present in all human history : Self-centered nature!

Self-centered passion was what kept those participants blind to the worthy advises they were getting from world experts and not changing their business model which was clearly going a dead end. But here comes the point. This is not a problem in the business area only but we see it in politics, religion any human activity and chances are that most of us might be doing the same thing.

So next time you find yourself in a difficult situation for a long time chances are that the reason might be mostly related to YOU. The thing that we need to do is to ask ourselves about the direction we are heading and to who is it pointing to. If it is self centered then chances are we are going a dead end be it business, politics, religion, any work. So to recap it these are the things that need to be clear:

  1. Is business or anything i am doing producing valuable results over a consistent period of time — if not is time to change!
  2. Check out who are you doing it for — if me is greater than others time to change!
  3. Having absolute faith and belief in what we do is good but is it serving or benefiting others — if not change it!
  4. Is the feedback of experts positive over a long term effort — if not yes is time to change!

Well i hope was helpful in creating awareness of the significance of not just what we do but the to who is the centered on.