Is This Cute Fellow Passionate, or Just Plain Stubborn?
I will say that a business owner without passion has about as much chance at success as one without capital.
However, there is a line at which passion becomes stubbornness. This stubbornness can be to the detriment of the business.
What brought this to mind was a episode on TV of “Kitchen Nightmares.” If you haven’t seen this show, I highly recommend it to small business owners. Now, there are a lot of similar shows, but this one stands out in terms of a business example. The premise is that a world-renowned chef descends upon a failing restaurant and quickly turns it into a profitable venture.
The chef, Chef Ramsey, takes a similar approach each time: get the proprietor to admit there’s a problem; clean up the kitchen; change the decor; and, change the menu. Chef Ramsey always looks around the area to see what menu would be most welcome to the town. Then, he changes the restaurant’s menu to fit the bill.
The stubbornness comes in when a proprietor refuses to change his/her menu. It is in this moment that the occasional owner morphs from passionate to obstinate, and they cannot grasp the need for change. At this point the business turns from a strategic entity into a pet project.
While we must all have passion in our businesses (passion for our product, for our market, for the business itself), we can’t forget whom our business serves: the customer. When our passion steers us around our own customers, then our passion has turned to stubbornness.
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Adorable image courtesy of Paul Martin Eldridge, / FreeDigitalPhotos.net