Discover more from Learning by Proxy with Vivek Srinivasan
Passion will never close a deal; strategic thinking will. So ditch passion and think strategic.
Passion is defined as - Strongly and barely controllable emotion - by the dictionary.
So, it may be right for a person to feel passion for their pet, chocolate or sex, but certainly not for their work.
The decisions made under strong and barely controllable emotion are guaranteed to be stupid and ruinous.
Starting a startup requires a modicum of stupidity, hence I am inclined to believe that many founders start out because they are passionate. Also, when you are trying to rally your team to achieve the impossible, being passionate probably works. But it ends there.
The people that claim to run their business driven by passion are either broke or lying or both. Closing a deal requires strategic thinking. You need to see how to convince the other person or meet their needs through the offerings you are making. Almost no deal has even been closed simply because someone was passionate.
I often hear stories of how passionate someone like Mark Zuckerberg was to quit college and start a company. He was not passionate; he had a safety net. Bill Gates, another famous dropout, was so well connected his parents called Warren Buffett for dinner! And Bill Gates did not want to meet Buffett.
How many of your parents invite Rakesh Jhunjhunwala for dinner?
What rich boys call passion is merely the liberty from having to worry about making ends meet.
Anybody who has ever succeeded has done so because they had perseverance, they were motivated, determined and had conviction. They thought problems through logically and arrived at sensible solutions. They made decisions based on cold, hard evidence; not barely controllable emotions.
Ratan Tata is very passionate about aviation. Despite his passion, he did not pursue aviation as a business till the fag end of his tenure at Tata. Vijay Mallya was passionate about his airline and took several emotional decisions. So ask yourself, do you want to be that passionate entrepreneur?
Ultimately, it is the cold, hard, strategic calculation that will help you win at business.