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Don't Let Your Passion Intoxicate You

Updated: May 28

It is common knowledge that over half of the business startups that launch this year will fail. Having watched and studied this for years, I believe that the number one reason most startups fail has to do with an entrepreneur's passion. Don't get me wrong, passion plays a large part in an entrepreneur's success. But, passion alone can intoxicate you and kill you. Lesson: Following your passion alone can kill your startup business. It happens all the time. An entrepreneur loves to cook Thai food and starts a new restaurant based on their passion alone. Hear me: Be wise and intelligent in following your passion. Passion can be intoxicating, leading entrepreneurs and investors to ignore reality. It is sad to watch a passionate person invest their treasured resources without ever studying the market. The wise business leader will soberly think through the opportunity. This begins with asking potent questions. Lesson: A sober assessment of your potential market precedes any meaningful investment of your resources. It will take some resources to investigate your opportunities properly (due diligence). But before investing any meaningful resources, the savvy business person will perform due diligence to research their idea's potential soberly. In the case of our passionate Thai food chef, they should investigate:

  • Are there other Thai food restaurants in the target area?

  • Is the market saturated?

  • What uniqueness will they bring to this market?

  • Have there been other Thai food startups in the past?

  • What was the reason for their failure?

  • Is there an unfulfilled need for a new Thai food restaurant?

Having sold a successful business in fresh foods distribution, studying where my next adventure in a new company was paramount. Because of my non-compete, fresh foods distribution was not an option. Studying the standard industry codes (SIC's) and crossing out everything unappealing is a first step. Lesson: Deciding what you don't want to do is a first step in starting a new business. Narrowing the list down to three where I have some experience and interest was the goal:

  • Vitamins and supplements

  • Distribution

  • Specialty foods

These three are possible healthy soils for my next adventure. Crossing off the first two, I began to study and interact with the specialty foods industry. Attending the Fancy Food Show feels like being at home. The president of the Specialty Foods Association, John Roberts, becomes my mentor. John helps me understand:

  • The specialty foods market and opportunities

  • The unfulfilled need

  • The expected growth in the market

  • The opportunity to bring professionalism to a cottage industry

Only after having soberly assessed the market, we invest meaningfully and enjoy success for over twenty years. Is passion important in starting your new business adventure? Absolutely, just don't get so intoxicated by it that you neglect to assess the potential market opportunity soberly. Harry T. Jones P.S. I would LOVE to interact with you and understand your present situation, the challenges you face, and the impact you are hoping for. You can do this by filling out my interest form. CLICK HERE TO INTERACT WITH ME.

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