Where is the passion?

Any entrepreneur will tell you that passion is an essential ingredient for success, I suppose that’s true for any profession. In business, passion is the invisible force that keeps you going, when the going gets tough. It’s the secret ingredient to engaging and connecting with staff, customers and very often funders. If you can’t get excited about what you do, then don’t expect those you are trying to influence to be enthused.

I spend quite a bit of my time speaking to entrepreneurial audiences, waxing lyrically and enthusiastically about the power of inner energy, focus, drive, resilience and yes…..passion. To be honest, I would love to see more entrepreneurs getting excited about their business, what they do and the difference they make to the environment in which they operate. Last weeks engagements were painful to say the least (the exception being the Liverpool GrowthAccelerator – Chris Maguire  chaired a great event). At one session I felt I was in a mortuary observing a post-mortem – a lifeless atmosphere rapidly turning negative when discussion started, at least someone was breathing.

My energy was sapped by people telling me how bad things were, a truly draining experience – with groans spanning the spectrum from eroded margins, can’t get finance, problems with staff, awkward customers, the list went on. The resultant effect was an immediate need to find the nearest boozer and drown my sorrows with a few pints of John Smith’s.

Last week reinforced to me the importance of the need to hang out with individuals who exhibit a positive mental attitude. They fuel passion and a progressive outlook on business and indeed life. Passion creates charisma and charisma sells, don’t let anyone take that away from you. Avoid negativity like the plague, growing a business is hard enough without others making it even more traumatic.

Passion is an essential ingredient for an entrepreneurial mindset, with it you can change the world, without it be prepared to accept at best an average result.

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9 Responses to Where is the passion?

  1. Geoff Balfour says:

    Thats why we need more people like you John, or more of you to keep preaching the positive gospel and drown out the naysayers. Keep going,..people will listen, and you can turn the drowning sorrows in JS to celebrating with JS.:-)

    • johnleachwp says:

      cheers Geoff, felt like I was talking to the wall last week. The John Smith’s explains my ever expanding waist line – speak soon John

  2. I couldn’t agree with you more John – avoid the energy vampires like the plague. To me that’s one of the joys of working for myself, since I choose who i work with. Realistic optimism is the only way to be succesful – and you probably know this quote by Victor Frankl who survived the Nazi death camps – ‘the last of the human freedoms (is) to choose one’s given attitude in any circumstances, to choose one’s own way.’

  3. Great blog John,
    I have read it with my breakfast first thing on Monday morning and what a great start to the week. I have a great team of really positive people now and it is a privilege to work with them so onwards and upwards.

  4. Agree totally, look forward to a few ‘positive beers’ with you in the near future!

  5. Rhys Jaggar says:

    The difficulties arise because people think they have to borrow from the banks and, if the banks won’t lend, they can’t access finance.

    Actually, others are out there replacing the traditional functions of the banks. The business angel crowd are thriving and now, entrepreneurs are building lending insitutions where Joe Bloggs can buy £10 of a loan or the like. There are risks in those sorts of funding, but if you’ve ever had a commercial loan with a big player, you’ll know the antics they can get up to too. My passion died when a High Street Bank, with whom I’d banked for 25 years with the top credit rating possible, treated me like absolute shit the one time in my life I really, really needed their help – all I asked was that they transferred title deeds of collateral to the issuers so I could sell them and pay my loans off in 2008. They did everything in their power to stop me doing what I had every right to do.. Don’t grovel to banks, go seek finance elsewhere……it’s better to own 60% of £10m than 100% of nothing, after all…..

    Be creative in how you get paid. If a piano teacher can’t pay you cash but will teach your two children for a year, would you do the deal? You might. Maybe off the books. But you might get more business on the books down the line. And your kids might get a fantastic piano teacher out of it.

    If the public sector are strapped for cash, find out whose balance sheets have shedloads of cash. Plenty of corporations looking like that right now. If Universities have masses of fees from foreign students, maybe they can afford to buy. If Manchester airport can afford to buy new airports around the globe, maybe they can put aside £1m to invest in young Manchester businesses?? I’m sure they’ll use successes in that as part of their brand building. They will if they have any sense, anyway. If your restaurant in the Town Centre can’t get lunchtime custom, could you find enough young mums who’d support a creche in your space between 9am and 4pm?

    John, at least you’ve grown a company from nowt to £10m the past 7 years. I’ve been as positive as you in situations where warring factions or charlatan shysters have bled me dry. Every time I say, in exasperation, **** it and **** you, and head off, they come running saying ‘we thought you were wonderful’. Well if they did, it’s like a bloke telling his wife he loves her before smacking her across the face, like. Not one word of praise, plenty of s***, but it was true love, eh??

    You’ve got the track record mate. Maybe you’re a simple lad from Burrrrree, but if the NW don’t want you, plenty of rich places will. Go sell your story in Tanzania, South Africa, Nigeria, Egypt and Afghanistan, mate. They’ll listen. Pick up today’s Times and read about how business is thriving in Afghanistan now. Seems they do what I tell Britain to do. Oh, it’s the Chinese, the Indians et al funding some of it. But Afghans have the growing businesses bug and they’d listen to you.

    You get on a jet plane, don’t know when you’ll be back again, raise the money on Singapore Stock Market and become a global citizen with a global message.

    And when you’ve got a £100m business, come back and tell the misery guts in the NW about your visit to a Ferrari show room where you bought Cristiano Ronaldo’s old motor. If they’ve turned jealous, spiteful and heateful, they’ll probably say you nicked it.

    That’s when you tell them to visit a whorehouse or go to the crematorioum.

    Chin up, lad: you’ve got a lot to shout about.

    Lot more than I’ve got, that’s for sure!!

    • johnleachwp says:

      Rhys – hi mate, thanks for the blog and sharing with us your thoughts, much appreciated and straight from the heart. Thats what its all about – authenticity of message with no holds barred. Really appreciated, hope all iswell and speak soon Regards John

  6. chriswright@parsonsreiss.com says:

    Good vibe ,forwarded to all my team

    Sent from my BlackBerry® wireless device

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