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What Drives You?

April 30, 2018 Jon 0 Comments

In the summer of 2004, when I was developing the business plan for my “dream business” – which was one of the first spas in the world for men – I was out for dinner with a friend and his wife. I told them about my plan for a business which would offer personal care services exclusively for men, designed to help them look and feel their best. My friend’s wife replied that she had just heard about a new idea for a fast food restaurant – offering cheese steaks. “Why wouldn’t you start a business like that?”, she asked. “Because I’m trying to help people”, I answered, “not kill them.”

Okay – this is not about the health benefits or lack thereof of a fast food repast consisting of steak and cheese – it is to say that if you have a personal mission – a passion, if you will – to help men look and feel their best, you are not likely to be start up fast food restaurant – or, at least I didn’t. I started a spa for men.

So, right from the start – the very beginning – I was driven by passion. And I continued to be – every single day. And I tried – every single day – to instill the passion that I had to help men look and feel their best into my staff – to ensure that a visit to my spa was the best part of every client’s day.

If you are not driven by passion in your business – what are you driven by? The money? If so, how long will you stick with it? How will you get through the tough times – because there will be tough times. If its just about the money – and there are lots of other businesses you could start to make money – how quickly will your business have to develop to keep you interested and motivated?

Passion was my motivation. If I had been motivated simply by money, I’d have needed to be in a business that developed a lot more quickly – but what business does that? Cheese steaks? Well, maybe.

I believe that many, if not most of the iconic businesses of the world are driven by a passionate belief in the value of the product or service being offered. Behind many of the most successful companies, there is a passionate, visionary entrepreneur – not someone simply looking for the fastest, safest buck.

If you have an idea for a business that you are really passionate about – your passion will likely be what sustains you.

Unless you make the mistake of bringing people into your business who don’t share your passion. Then you have a nightmare on your hands.

Alan Stransman founded one of the first spas in the world for men in downtwon Toronto. He also wrote a book about that entrepreneurial venture/misadventure entitled “Don’t Let Your Dream Business Turn Into a Nightmare”, which is currently being adapted into a case study for use at the M.B.A. level by Canada’s leading business school. There is more information about the book and tesimonials from readers at http://www.mybusinessnightmare.com

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