Entrepreneurial passion is essential for venture success. It is required to convince a team to devote themselves to the venture, investors to back the venture and customers to pay for the product or service. Passion can therefore be a differentiating factor between success and failure for an entrepreneur.
Entrepreneurial passion is a motivational construct characterized by positive emotional arousal, internal drive and engagement with personally meaningful work that is salient to the self-identify of the entrepreneur.
The passion effect
Entrepreneurs who convey passion are more persuasive, motivated, have larger social networks and more social capital . As a result, they have more income, sales revenue and growth in sales and earnings compared with entrepreneurs who are less passionate . Passion is therefore is critical to an entrepreneur’s success.
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Passion is palpable
Passion effects how customers, investors and employees view the entrepreneur and their product. When they can feel the entrepreneur’s passion, they may be more persuaded by it; and for good reason. To these individuals, passion is a strong indicator of:
- Degree of motivation
- Level of commitment
- Confidence in their vision
- If they will persevere in the face of obstacles
- How well they can lead people in their venture
- Persuasion skills
It is therefore necessary to display passion when communicating with customers, employees and anyone making funding decisions as it will help persuade them to support the venture or vision.
Passion and decisions
Entrepreneurs must be passionate when pitching to an investor making funding decisions, selling to a customer or hiring new employees. Passion will boost their confidence in their evaluation of the business plan, product, company, team and the entrepreneur.
However, passion alone is not sufficient to influence decisions. When passion is integrated with a substantial business plan, product or service the entrepreneur will be evaluated more favorably. When a passionate entrepreneur’s business plan lacks substance, their product fails to deliver as promised or their service is insufficient, the entrepreneur will likely be viewed as fake, manipulative and insincere.
The passion sweet spot
The amount of passion displayed also has an effect on decisions. If the entrepreneur displays too much passion, it may appear as if they are not genuine, desperate or pretentious. Of course too little passion can result in being perceived as not being completed invested in the venture or not confident about the product, service, company or team.
It is essential that entrepreneurs display an appropriate amount of passion and that their passion is supported by an amazing product, service or business plan. Passion will facilitate persuasive arguments, the buying process and funding decisions. Entrepreneurs who convey passion will sell more, earn more and convince more, all contributing to the success of their venture.
 Baum, J. R., & Locke, E. A. (2004). The relationship of entrepreneurial traits, skill, and motivation to subsequent venture growth. Journal of Applied Psychology, 89(4),587−598.
 Baron, R. A. (2008). The role of affect in the entrepreneurial process. Academy of Management Review, 33(2), 328−340.