Sentiment vs. Practicality: 4 things to consider

| October 19, 2015

Sentiment vs. Practicality: 4 things to consider

You often hear that people need drive and passion to run their business and make it successful. To a large extent, that’s true. You can’t be successful in your venture if you don’t have some sort of emotional investment in it. Eventually, you’ll start getting frustrated and bored if you don’t have a passion for your business.

However, sentiment isn’t enough to get your business off the ground in an intensely competitive environment. In fact, sometimes, sentiment can be a crutch that slows down your progress. Consider the following:

1. Passion vs. Opportunity

We tend to talk very liberally about passion, about how it drives the business and how it can help you navigate the rough waters of the start-up world. However, passion must be tempered by understanding of the market. If you start a business just because you like it, because you have an idea you feel is worthwhile, you’re not going to easily succeed.

The right idea, the right time, and the right market makes for a good start-up. For example, if you love art and are aiming to start a new art gallery, great! However, if you’re starting your venture in a locality where people are generally disinterested in art, your gallery isn’t going to be successful.

2. Determination vs. Blindness

It’s one thing to be determined, ready and willing to work hard to make your business successful. It’s another to ignore the warning signs and keep on forging ahead. Many people invest too much time and money in a failing venture and don’t pull out before they’re in too deep.

Your determination should be tempered by the fires of stark, ruthless honesty. If you see that your business is going nowhere, you need to abandon ship, even if you don’t want to, and hate the very thought of it.

3. Understanding vs. Gullibility

It’s one thing to be understanding and cooperative when you’re dealing with employees and business associates; it’s another to be foolish. When you’re running a small business, your relationship with your employees can be more intimate and friendlier. In many ways, this can be a good benefit for you.

Having great interaction with your employees can propel your business forward. However, you shouldn’t let your affection blind your judgment. If your employee is consistently underperforming, it’s better to let him go, even if you like him personally.

4. Research vs. Waste of Time

This is a bane of many entrepreneurs, though few recognize it. People research their market to death, read thousands of books and articles, contact several people for advice, but just don’t take that first step. There’s sentiment behind this as well. You keep researching instead of doing because you lack confidence and are uncertain. At one point of time, you need to be practical and realize it’s a waste of time.

As they say, too much of anything is bad. Keep in mind that running a business requires a sense of objectivity and detachment. You can’t be blind to what common sense tells you. If you habitually disregard common sense, it’s unlikely that you’ll succeed in business.