Passion, Patience and Perseverance: The 3 P’s Essential for Entrepreneurial Success

Posted: February 3, 2013 by Rod Robinson in Leadership, People, Startup

rod robinson“Everyone has talent.  What is rare is the courage to follow the talent to the dark places where it leads.”  — Erica Jong

I have often reflected upon Erica Jong’s words during my entrepreneurial journey over the last 7 years.  Through all the highs and lows (note:  the highs are really high and the lows are really low!) —  I have attributed my staying power and ability to overcome adversity to none other than my passion, patience, and perseverance.

I’m a firm believer that everyone arrives on this earth for a reason.  Each person possesses special gifts and talents to contribute to society.  Our biggest challenge determining our gifts.  Some find it early; others find it difficult to discover.  It took 35 years to figure out my gifts and how to harness them to make a difference for others.  What better way to go through life than waking up every morning to do what you absolutely love, while simultaneously making life easier for others?

Why is passion important?

People feel strongly about things rooted in their passions.  You know you are truly passionate about something when you are willing to do it for free and take on significant risk.  Think of all the great innovations that we enjoy today because of someone pursuing their passion — Zuckerberg (Facebook), Jobs (Apple), Walt Disney.  Many years ago, a fellow Wharton Alum was so determined to succeed in the music business, that upon graduation she decided to reject a lucrative investment-banking job and accept a position as a secretary at a record company.  As opposed to taking what some may consider the “easy road,” she decided to chase her dream of becoming a music company executive.  Sixteen years later, she had become the first African-American woman to head a major record label — now that’s passion!

How did I find my passion?

It all started with education followed by a series of career opportunities allowing me to accumulate a unique set of skills and expertise that complemented my education, life experience and ability to connect with people.  However, many important decisions needed to be made during this time. I was fortunate to have mentors to call on for advice.  That advice and my learning helped me gravitate toward those opportunities that were most compatible with my personality and would most likely give me the best long-term growth potential.  As I look back at each individual career move, they don’t make sense individually.  However, those moves make total sense given that I am innovating at the intersection of procurement, technology, and emerging business development.

How can you find your passion?

I can’t tell you exactly how to find your passion, but I can tell you that the hard work of entrepreneurship can only be sustained through your passion.  Things always develop slower than you expect, it always takes more capital than you think and Murphy’s law will be with you…whatever can go wrong will undoubtedly go wrong.  If you remember nothing else, just remember that the 3 P’s are necessary for success in entrepreneurship and any other pursuit:

  1. Passion:  Without passion, you may as well forget your mission.  Passion separates winners from losers.  If all else is equal, bet on the team or individual with the most passion.
  2. Patience:  Patience enables you to stay the course even under the most difficult circumstances.  There are no short-cuts to success. Be patient, stay focused and true to yourself.
  3. Perseverance:  Be persistent in pursuit of your goals and dreams.

In addition to the 3 P’s, I personally lean heavily on my faith and adamantly refuse to give up!

  1. I like looking through a post that can make men and women think. Also, many thanks for allowing for me to comment!|

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