What Role Do Determination and Passion Play in Entrepreneurial Success?

By Solomon Thimothy

Most entrepreneurs will tell you that you shouldn’t go into business if you’re not passionate about what you do. Whether you are developing software or cooking your favorite dish, passion is the motivator that drives you and helps you get over those initial fears and risks you have to take to start a business.

But passion is only part of the equation.

After being in business for over a decade, I can tell you that passion will take you a long way, but you’ll need more than that if you’re looking for a long-term business. Entrepreneurs also need determination to be successful. Here’s why:

Determination Keeps You Going (Even on the Hardest Days)

Most entrepreneurs are average people with a great idea and plenty of passion. Rarely do you meet an entrepreneur who knew what it was to build a business when they first started. Most of the time, you have to figure it out as you go.

For me, this was certainly the case. I was passionate about helping businesses grow and succeed, but I knew nothing about running my own business. From IT to HR, I had to learn everything as I went. It’s still not easy: I sometimes feel that helping other business people run their operations is easier than running my own business. When consulting businesses on their sales and marketing strategies, it's easy to find glaring problems in their processes. However, it's difficult to spot these same problems in my own company. That's why I love to hear from other entrepreneurs about their challenges. It often makes me realize that we have the same problem and that it can be solved.

On your most difficult days, when you’re faced with making big decisions about the future of your business or you have to step out of your comfort zone to do what your business needs, determination will keep you going.

Determination Helps You Get Back Up After You Fail

If you haven’t yet failed at something as an entrepreneur, you should consider yourself lucky. Every entrepreneur will go through a series of failures -- some big and some small.

So what happens when those failures get the best of you? Passion might give you some comfort but it’s determination that will help you get back up and try harder the next time. Whether it’s losing a big client or getting your product rejected, failure is part of every entrepreneur’s journey. Determination will help you pull yourself back together. Every once in a while, you'll lose that big account. You'll wonder how you'll make it. While it's tough to realize that you've lost a client you previously depended on, it also teaches you how to prevent that from happening again. In our company, we take every lost account as a learning lesson. It's helped us improve our processes and made us more consistent with our service and delivery.

Determination Prevents You From Giving Up

Even though you’re passionate about what you do, some punches may make you want to rethink being in business. I know I’ve doubted my decisions. Sometimes giving up seems easier than dealing with all the challenges of running a business. It’s in these instances that determination will keep you going.

I believe that business that fail are not a result of a lack of passion, but a lack of determination. Many of us go into entrepreneurship thinking it’s going to be an overnight success situation. However, the reality is that it will take years to know you’re in the right business and then some to figure out whether you’re doing things right. With lots of determination and passion, getting into (and staying in) business is doable.


Solomon Thimothy is the founder of Clickx, a marketing intelligence platform that helps businesses and agencies with marketing attribution.

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