Is the Enthusiasm Still There?
By Maurie Cashman
After expressing great enthusiasm for my business in a presentation a wise friend once asked me this: â€œWill you know when to quit?â€ It rocked me back on my heels a bit and made me think about it seriously as I was in the early startup days. The answer I finally gave to myself was: â€œI will never quit, but I will stop if I lose my enthusiasm for the business.â€
I believe this is a central question that every business owner should answer for themselves: Do you know when to stop? I meet business owners every week that have successful businesses but have lost the enthusiasm required to lead it to the next level. It is a very natural progression and nothing to be ashamed of. We will all get there someday.
Enthusiasm is at the bottom of all progress. With it there is accomplishment. Without it there are only alibis.”
Enthusiasm is addictive and contagious. I have been incredibly fortunate to work with teams in businesses that I couldnâ€™t wait to get to work in the morning. I have also experienced losing my enthusiasm for some businesses as an employee and chose to stop doing it. The sun came up the next day the same as every day. I found something to reignite my enthusiasm. With that re-ignition came a brand new set of opportunities and challenges and the joy that comes from creating new solutions and writing new rules.
For most entrepreneurs enthusiasm is absolutely necessary to get through the tough years of establishing that business. There are simply days that are tough and you wonder how long you can do this and why you should. There are days when you walk on air. If you havenâ€™t experienced this you are not an entrepreneur.
There comes a time in every ownerâ€™s life when that enthusiasm will dissipate and it will be time to step aside for the next generation. Various things can trigger this:
- Grandchildren that you want to spend time with;
- Passion for your hobbies;
- A desire to travel or get out of the northern winters;
- Growth in your business that takes the fun out of running it;
- Changes in industry dynamics;
- Increasing risk-averseness;
- You may be hooked on a pace that simply isnâ€™t there anymore and youâ€™re bored;
- Failing health of you or your spouse.
The key issue is will you be prepared to transition ownership to the next owner who has the enthusiasm for your business to re-ignite the rocket and take it to the next level? Do you have a plan in place that will allow you to get the value from your business that you want so that you can pursue those emerging passions. Can you walk away on YOUR terms and into your new life? The sun will come up tomorrow; will you be doing what you want when it does?