What Motivates Your Idea? Passion or Deferred Life Plan?

Hard to believe it’s March 30th?  Where did the first quarter of 2011 go?  According to Seth Godin; I am behind on shipping…feel more like UPS ground rather than Fed Ex.   Sitting at my laptop this morning; I thought about what projects we shipped on time and which projects did not make it out the door.

Why were these ideas sent to the black hole of my mind?  Why were some projects completed quickly; while two manila folders sat on my desk for weeks?  In my mind; I could not find the motivation to spend time and money to convert the idea to an actionable project.  There was no call to action, no interest on my part – but there was peer pressure to move the idea forward from others.

Over the weekend I finished “The Monk and The Riddle” by Randy Komisar.  I highly recommend the book if you have not read it; Randy tells a story to explain why successful ideas must have passion.  At a gut level, we know that our idea must be aligned with our belief system and that our motivation must have a purpose.  When the motivation behind the idea is not genuine it shows; especially when the motivation is greed.

In the book, Randy discusses passion and drive; which on the surface seem to have the same meaning; yet, the two words are different.  Randy states “passion pulls you toward something you cannot resist.  Drive pushes you toward something you feel compelled or obligated to do”.

This morning, I tabled the ideas with much relief that lacked my passion and fit my purpose.   You cannot fake interest in ideas or projects – in the end the passion behind the “why” must be authentic.

Many individuals start businesses to escape the Deferred Life Plan, seeking to find any idea that will generate enough money to grant their escape.   Just like Lenny, a character in book, focusing on the escape without the passion will lead you nowhere.   Investors seek big ideas with a soul – an idea that can grow.

Startups must be careful not to succumb to peer pressure to appease potential investors or advisors; ask yourself is rejecting the passion behind the “why” worth the funding?

Passion keeps the motivation of the big idea alive.