In a hyper-productive world, efficiency only goes so far.

Nick MacMillan

It doesn’t matter what company you’re starting, what product you’re building, what process you’re trying to optimize. It doesn’t matter who you’re competing with, what industry you’re trying to overturn, what customers you’re trying to reach. Whether it’s big, small, new, or old, one thing is certain: the world is more efficient than ever.

An Unprecedented Age of Efficiency

Labor productivity has been increasing steadily for over 50 years, and today’s markets are more efficient than they ever have been. The advances we’ve seen since the dawn of the information economy have let everyone — at the level of corporations all the way down to the level of the individual — achieve more in less time. While that’s a good thing overall, it also amplifies a nasty reality for new businesses: competition is tough.

In today’s world, average doesn’t cut it. Today’s companies are optimizing everything, finding new ways to achieve more with less and grow faster than companies a century ago would have dreamed possible. It’s a mark of our times that something as minute as changing the color of a button on a webpage is not only common, but a basic element of conversion optimization.

Think about that for a minute: the information age has made us so efficient that it’s obvious to us that we need to find the right shade of red for a button (and yes, red converts better than green).

Passion Must Be a Differentiator

So in a business environment marked by hyper efficiency, how do you succeed? Some would answer with methods, processes, and frameworks for making yourself even more efficient. And yes, that’s important — but it’s not enough.

As an entrepreneur, there’s one thing you can count on to pull through for you time and time again:

Passion.

If you’re to succeed as an entrepreneur in the modern world, you need to be passionate about what you do. You need to be excited to get out of bed in the morning and grow your business. You need to be fascinated by the problem you’re solving and driven to improve your solution.

Passion is no longer just a heartwarming part of the entrepreneurial journey — it’s elemental. It lies at the heart of what you’re doing, and it’ll determine whether you live or die.

Because at the end of the day, if you’re not passionate about what you’re doing, those who are will beat you.

Without Passion, The Fight is Impossible

When it comes to new businesses, the demands placed on an entrepreneur can be superhuman in nature. You’ll work harder than you ever thought possible and push yourself beyond your limits. And if you’re not passionate about your business, not only will this be unpleasant, but you just won’t do it, period. Every day will be a battle, and one day, you’ll lose.

Passion is the secret edge that pushes you above and beyond. If you’re passionate about what you’re doing, you’ll put in the hours and give the work because you want to. Because you care. Because you’re passionate about it.

So if you’re considering what idea (or, better yet, what problem) to base your business on, don’t just think about market size and business model and early customer acquisition — all of that is important, but it’s ultimately secondary. If you want to start a business, start one you feel passionate about.

Because it’s not products, innovations, or technologies that change the world.

It’s passion.


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Truthfully, we believe that if you want something bad enough and have the right tools, you can accomplish anything. These courses — and our whole business model — are designed to help you get there.

Author

CEO and Co-founder of Neon Roots

Ben Lee is the co-founder and CEO of Neon Roots, a digital development agency with a mission to destroy the development model and rebuild it from the ground up. After a brief correspondence with Fidel Castro at age nine, Ben decided to start doing things his own way, going from busboy to club manager at a world-class nightclub before he turned 18. Since then, Ben has founded or taken a leading role in 5 businesses in everything from software development to food and entertainment.