Are you picking a passion, or a mere interest?

I’ve been talking to an increased number of people now with regards to their startup ideas.

Will this work? What about this? Could you rank these five ideas?

You know what? It really depends on you. Are you passionate about one of these ideas? If you are, then even if any expert or investor tells you your idea sucks, you’ve got a good chance of proving them wrong. Isn’t this the story of so  many successful startups?

Passion fuels great execution. And execution is everything.

What is interesting is that one person’s multiple ideas can encompass a wide variety of areas. While it is quite probable that you are interested in all these ideas, it is quite improbable that you are passionate about all of them.

If you plan to be the driving force in a startup you are setting up, then you just have to pick a passion. Don’t give in to the temptation to pick an interest, no matter how convenient things are shaping up.


Interest does not scale. Mere interest will not propel you to persevere and sacrifice when the going gets really tough. Mere interest won’t make you finish whole books about the topic in 2-3 days. Passion will make you do so. Passion scales.

You don’t ever want to go on vacation from what you are passionate about.

I am interested in pizza, TV, video games, and coffee. I won’t read books about them though. I don’t scour for news about them, although I will read an article about them if I come across one. I won’t run a startup centered on them. Invest in startups centered on them? Sure. But be the driving force? I already know that won’t be a good idea.

I am passionate about startups, human resources, and basketball. I read books about these topics for leisure. I am subscribed to news feeds about them. I have been the driving force for a successful human resources-related startup until very recently, and now I’m busy setting up a startup incubator. If someone comes to me with a great startup idea about basketball, I can see allowing myself to lead that.

Passion is evident. When you ask a person about what she is passionate about, it will be difficult to make them stop. Eyes light up. Peripheral questions are easy to answer. I’ve seen shy introverts transform before my very eyes when their passion becomes the topic of conversation.

You would pursue a passion for free. 

So whether you are deliberating on seriously pursuing an idea, recruiting someone, or even looking for a new job, pick a passion.

Stop settling.

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Peter Cauton

Entrepreneur, writer, speaker, startup advocate, HR guy. Husband, father of 6, teacher, unabashed follower of Christ.

This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. Very nice Peter! I think this is what people should think of… what they are passionate about and not just thinking of a mere “startup”

    1. Thanks Sherwin! Sometimes the challenge is having the balls to actually pursue a passion, especially when you think an interest would be a “safer” bet…

      Musta pala startup ninyo?

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