Success in business, and life, starts with passion

In business, it can seem like a roller coaster ride with the highest of highs and the lowest of lows. As co-founder and president of my firm I often contemplate why it feels so good sometimes and other times it feels different. More importantly, I think all of us in business try to capture what keeps us riding the highs and powering through the lows.

My experience has taught me that it starts with passion for what you do. To truly enjoy the successes in your business it must be born from a genuine desire to succeed.

Like an athlete, much of a business owner’s success is defined by statistics and compensation. But think about when John Elway won his first Super Bowl, or when Kirk Gibson hit his famous World Series home run — in those moments the athletes weren’t concerned about their next contract, their next endorsement or their bodies, for that matter. They just wanted to win, and their passion took over.

Whatever you are managing in your business — people, assets, health, widgets, it doesn’t matter — there are always challenges and successes. There is always a need for passion. Well-laid plans come together, and unsolvable problems require a solution. To approach each day knowing that you will see both, and to truly approach both with the same passion, dramatically raises your opportunity for success.

Some thoughts on how to bring the passion:

■ Really love what you do. If you don’t, you’re fooling yourself, and when it’s time to dig deep you will find yourself questioning why.

■ Work harder than everyone else — and play equally as hard.

■ Be genuine in all that you do, even when it’s difficult or unpopular.

■ Take time out of your business to work on your business. In these times you can find clarity.

■ Benchmark everything you do against industry competition.

■ Focus your time and effort on your KPI (key performance indicators).

■ Play the long game in every key decision. Short-term success is fleeting; long-term sustained success is where it’s at.

■ Invest in people and/or technology. The people you trust will take you up or down.

■ Trust your decision-making. Take the time to make the decision you are comfortable with and don’t look back.

■ Be vulnerable. To be comfortably uncomfortable will accelerate growth tremendously.

What begins with passion and grows with unrelenting commitment culminates in pure joy.

Think about the feeling of helping a client solve a problem or achieving a personal goal. Think about how Elway felt hoisting the trophy, and how Gibson felt rounding the diamond. Think about the joy in a child’s eyes when you do something special for them. Nothing is better or purer than these feelings.


Arthur F. Hazen Jr., AIFA, is president and shareholder of Medallion Wealth Management. As co-founder, Art brings over 15 years of experience as a financial adviser providing objective financial guidance and investment advice to individuals, families and business owners. He is also a member of EO Pittsburgh. The Entrepreneurs’ Organization is a global, peer-to-peer network of more than 12,000 business owners with 173 chapters in 54 countries.