It is generally accepted by most of us that a passionless life is not much of a life at all. Then why is it that so many of us do not apply this to the work aspect of our lives? In fact, many Americans believe that work is supposed to be devoid of passion. While this mentality may work (and that’s debatable) for the 9 to 5 worker, for entrepreneurs lack of passion could be a death sentence for your business. Taking on the challenge of starting and operating your own small business is no easy feat; that’s why passion in small business is crucial to its success.

True entrepreneurs are a rare breed. There is stress from the onset regarding funding your business, figuring out how to scale it, and sometimes even wondering how you’re going to find money to pay your employees. To stay afloat, a small business owner must have the passion  to continue fighting or everything will quickly sink faster than a cartoon character in quicksand. Luckily, passion brings with it a lot of other important characteristics necessary for a successful small business.

Possessing passion generally means possessing motivation and that can become contagious – in a good way of course. Your motivation fuels your drive to keep pushing towards your company’s goals but also motivates those working for you to do the same.

High profile billionaire and founder of Virgin Group, Richard Branson so eloquently sums up the importance of passion in small business with this quote, “When you believe in something the force of your convictions will spark other people’s interest and motivate them to help you achieve your goals.”

Like motivation, dedication is also a characteristic that comes hand-in-hand with passion. A successful entrepreneur is dedicated to his/her ideas or craft. Those that achieve great things know this inherently. A child that practices his violin only when nagged to is not nearly as impressive as the one that practices on his own accord. Generally that child isn’t nagged to because he has the passion for it and it is something comes within; there is a desire to do it. Likewise, a small business owner is dedicated to the company because of the passion to do it and not because it is felt like an obligation. That is what sets apart the mediocre from the winners – a passionate mindset.

So now that we know how important passion is in small business, how do we ensure that we are incorporating it into our business? First, make sure the small business you plan to run is not one you’re doing purely for monetary reasons. This is sure to fail quickly. Instead, when coming up with your small business idea let it be one that speaks to your passions outside of work. Maybe you’re an avid reader and writer so you start a small blogging venture, or you’re passionate about the environment and so you come up with a green business model. Whatever it is make sure it is one that can sustain your interest for a long time.