The idea of needing to be passionate to be a small business owner is really a misguided thought process. Can anyone get passionate about cleaning grease or printing? In this week’s episode of Dirty Secrets of Small Business, Jack Mencini and Adam Sonnhalter, co-hosts, examine the concept and ultimate myth that you need to be passionate to be a small business owner!

As small business owners themselves for Maximum Value Partners, Jack and Adam have coached hundreds of small business owners over the last 15 plus years and have heard countless times that passion is a key ingredient for success.

According to Jack, “That is pure bunk.” It is only true to the degree that you are passionate about profit and making money and having a successful organization. You really don’t need to be passionate about the widget or the machinery that gets rid of mold that your business is providing to have it be a success

If you have a hobby or interest that you are passionate about it could turn out to be a detriment to your business success. You spend more time on the activity around your passion than the 7 Keys to Success for your business.

“We often hear, ‘I love doing this… (which could be an offshoot of a hobby). I just don’t ‘love dealing with the challenges of the business, which distracts from the product or the thing I am passionate about’,” said Adam

Jack refers to the book E-Myth Revisited that shares the story of the woman who loves to make pies and starts a business making and selling pies. She really, really loves to bake pies and this is her passion. But the book talks about all the things she gets involved in and all these other things that suck her time into running the business and away from her joy of baking pies. The passion she once had for her avocation or hobby is not bringing her happiness or is no longer the joyful passion it once was.

It is a crock that you need to be passionate to be a business owner. You need to focus on profit not necessarily being passionate about the product.

The business part of it gets in the way… and is the essence of the E-Myth Revisited book in describing all the stuff that gets in the way of what someone describes as their passion. If the small business owner can make the business succeed that is not passion… that is making the business work strategically to be profitable.

If you are too passionate about the product or service and not laser focused on all the tactics of the business, the organization will suffer. Being passionate about a hobby and then trying to turn it into a business soon becomes like a job and the joy goes out of it.

To hear more about this topic and the How Question of the week, access the February 6 podcast and all the Dirty Secrets of Small Business podcasts on iTunes or at

Do you have any How Questions of your own to email to Jack and Adam? Do it by sending your questions to or submit a question on their web site at

If you have a success story or a question you would like to share, email or call ( or 877-849-0670). You can also call in during the show each week at noon (EST) – 1:00 pm on WINT 1330 AM, call 440-946-9468 to ask your question to the Maximum Value Partners’ coaches! Access all the Dirty Secrets of Small Business podcasts on iTunes or at

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