If you want to be an entrepreneur, you have to start with your passion.
In the early 90s, I was passionate about communications, so I started a marketing communications agency and later, a tabloid arts & entertainment publication. The former was a modest success, the latter an abject failure. But they were both about my passion: crafting visual and written stories to communicate a message.
In the late 90s, I was passionate about e-commerce. I became the head of product and user experience at a venture-backed e-commerce company that went public before the bubble burst. During that time, I became even more passionate about user experience, so I co-founded one of the first user experience consultancies (as we know user experience today).
Later in life, I’ve become more passionate about making a bigger impact on the world. My mom and dad taught me the lessons of making an impact. My mom was a substance abuse counselor who literally helped people survive their diseases, as she had done. That’s impact. My dad ran a business association that led the way in racially integrating its business community. That’s impact.
Now I’m lucky enough to be a founder and executive at a company that’s helping people take action for better health. Given that the two people who most taught me to have an impact died of what we now consider preventable or treatable diseases, I couldn’t ask for better alignment with my passion.
Your passion doesn’t have to be a noble, higher pursuit. Your passion could be something seemingly mundane, like sharing files (DropBox, Box, Sharefile). But start with something you care deeply about, for your passion will fuel the drive to overcome challenges, propel your company through tough early times, and create a lasting impact on the markets you are serving.