Passion and Drive: It's What Every Entrepreneur Needs to Succeed : Under30CEO Passion and Drive: It's What Every Entrepreneur Needs to Succeed : Under30CEO
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Passion and Drive: It’s What Every Entrepreneur Needs to Succeed

| April 3, 2011 | 24 Comments

entrepreneur successDrive and Passion, Passion and Drive. Either way you say it, these are two of the main qualities that every entrepreneur; regardless of age, or experience must have. That being said, I think we are looking at the correlation between the two incorrectly.  Many have just gone along their journey towards entrepreneurial or even career success thinking drive and passion are the same thing.  Heck, a month ago, I wouldn’t have been able to distinguish the two in terms of what makes an entrepreneur tick.  That was until I read “The Monk and the Riddle” by Randy Komisar, a Silicon Valley Entrepreneur, Investor, and Virtual CEO.  The book is a great read and I highly suggest reading it if you haven’t already.

As much as the book has stuck with me, it is the passage when Komisar talks about the difference between passion and drive that has specifically left a significant impact. He explains that drive is what motivates us to excel and strive while doing something we HAVE to do.  There’s obviously nothing wrong with working hard because you feel you have to, but is that what should define an entrepreneur?  He went on to say that passion is what pulls you towards a project or cause, regardless of your current situation or feeling.  Passion is something you can’t fight and really can’t create.  It’s what creates the drive that we have to have towards to succeed with our ventures.

I think we have to start looking at passion and drive not as interchangeable qualities, but more as a cause and effect when it comes to the entrepreneurial spirit.  To truly succeed, its imperative that an entrepreneur follows a passion.  It could be towards a cause or a new project, but passion is key. Passion is what keeps you pressing forward into the late hours of the morning or wills you to wake up at 4 a.m. to catch your flight or travel for a meeting. As an entrepreneur, there is no substitute for passion.  Passion is what separates us from the non-entrepreneurs.  They may have the drive to excel and be the best in their position, but they lack the passion for a project to see it through at all costs.  Passion may lead to failure, don’t get me wrong.  But what entrepreneur hasn’t failed at one point or another?  If you fail following your passion, it will not because there was a lack of effort or dedication.

If you follow drive first, chances are your venture(s) are a means to an end.  Drive could mean that you are hell bent on being successful now, so you can pursue your passions in life.  I must say, I think that is misguided.  Drive should be an effect of passion.  Don’t follow a project because you have to, follow a project because you feel it.  No matter what, you feel something that few others, if anyone, will ever understand.

While writing this post, I was asked on Twitter, how do you do it all? I’ve been asked that question dozens of times over the past couple weeks and frankly I don’t have a special answer or way of going about it… I guess my best answer is that I am simply following my passion.  My passion has created a drive in me that just keeps me going no matter how low or high I get.  I may be busy, but I really can’t say I’m consumed by work.  I am simply wrapped in a passion that I have no intent on breaking away from.  I’m better for it, and I know there are hundreds, if not thousands of entrepreneurs who feel the same way.

Passion and Drive, not Drive and Passion; It’s what every entrepreneur needs to succeed. Do not follow a project because your drive tells you that you have to do so to be successful.  I don’t know many entrepreneurs who found true success by starting something knowing it was simply a means to an end.  Follow a venture because you’re passionate about it.  Success and failure is part of the game, but your passion won’t waver based on the highs and lows. Rather, your passion will keep you looking forward to not only succeed, but to embrace and love every second of it.

I am Harrison Kratz, a junior at Temple University and the founder of Kratz PR & Management.   I love all things PR and social media, so find me on Twitter @KratzPR!

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Category: Startup Advice

  • Lee JeeShen

    I believe hanging out with like-minded persons (e.g. entrepreneurs) does help in keeping the passion and drive going.

  • Katli 4rm SA

    true that! no matter what it is (hopefully legal) the passion and drive is ultimately what takes u there! lets do this…

  • Rkomisar

    Harrison, this is beautifully done and helpufl. I whole heartedly agree. thanks, randy komisar

  • Dwight Peters

    Definitely on point! This is the driving force behind all great success!!!
    At my blog, I encourage everyday individuals to become super entrepreneurs. It can be done, all we have to do is believe!!!

    Keep up the great work!

  • Harrison Kratz


    Thank you very much for the feedback! I greatly appreciate it, and thank you for being an inspiration.

    Harrison Kratz

  • Harrison Kratz

    Thank you for the feedback! I apologize if there are a few typos (it was late haha) I will try to get them fixed asap :)

  • Harrison Kratz

    I totally agree, I think we’re all idea centric people and coming together only fuels that passion and the creative juices

  • Harrison Kratz

    Thank you very much! Greatly appreciated.

  • Anonymous

    This is so true! So many times I slept less hours because of passion in my startup, and I have never regretted the long night work.

    Comparing when I was in a big firm, working in the office at 2AM with drive (I was force to do so) but no passion.

    Thanks for this great post!

  • brandtpage

    You can’t go wrong with what this article is teaching. Here at we are rocking and rolling, already hitting our 1st QTR goals and on our way to nail Q2. Passion and Drive is a huge factor to our successes, and having rock solid clients who love what you do for them doesn’t hurt :)

  • Van Baird

    I’m in the auto insurance business. I open my agency on July 1. My drive to be an agent that has great production and one that’s known for training great people to reach those goals. But that certainly isn’t what I want to be known for. That’s not my legacy.

    My passion is to be known as someone who gave back to the community and made a difference in the lives of people. I know that I can make a greater difference if the resources are there to help make bigger impact on the people I come in contact with. So, the drive to produce is there and it’s a natural overflow of my passion.

    I donor think I would have been able to articulate that in those words until reading this post. Thanks for the insight into my own brain. :-)


  • Brandon Yanofsky

    Beginning of the article, I thought to myself, “passion and drive are the same thing, duh.” But you’ve convinced me. I’m going to keep that in mind as I use these words.

  • Harrison Kratz

    haha! I used to be in the same boat… that book by Randy Komisar changed my entire perspective though

  • Harrison Kratz

    Glad I could help and I truly wish you the best of luck in achieving your goals and following your passion. If I can ever help in any way, please let me know.

  • Harrison Kratz

    Thank you for the kind words!

  • Harrison Kratz

    Awesome to hear guys, Congrats on hitting those numbers! Rock on

  • Man At Work

    We’re quickly transitioning into an idea economy. With the proliferation of cell phone internet usage around the world, a rise in open-source software, and the state of the economy, start-up costs and barriers to entry could not be lower. One just has to compare how small the downside of the risk actually is right now compared to its enormous upside to see why ideas are starting to grow.

    You’re right, all you need is passion and drive.

  • Virtual office assistant

    We are doing Virtual assistant services for small business owners and what makes us to go on is the passion to do good service to the clients and when we get appreciation from them it always boosts our goals and do much better.

  • Fisayo Sanyaolu

    Hi Harrison, I agree with your view. Thanks for sharing.
    Sam from

  • Maria Joyner

    Drive will get you from point A to point B. Passion is what separates the top 10% in every industry. It is what kept them from getting complacent once they reached a certain level of success and it’s the reason they are still creating, learning and growing. Great job identifying and separating the differences.

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