Accounting reports won’t tell you this about your business

Despite everything you’ve been taught in business school, or the school of hard knocks about business success, there is one thing that all customers will pick up on and keep them coming back for more. That is, complete and unbridled enthusiasm for whatever it is you do. I’m not talking about simply liking what you do. Rather, the product or service consumes you and everyone around you. Two quick examples:

Some friends and I went out for dinner one Friday night in Wisconsin, and ended up at a tiny country tavern. The owner was a second generation butcher and was well known for his sausages. As we waited for our meals, he came around with slices of different bratwurst he recently made, explaining the different ingredients. He was absolutely giddy about the whole process. Small business, probably an accounting nightmare, but Tom, the owner of Schwai’s Meat was completely enthusiastic, and I’m still writing about the experience 10 years later. By the way, he now owns three locations!

Second example: I sat in on a lecture about wildflower prairie restoration. The owner of the business, Neil Diboll, owner of Prairie Nursery talked about his earlier, somewhat leaner years when, for entertainment he would spend evenings sitting out in the middle of a prairie trying to pet bumble bees (apparently they become quite docile when the day cools off). Nuts? Yes! But today Neil owns what is arguably the largest purveyor of wildflower and prairie grass seeds in North America.

You have to love what you do first, the money will follow, which is a distant second. Heck, even if the money never follows, I think you’d have a richer life doing what you love to do, rather than what seems like a good business opportunity.

This post has very little to do with QuickBooks, accounting or bookkeeping; I understand that. But it has everything to do with entrepreneurial success. Ask yourself one simple question, what do you spend most of your time working on? Do you enjoy every minute of it?


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