How entrepreneurs can keep their passion from fading

Original by Veroniek Collewaert, Frederik Anseel, HBR, 2016, 1 pages 

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The stark reality is that most ventures fail. Things will go wrong and it’s very likely that entrepreneurs may lose their initial excitement over time.

Don’t stick to the plan, be flexible :

  • Others are more flexible and engage in a trial-and-error strategy, continuously testing and adapting their ideas as new insights emerge.
  • By flexibly changing and refining their ideas, founding entrepreneurs can make significant progress and build confidence. Rather than feeling misunderstood by the outside world

Get out and get feedback

  • “How am I doing?” In the 1980s, New York City mayor Ed Koch became famous for walking the streets and asking people this same question over and over
  • Getting feedback tends to motivate people, as they feel they are learning something. It also gives a sense of control
  • Be careful:  people are naturally inclined to mostly seek feedback that will confirm their own preconceptions.


Original papers:

When Passion Fades: Disentangling the Temporal Dynamics of Entrepreneurial Passion for Founding, V. Collewaert, F. Anseel, M. Crommelinck, A. De Beuckelaer, J. Vermeire, Journal of Management Studies, Vol 53. February 2016 (To purchase link)

How Are We Doing After 30 Years? A Meta-Analytic Review of the Antecedents and Outcomes of Feedback-Seeking Behavior ,  F. Anseel (Ghent University), S. Beatty (University of Minnesota, Twin Cities Campus),  W. Shen (University of Minnesota),  F. Lievens (Ghent University), P. R. Sackett (University of Minnesota),  Journal of Management Vol. 41 No. 1, January 2015