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Business Thinking and Passion


I was interviewed recently by someone writing a book on expatriate businessmen. One topic that came up when I was sharing business experiences with her, was the topic of business thinking. What goes on through the thoughts of a business person, that makes him different from any other run-of-the-mill employee?

My buddy Joe and I share the same belief regarding this – a successful businessman is driven by passion. Pure passion for what he does drives him on, making him sleep 4-6 hours a day, eating and drinking and sleeping his life away for the passion in his life. That is something most employees cannot achieve. In fact, if you get such entreprenuerial employees, you have better make sure you love him and treat him well before the competition gets him!

Unlike Joe, however, I believe a successful businessman can be driven by two types of passion.

Intrinsic Passion

The first is an intrinsic passion in the business – an educator who runs his series of schools, a technical person marketing his inventions, or a hedge fund manager running his clients’ money and growing them in the financial markets. Making money (while important) is secondary to growing his business. The best thing to ever happen to his company is for it to become a world leader in its field. Anything that might hint at him losing control of his company is scary.

I suspect many founders of tech, biotech and education companies fall into this category. Inventors tend to belong here.

Extrinsic Passion

The second has a passion for the financial rewards of business. This is truly the pure businessman – willing to dip his hands into anything, to try anything, if the financial rewards are well worth the capital risk. He is constantly on the the lookout for more business opportunities, and closes in on them quickly the moment he senses blood (uh…cash). To him, making money is the most important reason for business, and IPOs are the best thing to ever happen to his company (easier to cash out).

People like Robert Kiyosaki, author of Rich Dad, Poor Dad, has some of such thinkings behind him in his many investments (but his educational company is part of his intrinsic passion).


I suspect I’m the first rather than the second – I know my passions are in education and in finance. I intend to focus my business thoughts of the future upon the financial markets, and upon education as well. These twin foci will drive my business plans for the future.

So, readers – what is yours? Think through it carefully – for it will drive the way you run your business, and follow up on your entreprenuerial instincts! It’s your life and money you are dealing with!