MG Siegler at TechCrunch wrote a great piece a couple days ago on the role of enthusiasm. I think he’s dead-on, but I’ll add my little bit of advice: Make sure your Enthusiasm is the right kind.
The Enthusiasm you need is really a deep love for what you’re doing. This is the kind of enthusiasm that gets you up early full of energy and ideas. A quote from Siegler’s TechCrunch piece:
… When co-founder Biz Stone says he thinks Twitter can change the world, it may sound crazy, but it’s not, because he believes it.
This kind of Enthusiasm goes beyond just the rush of being part of something successful. It’s a belief in something that’s not only bigger than you, its bigger than your product or even your company. The best kind of Enthusiasm comes when you truly believe that what are doing matters.
In the most stark form, the wrong kind of enthusiasm is the kind that comes only when you are growing and successful. This celebratory enthusiasm is cheap. It will not focus your effort on making great products, on working diligently for your customers, or on building a great team. It certainly won’t sustain you through any rough patch in your business. When you are successful, growing, and getting a lot of fabulous press, it’s very hard to separate the enthusiasm for success from the Enthusiasm for what you are doing.
Enthusiasm and passion are so important, no matter what you do. If you don’t feel like you have that towards the company you are with, you should seriously consider leaving.
Better yet, if you have the power in your company to start something that you are passionate about, do it.
This isn’t just about making it easy to go to work every day. It’s not just about keeping your energy high. This deep Enthusiasm brings that elusive “focus” that often seems a cliche’.
When you are truly Enthusiastic about what you are doing, you have a deep understanding of what you are creating and why it’s important. You are constantly refining that concept of why your company and product matters. It helps you make the right decisions for customers. It informs your marketing and sales efforts with that sense of purpose. And it makes all the difference when you need to make those tough choices about what you are NOT going to do.
Enthusiasm is the real “Focus.”